Once upon a modern time, before iPhone 4s was released, my game designer friend Jay warned me, in an arcane tone, that the way you look at mobile phones will never be the same again once you use an iPhone. Since I was never a techie person, that geek data he was trying to feed my electronics-proof head didn’t really come through.
The boyfriend, another mad consumer of technology, has been arguing me into buying myself an iPhone and an Apple computer. But for months, I argued back that I’m not getting an over-priced piece of metal that will only make Steve Jobs or his capitalist company richer, and that I don’t want to contribute to this generation’s withdrawal from the real world and retreat to solitary bubbles created by smartphones. Besides, I have lost two phones already (one was stolen) and I was afraid I may not take it well if I lose a ridiculously expensive phone.
I was happy with my Samsung Corby. All I needed was something to call and text my contacts.
Early this year, fatigue and unspeakable loneliness got me, so I thought of rewarding myself with something lavish. During one road trip with friends, I asked them which, between a Blackberry and iPhone, should I buy. In unison, they said iPhone. I think it was Kate (who owns/owned about 3 phones, one is BB, for her journalistic chores) who said that Blackberry’s having all sorts of problems (month after that, this news came out: “Blackberry’s manufacturer Research in Motion Ltd made $125 million loss in the first quarter of 2012 as consumers abandon Blackberry in favour of Apple’s iPhone and smart phones running Google’s Android system.”)
Long story short: I gave in to the temptations of biting the Apple. I ordered an iPhone 4s (16GB, white) with unlimited cellular data, and got it in a week.
Holy cup of coffee. When I started exploring the features and apps of the iPhone 4s, I was converted. During the first few days, I was so absorbed by the applications that Michael would tease me saying I no longer Skype him or call him or text him because of the very thing I abhorred in the first place. I just said LOL!!! True!!! Then I went back to downloading and searching for apps.
Every morning, when my father would drive me to the International Rice Research Institute, I’d read NY Times, Time mobile, Investopedia, and take lomography photos. Going home, I’d turn on navigation apps and see our tiny dot of a car moving along the highways of Laguna. Before I sleep, I would look at iBooks (my eyes really prefer the printed word), see travel guides, and check my mails. And then, thanks to free hours (holidays), I downloaded the popular Draw Something, so for several minutes, I’d play with online gamers guessing each other’s drawings.
In short, I became the very creature I feared of becoming. It is the most amazing phone yet. I remember asking photographer Mr. Jab last year if there’s a digital lomography camera because I was thinking of buying one, and he said, why don’t you just get an iPhone? He’s so right.
Weeks after being addicted to it though, I rehabilitated myself. The novelty has faded a bit; besides, battery keeps on draining (haha) so I now use it sparingly. Also, one downside of using an iPhone for several minutes is that, its weight can exhaust your hands (or maybe I just have fragile hands?). When my brother was comparing his Samsung Galaxy phone with the 4s, he said, it feels good holding the incredibly light Galaxy after seconds of holding the heavy iPhone. I’d tolerate the weight though, instead of having the Galaxy’s not so sleek interface.
Smart phones, smarter people?
It was predicted that by 2013, smartphone users would hit the 1 billion mark (that’s 1/7 of the world’s total population), and iPhones are gonna lead the way. With a million apps out there (and counting), I see this is not impossible. This is good news to app developers and an opportunity for marketing companies to explore/exploit. Game developing companies may also hugely benefit from this boost in gaming platforms. And as the revolutionary Apple product has very quickly taken over former giants such as Nokia and Blackberry, the game of who-can-match-iPhone’s-functions-and-brand-FAST is on–especially now that in the next decade, the middle class in many Asian countries is predicted to significantly rise. Meaning, with more people having higher income, more budget pie share can be allocated to human wants such as the high-demand sleek Apple products.
With more smartphone users, will more people be smart/ smarter? Will telecommunication companies lose profit thanks to Skype and Viber? Will our social networking sites be flooded with vain photos because of easy download and quick access to the Internet? Or will people post more artistic pictures or images in good taste, thanks to Instagram, Leme Leme, and PowerCam?
ehe. excuse shameless vanity. just making a point.
When I arrived in our flat in Edgefield Plains after months of being in the Philippines, the first thing I noticed in my sister’s bedroom was the biography of Steve Jobs written by Walter Isaacson (the one who wrote the biographies of Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin). I’ve been reading it now for days and his ways of thinking and dealing with people are so arresting that I thought of paying homage to one of his babies, the iPhone, which help me get by in times of loneliness or dire need of all sorts of information. He was so right in saying that market research is not necessary because consumers don’t know what they need until you give it to them. Well, next time, I shall blog about the bio.
Now I want a Mac Book Pro. Or maybe I can just steal my sister’s.
Singapore, Summer 2012