Sunday, October 14, 2012

iPhone 5 Must Cure Cancer. Still not using it. Here's why.

    

With 5 million unit advanced sales, clamoring zombie-like minions, and effusing praise from reviewers who have yet to hold one, I can only surmise that the iPhone 5 must cure cancer. Maybe it's the "special aluminum" that they've used now in short supply that cures cancer as well as diabetes, diverticulitis, diverticulosis, depression, all diseases and disorders beginning with the letter “D,” Swine flu, bird flu, new flu, and the heartbreak of psoriasis -- but we all expected that after the leaked photos. How else can this phone turned national panacea be explained? 
    They report that the iPhone 5 is faster, lighter, and so thin that careless altar boys have been mistaking it as a Eucharistic wafer at Catholic churches. And yet despite all its seemingly magical properties and powers, I will not buy one. With me, it's not iPhone backlash, a high selling price, or the lack of Google Maps and a scratch-proof surface that factors into my decision. In fact, I believe the iPhone 5 is perhaps the best cell phone available. Ironically, it just isn't very “Apple,” and I am. 
      I started using a Mac in 1985: a year after they were released. Since then, I have loved all of the Apple computer products I've owned: clean, cool, cutting-edge, sexy, and reliable -- like a German au pair. Apple was founded upon that principle. Think different, remember? Long the choice of writers and artists, those of us who first chose to use Macs when they weren't mainstream did not do do because they were trendy, but because they celebrated the trend setters. Choosing a phone for me is like choosing a computer because they are almost the same now. 
     The iPhone possesses many of those famous Apple same qualities but lacks the quintessential Apple one: personalization. Choice, control, and personalization my ultimate factors.Whether it's a phone, a suit, or a roasted chicken, I'm one of those people who adapts the product to my tastes rather than the other way around.   
      Macs allow for customization with ease, without a manual, prior knowledge or permission from the control freak who runs the IT department at work. The iPhone, however, almost flaunts its lack of control and personalization. I owned one early on then gave it up. Once groundbreaking, the iPhone incarnations 2-5 seem like they were manufactured by Apple but designed by Microsoft drones. Rows upon rows of icons, non-customizable fonts and pages, texts and notifications appear how the iPhone tells you they will appear, and a system that is virtually "widgetless."  
      Apple is at its best when it bests the competition, not buck the desires of a seemingly insatiable cell market. The trend is for larger phones that do more as evidenced by the tablet market. (A shout out to my fellow tall people with large heads and hands. When I use someone's iPhone 5 I feel like Andre the Giant trying to dial a business card. )  
     It's still early in its development, but I read all the technology blogs and my sources tell me on good authority that the iPhone 6 will concentrate its efforts on time travel. Because hey, who wouldn't buy the Quantum Leap app? Hopefully if they succeed, Apple engineers will come back in time and make their earlier versions as customizable as their Macs.

 
Article first published as iPhone 5 Must Cure Cancer. Still Not Using it. Here's Why. 
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