The iPhone 3GS - You can't beat them, so join them, but you can still hate them...
Posted on 10th Jun 2009 at 07:56 by Antony Leather with 48 comments
Combined with the latest version of the OS (which will also add quite a few features to the existing iPhone 3G), it's without doubt a force to be reckoned with. Naturally, within a team with four iPhone owners, there's been a bit of a debate about whether it's worth an upgrade. And even I'm feeling tempted.
Now, I hate Apple - so I never thought I'd see myself checking the Apple Store for news on prices and contracts minutes after reading the closing snippets of information from the keynote at WWDC 2009.
I don't own an iPhone, or an iPhone 3G for the simple reason that when it launched, I already had a fairly capable smartphone that played music and videos, could surf the net and unlike the iPhone 3G, could also run any one of many true turn-by-turn sat nav apps such as Tom Tom - something I use quite regularly despite having a BSc degree in navigation. I also hate the hype surrounding Apple products, so if I do buy an iPhone 3GS it will be the first Apple product I've ever owned.
This hate stems from the early days of the iPod, when players from Apple's competitor Creative were far superior yet people still bought the iPod because of its street cred. Everyone wanted those poor quality white headphones. It's also fairly well known that Apple products tend to be quite expensive for what you get, if you're talking about what the product actually does and also consider its performance (in the case of the iMac). Custom PC's 'Make a Mac Killer' article this month is testament to the fact you can build, or even buy, a PC that outperforms a Mac for a lot less cash.
In the Apple vs Creative battle that took place five years or so ago, the Apple PR machine won the day, not the iPod. Even in the face of poor sound quality, batteries dying and god awful early versions of iTunes, the iPod still reigned supreme.
Today, this PR machine is even more efficient than ever and combined with the undoubtedly sexy demeanour of many of Apple's products, it's all that's needed to win over many million hearts and minds.
That actually sounded quite harsh and I apologise but I've lost count of the number of people who, when questioned about their obsession with the iMac for example, simply say "they're just awesome." I know then and there I'm fighting a losing battle.
It's not that I like to be different, but maybe I'm more immune to marketing than some. I'm happy to put the time in to pick through the facts so I choose the product that's best on paper or even better, has a good review.
In the case of the iPhone 3GS, countless people have already pledged to buy themselves out of their half spent iPhone 3G contracts on O2's Twitter page at considerable expense to get their hands on the newer model, even though much of what it can do will be possible on their current handset. This kind of blind faith is pretty scary - and at the same time it's a shareholder's dream.
I guess I don't actually hate the iPhone, or the iPod, or even Apple for that matter. What I do hate is how ruthlessly efficient the Apple PR machine is. I'll see you in the nearest O2 store on 19th June then...