Friday, September 21, 2012


iPhone 4s vs. iPhone 5
 Unless you’ve been living under O'Neal Bridge, you’ve heard all the hoopla about the iPhone 5. Before I get into my rant against it, let me preface it by saying that this geek absolutely loves living in a world where I can call poo-poo on such a miraculous device. I am reminded of a famous book written in 1970 called “Future Shock.” In the book, the author, Alvin Toffler, argued that technological progress was so rapid that societies wouldn’t have time to get used to the present before the future was upon them resulting in "shattering stress and disorientation"—aka “future shocked.” This book also popularized the term "information overload."

Isn’t that a quaint notion? We now live in a world where “information overload” occurs to us daily. The latest revolution started long, long ago (2007) when Apple dramatically melded the phone with a computer in the original iPhone. Many of us now have these mind-bogglingly powerful computers that fit in our palms. And I have the gall to be critical of it? Really?

Really. The iPhone 5 was introduced a couple of weeks ago with great fanfare. My verdict: Meh. Yeah, yeah, Apple has incrementally improved nearly every single aspect of the iPhone but, alas, the iPhone is a “simply” an evolutionary, not a revolutionary design.

It is an interesting conundrum that Apple brought on itself. It’s not unlike Apple’s unveiling of the Mac in 1984 when they revolutionized the way we interact with data (Clickable “icons”? Whoda thunkit?). The rest of the world quickly caught up and surpassed Apple as technology exponentially advanced and eventually relegated Apple to the backwaters of innovation from where they would rise again years later. It’s “deja vu all over again” in the smartphone world.

Motorola Razr Maxx vs. iPhone 5

For example, Apple fanboys are hooting and hollering over the introduction of turn-by-turn GPS -- A feature that’s been available on Android devices for years. Fanboys are hooting about the iPhone 5’s longer battery life that should last “most of the day.”. I’ve had a Motorola Razr Maxx for a few months and the battery lasts a day and a half with fairly heavy use. The iPhone 5 has a better camera with capabilities that have been on the Samsung Galaxy S III for months. The iPhone 5 has 4G wireless capability! A technology that’s been around for awhile on Android phones. And, finally, the iPhone has (drum roll, please) a BIGGER SCREEN! Why, the screen is almost as big as my 2 year-old Droid X that I traded in months ago.  

The lesson I’d like for both my readers to take home is this: The new iPhone is miraculous and wonderful but you will be doing yourself a disservice if you pay too close attention to all the hoopla that Apple has expertly garnered. Depending on your particular wants and needs, there are other phones out there that equal or surpass the iPhone in functionality. Shop around. The worst thing that could happen is that you will get “Future Shocked” and turn into a blabbering idiot like me.

No comments: