I want to be very transparent right up front. I used to be an Apple iPhone guy, an Apple iPod guy and even now so, an Apple iPad guy. I can say without hesitation, Apple STILL makes the best tablet, as of January 2019. I have had a Samsung tablet and even read some of the most recent debacle issues that the current Google Slate is having. I still use my Microsoft Surface Pro 4 as my “daily driver”, though, not in tablet form, but in full on laptop mode, if you will, because I have FULL Windows on there, and tablet mode just seems to ‘maim’ it and I don’t like that version of it. All of that aside, let me get you to where I am with Apple and Apple products.
Way back in 2006, I was carrying the Motorola RAZR V3i. This was the variant of the wildly popular Motorola V3 RAZR phone that had iTunes on it. Apple had recently partnered with Motorola to release the Motorola ROKR(a poorly received, yet rehashed phone from 2003 called the E390) which was the first phone with iTunes that was announced a few months before the V3i, but was a HIDEOUS phone. It was the “dream” phone, because you could carry your iTunes library (albeit only 100 songs max) from your iPod and also have your phone on you at the same time! You have understand, back then, you had to have your iPod as a separate device and carry it separately (and the reason for the modern AUX jack in your radio) from your phone. Smartphones were not yet ubiquitous. Blackberry was the dominant player of the day in the smartphone market, which held the nomenclature of ‘crackberry’.
So back in January 2007, when Steve Jobs got up to announce the iPhone and that we could get this ‘magical’ device in 6 months, the world was EXCITED! (The Motorola ROKR was silently killed off.) I have to admit that the iPhone was the first of it’s kind and definitely changed the smartphone market from then on. I even video’d the event on my RAZR V3i (very poor quality) as I waited for my first iPhone to get shipped to me through Cingular Wireless.
I did several short videos on this, as back then, you could not ‘live-stream’ the way we do now. I had to do this via short clips, as the V3i didn’t have a lot of storage to store videos and I couldn’t use the live-streaming app Qik that I would eventually start using with the iPhone. As you can see, that this phone drew a lot of new people to the smartphone market, including myself.
So I had the original iPhone 2G (named because it only had Edge network capabilities on the Cingular, soon to be At&t network) and was able to sell the phone unlocked and jailbroken a year later to some guy in Italy for more that I originally paid for it! You also have to remember, this was back when the wireless companies subsidized the full cost of the phone because you were agreeing to a 2 year or more contract, so I had only paid $299 for it! You can see the video I used on eBay to sell the phone still online:
So I purchased the iPhone 3G, as it was obvious that many other phones that weren’t smartphones had 3G capabilities and was limiting the first iPhone from ‘high speed’ internet. Apple’s biggest argument was that 3G was a battery hog and could kill the performance that they wanted from their first foray into the smartphone market. As the first iPhone was such a smash hit, they pushed forward with the second iteration, known as the iPhone 3G. Then, in their 2009, 3rd generation iPhone, they released their now known update as the ‘S’ year, the 3GS. This was basically a simple update to all things on the previous version, which usually doubled all the performance over the previous version. Since this was an ‘S’ year, I skipped and held on to my 3G for the full 2 years and waited for the iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4 was an AMAZING upgrade and introduced us to the ‘Retina‘ display and showed to us that Apple still could hold the consumer market in ‘awe’ as they continued to innovate on the original design and capabilities of the iPhone. They had added a front facing camera for the then unknown Facetime chats, but would soon just become the ‘selfie’ camera. Even though it had been leaked ahead of it’s launch, the iPhone 4 was wildly anticipated and hyped before we were ever able to purchase it! Apple is a company known for it’s secrecy and even hunted down the people who were implicated in the ‘loss’ of it’s prototype device. All of that aside, it was an awesome phone for 2010, so I made my purchase and sold my iPhone 3G, though this time, for a little less and didn’t make a profit.
Though, I did have this weird vibrating issue with the phone when I first got it, but that ended up being a REALLY small fluke issue that only affected a small number of people and you can see that video here:
I mentioned it in passing in this video, but it affected quite a lot more people than the vibrating issue that I ran into and that was one of the first MAJOR ‘gate’ issues, known as ‘Antenna Gate’. There have been plenty over the years, but this was the first one that I became majorly aware of. It was such a pivotal moment for Apple to take a hold of the issue, but the way they illustrated it to us, was that it was our faults. Even though they did provide ‘bumpers’ or discounts on cases, with the idea that we were supposed to buy MORE items from them to fix their issue, it was painfully obvious that Apple was blaming the users. I even had a rant about it, when it all went down. You can see the full event here (sans the Q&A afterwards, which you can find in pieces on Youtube):
The funny thing was, that after the press event, it didn’t take long for someone to show that their answer was a bit flawed.
