Confession of an iPhone Addict
15 of #100DaysToOffload
The world is on the brink.
Evil people kill good, a pandemic rages across the world, and millions of people have no access to clean drinking water.
Despite humanity's challenges, people get worked into a frenzy about the next new iPhone.
In the run-up to the iPhone 12's release, I scrolled through countless articles on the 12's new colours, ceramic glass body, super-duper performance, MagSafe charging, and bionic chips.
I also read political stories but only to feel more adult.
But, on 6th November I plan to sit at the Mac and pre-order the iPhone 12 Pro Max, like dozens of other people .
What is it about the iPhone 12 that drives me to pre-order, and re-join the Apple Upgrade Programme?
My iPhone XS has many years of good service remaining. After two years with the iPhone XS, I've done nothing my previous 7 Plus wasn't capable of – except unlocking the device with my face.
So why the temptation to change?
Maybe it's because I made one choice years ago.
In the Beginning
My first encounter with Apple was the iPod Classic . I was looking for a music player, and a friend recommended the Creative Zen, but it was near obsoletion, and I opted for the iPod.
Buying the iPod Classic sowed the seeds of my addiction to Apple hardware.
Perhaps if I'd opted for the Zen, I'd be using an Android phone today.
A few years passed and BBC News featured a story about a new phone called iPhone. But I gazed at my silver Sony Ericsson and wondered what more you could want in a phone?
Thirteen years ago, I could never see me paying £30 a month for a carrier contract. However, after coffee with friends, who all had an iPhone, coupled with an illness in the family that reminded me of the impermanence of life, I went iPhone.
Five iPhones, two watches, two iPads, one iMac and a MacBook Pro later, am I wedded to the brand for life?
My purchases are not a result of brand loyalty, but of becoming absorbed into the Apple eco-system. But are there other reasons?
Drip, Drip, Drip
When I was a child, I got excited about Christmas from around September.
For #Apple, rumours of each iPhone release start the week after the latest launch. No sooner was the iPhone 11 in people's hands, the tech press speculated on the next iPhone.
The press, YouTube and social media influencers prime the market with rumours and leaks. Hardly a week of silence goes by from Ming-Chi Kuo, leaker extraordinaire.
For example, in 2017, we saw the leaking of iPhone X's price. Apple needed customers to get used to the concept of £1000 phone, so when it became official, customers would be over the shock.
Apple framed #iPhone X as the future today. Johnny Ive said at the time, the iPhone X in a year will be a completely different phone thanks to software innovations.
Apple discontinued iPhone X and replaced it with the iPhone XS.
It's the wonder of marketing. You can feel unique using a product when millions upon millions of people across the world have the product too.
What's money got to do with it?
£1000-1200 is a scary price for a phone, but it's not £1000 more than we're used to paying.
Prices have crept up for years, and if people can afford £700 or £800 for a phone, they can also afford £1000.
Only has the iPhone SE offered a realistic budget offering from Apple.
While a £1200 iPhone may be borderline out of reach for many, it is also borderline within reach.
A high price is one marketing tactic used to put the quality of a product in the mind of consumers. But the high price doesn't last. Come to trade in your old £1000 iPhone, and you'll find it's only worth a few hundred pounds.
Here and Now and Why
My late Dad used to say there's no such thing as a bad car. In the 1970s, cars looked good in the showroom, but once it rained, they rusted and fell apart. Cars are not like that anymore.
Like cars, there's no such thing as a bad phone. Other brands have caught up, while some people argue that it is Apple doing the catching-up.
I know I'll not do anything different on the iPhone 12 compared to my iPhone XS.
But I'm going to upgrade anyway.
My choice is the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and that means I'll pay £57 a month for Apple's latest palm-top computer. The device I use everywhere to read, write, publish, take pictures, web browse, meditate, enjoy music, and make phone calls.
Why do I want one?
It's not brand loyalty, marketing, or a fancy for pacific blue.
In 1923 when asked by a New York Times reporter why he wanted to climb Everest, George Mallory said: “Because it is there”.
I want the iPhone 12 for the same reason — because it is there, or will be soon.