September 22, 2012

America's Cellphone Darling

The iPhone 5 is out! The most surprising thing about this release is how technology media, and the common American consumer, seems to be turning on Apple. A couple years ago when the iPhone 4 came out the big story was about the antenna problems. Consumer Reports gave their first "poor" rating of the iPhone and everybody flipped out. The negative press got way more attention than the positive. I think that set the tone. For the last couple years the big stories about the iPhone have been the ones that are criticizing it. Maybe everybody got sick of hearing how good it was. Maybe everybody is still sick of hearing how good it is.

iPhone owners have always been quick to point out why they love it so much and why it is better than whatever you have. Now they are on the defense. When I hear people talking about the iPhone 5 in public it is all negative. They are talking about the new maps, or the lack of updates. I haven't heard one non-iPhone owner say anything positive about what Apple served up this year.

I am an iPhone owner, but I am not an Apple fan-boy or iPhone apologist. I've never owned a Mac, but I am a pretty big fan of the iPad. For the last couple years iOS has felt stale. Each year we get an iOS update that gives the operating system a shot in the arm, but doesn't really have a major overall impact. The apps are great. I really enjoy that the same rectangle can morph into entirely different things based on what app you are using. There is something to be said for its simplicity, but it still feels restrictive. I am so dug in to the Apple/iTunes App Store ecosystem so much that there is no point in leaving it now. They were successful in trapping me in their walled garden.

I'm probably going to end up getting the iPhone 5 at some point, but for now iOS 6 has made my current one feel somewhat new again. It got some cosmetic changes, so it least looks a little fancier.

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