Of Apples and a growing appetite
By Adarsh Matham
23rd September 2012 12:00 AM
After months and months of rumours and speculation, finally the day arrived. Like millions of people around the world, I sat down before my computer and waited for the clock to hit 10 in the morning, in San Francisco. And no, me and legions of tech bloggers were not waiting for the first man to land on Mars. No sir. We were waiting for an event which must have become routine after five years. The launch of a new iPhone. But this time, during the event itself, I had a sense of deja vu. Strangely it is not about watching another iPhone event, but of watching a Telugu movie.
Telugu people are starved for entertainment. The one and only entertainment they have is cinema. Even their television is filled with programs concerning cinema. Understandably they are mad about their films. So a typical Telugu cinema lover reads some gossip websites, discusses those rumours with fellow movie buffs, and waits months and sometimes years for a new film. By the time a premier show starts, often at three or four early in the morning, he is all hyped up about the new film. He goes in and finds that essentially the same story from last year has been rehashed and what he got in return for his wait was the same ‘box office formula’. Disappointed, he comes out of the theatre and waits another year for another film, not because he has great expectations but because he has no choice.
That is what the iPhone has become essentially. That is not to say the new iPhone is not impressive. As Apple is shouting from the rooftops, it is ‘faster, thinner, lighter’. It is a ground-breaking design. And it will break all sales records and will sell in millions. Even I will get one. But that is not the point. It is not even that there is no NFC chip, or some other fancy chip that the geeks love at the moment. Apple will include them when it feels they are truly useful. The point is that it has all become a little boring.
This boring feeling probably is not because the iPhone 5 is a bad phone. Because it is not. This feeling is probably because we have come to expect too much from Apple. After ground-breaking devices like the iPhone and iPad we expect something great every time Tim Cook walks onto the stage. And it is probably because we don’t realise that saying Apple should do ‘something’ magical is easier than doing ‘something’ magical. It is all a bit like sitting in front of your TV and shouting at Sachin to hit a hundred runs. And probably it is also Apple’s fault, for keeping the user interface and the slab design same after five long years. For not making it exciting.
Whatever the reason, the millions of iPhone users are not going to stop upgrading because they have bought too much into the ecosystem. They have bought so many apps, music, and other Apple devices to automatically sync that content that it is not easy for them to just jump onto Android or Windows Phone. But then again why should they? Even after years of great Android phones there is not one phone that rivals the iPhone in usability and reliability. The worry is that Apple knows this and will get complacent.
The author is a tech geek. Email: email@example.com
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