Even though, this was one of the first ‘cracks’ in the armor that I saw in the ever growing popularity of the iPhone and Apple as a whole, it was a little disheartening to see they were blaming the users. Obviously, this was a real attenuation issue with how the antenna received signals and the human hand could kill it, but to say that it was the user’s fault and not really admit that his was a design flaw was a little disingenuous in my opinion, but I held on and continued with the iPhone 4 throughout it’s life cycle.
The same continued for the ‘S’ year cycle again for the 4S and I again, skipped; now seeing that Apple would continue this format of new design, update old phone with new specs and then redesign again. So I figured that by the time the iPhone 5 would come around for the 2012 release, I would be more than happy to upgrade and be WOW’d again. Unfortunately, this did not happen. The iPhone 5, was a rehashed version of the iPhone 4, but this time and for the first time, had the screen size increased to an almost 16×9 ratio with still carrying the ‘Retina’ display moniker. Yes the phone was thinner and faster than the 4S and even had LTE for first time, but this wasn’t as enticing as the change was from the 3GS to the 4.
Also at this time, the Android market had begun flourishing and many companies had already had their freshman and sophomore tries at smartphones and were releasing phones with better specs and features than what the iPhone 5 was carrying. So I began looking around and found a nice alternative with Samsung and the Galaxy S3. This phone had a 1280×720 display, whereas the iPhone 5 only had 1136×640. The overall screen size was larger at 4.8″ over the iPhone 4″ screen, which was one of the major reasons why I left. Apple was getting stuck in their idea that 4″ was the magic number and that no one wanted anything bigger. This wasn’t the only reason, but was a major factor in my decision to switch from iOS to Android.
Which also brings me to the idea that iOS was getting stale. No matter what Apple did to the iPhone, no matter how many times I jailbroke the iPhone, I could see more options on the fledgling Android side of things. I was getting tired of the software on iOS and at this point, the iPhone was starting to be owned by anyone and everyone. I didn’t want to be a part of the crowd and I wanted to stand out. I had researched phones like the Motorola Atrix or the HTC EVO 4G for quite some time, but due to network availability, I had to end up choosing the Samsung in the end and I was happy that I did. The funny thing was, that the S3 ended up being a very popular phone for Samsung as well and I was loving their bigger screens and ended up the next year, upgrading to my first ‘phablet’ phone the Galaxy Note 3. This began my obsession with larger screens.
I stuck with Samsung as they kept making things more awesome every time I upgraded and I felt like they were the company that was making me have that WOW affect every time. I followed my 2 year cycle, as I was still on At&t contract scheme and skipped the Note 4 and went to the Note 5. Even though, the Note 4 Edge was a REALLY cool design, and I seen the prototype at CES a few years prior, they only put the curved edges of the glass on the back of the Note 5. It was really cool to see the curved edges finally make it to the front of the phones with the S6 Edge, earlier that year, but I still wanted the larger screen phones. They eventually made the S6 Edge+, which was basically the size of the Note 5, but had less features than the Note series.
I won’t go much further in my history with Samsung and why I continued to stick with them, but you get the basic idea that it Apple continued to be ‘stale’ to me, even with the change to the design of the iPhone 6, which wasn’t really, all that much different. Then they continued on with that design through all versions of the ‘S’ years through to the iPhone 8 and still some of that design is in the iPhone X and XS. All the while, Apple kept cultivating a ‘fanboy’ status among their fans and was becoming of a cult status.
Over the years as issues went on and on, it was all in how Apple handled their ‘faults’. I think this is one of the biggest reasons why I continue to obstain from Apple and have disdain for their products, even though, some of their products are great. I can attest that iMessage is an awesome idea that Android still really hasn’t mirrored. AppleTV and iPad are in my opinion, one of the best products in their particular markets. I will even admit that MacOS from time to time can be quite helpful, but it isn’t enough to sell me over into the ‘walled garden’ aspect of their entire ecosystem. Especially when there are great alternatives out there, that are cross platform and don’t really care what system you are on. Web services, platform agnostic, to be honest are the best and should have always been the way, as Steve Jobs really wanted from the beginning. (Remember web apps, before we had the iTunes App Store???)
All of that aside, I think this guy kind of puts all of my feelings toward Apple in a nice 22 minute video. Thanks for reading my ramblings and rants. Feel free to comment below. I’ll leave you with the video below: