I’ve been a big fan of Apple Inc. since 1978, which was when I first laid hands upon an Apple II computer. Unlike its closest rival, the Commodore Pet, the Apple II featured a colour display, and (for the time) hi-resolution graphics, and to me it felt like the future of personal computing. I watched with interest the arrival of the PC, Microsoft, and Windows, and with dismay as Apple started to fall behind Microsoft in the personal computing market, despite the superiority of their products. But from that day to this, I’ve always rooted for Apple, and waited for the day when they would retake the throne which I thought they rightfully deserved.
In our household we have six Macs of various shapes and sizes: two stationary iMacs, two MacBooks and two iPhones. I count the iPhones since they’re really just very small Macs, that can also be used as mobile ‘phones. So we really are an Apple household, and happily so!
I have, however, started to get a bit ticked off at Apple lately, particularly with regard to the way they’ve been handling all things related to the iPhone.
I bought my iPhone back in June of 2009, when the latest and greatest available model was the iPhone 3G. It was a wonderful device, so much more than just a ‘phone, it enabled a whole new level of connectivity with the world, and I loved it. OK, the battery life sucked, but that was the only negative thing about the iPhone, and a price I was willing to pay.
The iPhone came installed with its own operating system, IOS v2.2.1, which was updated to IOS v3.0 on June 17th, 2009, with no problems. Since I’d only had the ‘phone a couple of weeks prior to that, I couldn’t really compare the different versions, but the main thing was that IOS v3.0 worked fine, and my iPhone was still a wonderful device to own and use. I would proudly show it off to my friends, pointing out all its marvellous features, and I was a very happy chappy.
Everything was fine for about a year, until on June 21st, 2010, the next major version, IOS v4.0 was released, just in time for the coming version of the iPhone itself: the iPhone 4. Since I am naturally cautious, and since the new release didn’t have so many features enabled on the iPhone 3G, I decided to skip the upgrade, or at least wait until I had heard how other iPhone 3G owners had fared with it.
For reasons that would take too long to explain in this post, I was forced to upgrade on July 23rd, 2010, despite my decision not to do so. Since then, my iPhone has become almost useless. It runs like a snail swimming through treacle, crashes often, and I’m starting to wish I still had my trusty Nokia 3110. I’m constantly having to apologise for its appalling performance, missed calls, and missing text messages. And now, before I use it, I have to take a deep breath and steel myself. My iPhone sucks!
How did this happen? Well I have a theory (and it’s not so far-fetched either): Apple deliberately crippled my iPhone 3G to encourage me to buy a new iPhone 4. It makes sense: while my iPhone 3G was still working well, I was happy to stick with it, and I bet most other users were as well. This meant that only the keenest early-adopters would buy the new ‘phone, and Apple wouldn’t sell enough units during the initial release period to cover their costs. The iPhone 3G was simply too good, too many people were happy with it, and nobody would buy the new model!
So now I have two choices: quit Apple now, and go over to an Android ‘phone, or give them one more chance and buy the iPhone 4. I’ve decided on the latter, but only because I still remember how good my iPhone used to be, and I fully expect that buying a new one will get me back to that positive state of mind.
But, Uncle Steve, if you’re reading this, know that this is your last chance. You’ve screwed me and millions of other happy iPhone users, just so that you could get an early start on your next model. That’s beyond the pale, and not something I’m going to stand for a second time. Play fair from now on, or you’ll end up screwing yourself as well.