This past week, Apple announced the details about their highly anticipated iPhone 5, among other products. But like every year, it’s the iPhone that gets the most attention as people use these details to determine whether they will either upgrade from an older version, or switch over from another phone. What I’ve found interesting each year is the amount of criticism that comes following the release of the specs for the iPhone. This year in particular, after Apple won a billion dollar patent lawsuit and faces similar lawsuits themselves, the criticism seems to be growing. Is it deserving?
First off, I don’t consider myself an Apple “fanboy” though I am personally fascinated with Apple as a company from a marketing and business point of view. I think their ability to create the following they have makes them the Star Wars of technology. Like a Star Wars film, Apple needs little in the way of traditional ads to promote themselves. Their fans do that for them and no amount of criticism seems to bring them or their buyers down. While I’m sure there are other examples, I can’t think of another company that has been able to wrap so much up into one simple logo and one word.
What makes Apple such a powerful company to me? It all lies in how they’ve been able to build themselves up from nearly nothing ten years ago. I definitely don’t think it’s any one product that does it today but a combination of what they offer. It’s the fact they HAVE a combination of products that work *together* that makes them a success. Based on what I’ve heard from several people I know, the iPhone isn’t the best phone on the market and they are, in fact, up to if not more than a year behind what their competition offers in the way of features. But what their competition doesn’t offer is a whole package.
I got my first iPhone three years ago with the iPhone 3GS. At that point, I had a MacBook and a 5th generation 30GB iPod. I barely used the MacBook but the iPod was my baby, therefore, I was also an avid iTunes user. Over time, I did get a new MacBook Pro and most recently an iPad (3). My MacBook Pro had a much larger harddrive than my PC and quickly became my primary computer. Combining that with my ever-growing music collection and organization efforts, plus the recent air-syncing abilities of the iCloud, among other features makes my digital/technical side relient on Apple.
When the iPhone 5 was announced last week, the individual details didn’t seem too impressive compared to the iPhone 4S. But comparing them to my 3GS, a LOT has changed. If I were to switch to a different non-Apple phone, I might be getting more in the way of specific features but I don’t think that gain would equal what I would have by getting an iPhone 5. The direct syncing abilities I have with my MacBook Pro, specifically with programs like iTunes and iPhoto wouldn’t be there. I’d probably have to reorganize my music again (I have 20,000 songs. It’s not something I’d be too keen on doing), not to mention get new apps that would be compatible to my non-Apple phone as all of my iTunes-purchased apps would no longer be useful. Plus, I’d have to learn how to use the new phone, which isn’t a big deal but with everything else, it might not be worth it.
So whenever I read someone mocking an Apple user in the form of a meme, I can’t help but roll my eyes. They’re obviously mocking the fact that there’s an “Apple culture” who stand fully behind the world’s biggest company, and can use the minimal upgrades between updates as their backup but I think the existence of Apple Culture is impressive. For most of us, it’s more than just a phone but a combination of hardware and software that are made to work with each other.
I’m certainly not going to make the claim that my iPhone is better than someone else’s phone because it very well may not be but it doesn’t really matter to me what phone someone else has. I will say that when it comes to my digital needs and technical desires, my iPhone is the best option for me. While someone might think it’s “sad” for those of us who are “fanboys” or who do use Apple products but I think it’s just as sad that it is such an issue for some people that I am a proud Apple user and I have to defend my choice of using Apple products.