Saturday, July 17, 2010

How About Them Apples?

Before I scare you off, this post is NOT about fruit. I promise. If it was, I certainly wouldn’t put that in the title because it would probably discourage you from reading it. But I promise, should I one day blog about fruit, it will be just as crazily hysterical as all my other posts! I know, not much to get excited about…sorry.

Anyways, I digress. You had your disclaimer. Instead of fruit, this post is about a certain very wealthy company that recently surpassed Microsoft in some big-important-rich-technology-company way as the new biggest-most important-richest-most technological company. More specifically, it is about this company’s newest product. “This changes everything. Again.”

Enter Apple with the iPhone 4. Or perhaps the iNotPhone. It’s interesting, because the name “iPhone” would seem to suggest certain capabilities in the telecommunications area. Like, oh, I don’t know… maybe the chance that it would function as a phone? For those of you who have been living under a rock, log, or other assorted outdoorsy, isolated objects for the past week, Apple released the much anticipated sequel to the iPhone 3GS, which was the much anticipated follow-up to the iPhone 3G, which was the much anticipated epilogue to the iPhone. Got all that? Great. They promised that the iPhone 4 would “change everything. Again.”

It certainly looked that way- a new operating system that permitted multitasking (which virtually every other smartphone already had, but we’ll let that slide…), a new “Retina” display, which gave HD images and razor sharp (assuming you’re not talking about a dull razor here) images, super-cool HD video recording and editing, a 5 MegaPixel camera with LED flash, and, best of all, FaceTime, which provides for video calling!!! How cool is that?!?! Unfortunately, Apple was disappointed to discover that some people still wanted to use it to make phone calls… it being a phone and all. Which wouldn’t be a problem… except for the fact that they tried a revolutionary new antennae design which essentially had the antenna run around the rim of the phone. Again, cool, right? Right… unless you DO want to make a phone call. Then it turns out that if your hand or finger touches certain spots on the side of the phone, it would dramatically weaken the signal, even leading to dropped calls.

Now Apple’s response to this slight issue had 3 stages. First: Steve Jobs, the mighty titan of Apple, assured everyone that, don’t worry, there is no reception problem!!!

Um… okay…? Maybe he can explain why customers are… well… experiencing a reception problem…

Ah, well, even though there was no reception problem, it could be because they’re just holding it wrong!!! After all, the iPhone is no ordinary phone (it’s changing everything. Again.) and cannot be held like an ordinary phone! Rather, you need to train for about a week in the proper finger gymnastics necessary to avoid touching the rim of the phone. Then you’re all set! You’re non-existent problem should then be fixed!

When Stage One of Apple’s response failed, they moved onto Stage Two: Turns out that those little blue bars aren’t accurate! Due to errors in the algorithm, two extra bars would show up when they shouldn’t, leading customers to expect a stronger signal than they actually have! “More bars, more places”--- this explains everything!!! More bars is right!!! AT&T is scamming all of us! While this is indeed a problem, I was not sure how it explains the sudden loss of signal when touching a certain spot on the left rim of the phone… must just be those pesky blue bars!!! Er… somehow…

When people were not quite convinced that extra bars were responsible for a lost signal, Apple turned to Stage Three, which is doing what it does best: calling a mysterious press conference. Apple loves calling mysterious press conferences and, I’m sure, revels in the media coverage they get from these, second only to LeBron James’s Week Long Saga. Seriously, we’re gonna start getting lunch updates from that guy and ESPN will set aside 3 of its channels for 24 hours to cover it. What an egocentric jerk.

Back to Apple. The technology company, not the fruit. Hence the capital “A.”

I was expecting them to say “Well, we’ve changed everything (again) just like we promised! We have introduced a smartphone without the phone! Tired of pesky calls from people you don’t want to talk to? No problem! Just tap the side rim and it will promptly go away! Assuming, of course, you’ve mastered the finger gymnastics necessary to stay on the phone long enough to say, ‘Hello.’”

Instead, they announced that they would be sending out free bumpers to everyone that would solve the problem that, a week early, did not officially exist. Or was caused by blue bars. And that was the exciting resolution to iPhoneGate.

Personally, I don’t even think any of this is a big deal. So there were a few reception issues. Oh no. It’s not like any phone has ever experienced those before… The iPhone 4 is indeed revolutionary. The new software, the new ad system, the ability to make video calls, the ability to capture and edit video right there… amazing. I own an iPod Touch and maintain that it was some of the best money I’ve ever spent. I don’t go anywhere without it, and it is without a doubt the most convienent, useful, productive few ounces of metal that I’ve got. If it wasn’t for the ridiculous amount of money you’re expected to pay monthly for the iPhone’s plan, I probably would buy an iPhone 4. There’s one thing that they didn’t change when they “changed everything (again)”- and that, sadly, was the price of the monthly plan. Until they revolutionize change that (for the first time) I’ll stick with a standard cell phone. You know, the kind that can make and receive calls.

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