If this were an addiction help group, I’d stand up and say “I’m going to buy an iPhone 6, and I hate myself for it.” I’m sorry. I’ve let myself down, and some of you down, too. Despite being underwhelmed by iOS 8, disillusioned by the Apple world, and enjoying the current crop of Android devices a lot more than previous years, the iPhone 6 is the next smartphone for me.
Apple has got me (and millions of others like) in its clutches. Although I won’t be first in line (or in any line at all, because I’m not deranged), at some point over the first month of its release, I’ll pay a large amount of money for the latest generation iPhone. Even though I’m not overly excited about it.
Why are you doing this, Apple?
Apple’s keynote presentation at WWDC was a let down. I challenged Apple to show us something awesome, and my advice wasn’t heeded. The demos were half-hearted, lacking some of the energy we’ve seen in the past, and the best features of iOS 8 were trotted out under the guise of “developer tools,” or a good time for half-normal people to tune out entirely. I may have chuckled at the light humor poking fun at Craig Federighi’s hair, but inside I was having a little weep. Not because I was sad, but because I already knew what will happen in September.
It’s the crushing realization that I’m an Apple customer for the foreseeable future.
I have the same degree of self-loathing a puppy feels when it has an accident on the couch. It shouldn’t have happened, but it couldn’t be avoided. Worst of all, it’ll happen again in the future. This isn’t an admission that I’m a fanboy. Instead, it’s the crushing realization that I’m an Apple customer for the foreseeable future. The prison door has slammed shut, and I’m inside a cell with tens of millions of people who’re just like me.
It’s only going to get more difficult to break away
It’s no secret Apple has always been dedicated to locking its owners into the iTunes ecosystem for years, but now it’s strapping chains all over iOS and OS X. Soon, you’re going to have to actively recruit your friends, just so you can enjoy your iPhone to its fullest. It’s forced dedication.
If there was one message to take away from Apple’s keynote, it’s that you’ll need to be fully immersed in the Apple hardware universe to enjoy many of its new features. OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 are linked together like no versions before them, enabling cross-platform work flow between iOS and Mac and letting OS X act as a very expensive speaker for your iPhone. Apple wants your whole family in on the deal too, and will offer shared family accounts in iTunes.
This is why Apple knows it can get away with boring keynotes, no new hardware announcements, and an attitude that would make Naomi Campbell blush.
Is this what it feels like to be a BlackBerry user?
I used to feel a little sorry for those still clutching a BlackBerry Curve or a Bold, but I wonder if my own fate is similar. It seems inevitable; eventually, Apple’s star will fall, leaving me with 30,000 apps that won’t be updated, a phone that I’m so comfortable with it could take my surname, and an ever increasing feeling that I’m being left behind. Luckily, that’s not happening yet, but being trapped in a ecosystem means putting an awful lot of faith in the manufacturer.
Before I’m berated for being an Apple iSheep or whatever, think about the smartphone choices you’ve made. Could you switch to another OS without hesitation? Leaving aside the Apple keynote, all this applies to Android and Windows Phone users, too.
I’m not unhappy about being an iPhone user, but the sense of inevitability about buying Apple products indefinitely is unsettling, and Apple’s interest in my friends and family is creepy.
I’ve passed the point of no return. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do the same, but be aware that buying a smartphone is a marriage, not a fling, and divorce is becoming very expensive indeed.