Applying a little realism to all the iHype

November 12, 2014

If Apple, Inc.’s word can be taken at face value, then the iPhone 6 is the best phone ever. You may want a second opinion.


Right from the beginning, I am hit by the whopping $200 to $400 price of the iPhone 6 and its big brother, iPhone 6 Plus, at $300 to $500.


With a choice of silver, gold, or “space gray” (basically just a darker shade of silver), you do not have a plethora of style options. I am sure there will be covers sold by Apple or a third party that will speak more to your individuality, but I could care less about that.


I want a product that is 100 percent functional right out of the box—not to get duped into buying a pile of extra junk to attach to my device.


Apple’s website shows the size of the new phones, approximately 5½ inches long, 2½ inches wide, and the Plus version at 6¼ inches long and three inches wide. It is like using an iPad as a phone.


The company has spoken to the crowd who thinks bigger is better and biggest is best. I would much rather have a phone that can actually fit on my person without looking like I shoved a copy of William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style into my pocket, just in case I need to conjugate some verbs on the fly.


The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are thin though. At just a quarter of an inch thick, with a metal frame, you get the sense they were considering craftsmanship. I’m just afraid I would forget the thing is in my pocket and sit on it, folding it like so much tissue paper.


At least you get the satisfaction of knowing that the micro-SD card, for which you paid $70, will in no way work on the 6 or 6 Plus. The only way to have memory on the phone is if you buy it initially.


Granted, there is a lot you can buy, but you have to plan ahead and get the biggest one you need now, not install something you caught second-hand later. That feels to me like creating a technological monopoly, but surely Apple would never do that, right?


So, I have to have my music and videos through iTunes, and, sure, I get to attach my credit cards and bank account to Apple Pay for added “convenience.”


The chargers are of a proprietary design, rather than the kind used by most other phones on the planet, requiring you to only use theirs or a cheap knock-off, but that is the price of being available and traceable worldwide 24/7.


If Jimmy Fallon says the iPhone is super-fantastic, it must be true. He clearly lives on a tight budget, and look how easy it is for him to manage extravagantly priced phones with a ridiculously expensive monthly contract for pointless services that people have been doing with their own brains for the last 100 years.


AT&T wants to make you feel at home, no matter where you roam, with its ingenious “world phone” that will work “almost anywhere.” And for the low, low price of just $415 per month, you can have unlimited talk, text, and 50 GB of data ($15 per month extra for each additional GB after that).


Even the more reasonable services sold by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon range from $50 to $140 per month. Granted, AT&T will impress you, but most of what you pay for is anything that accesses the data feature, such as the Internet.


But is not the primary design of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus tailored to app-happy hipsters and entertainment junkies who soak up data like a dry sponge, so if you manage to snag yourself a cheaper service, you basically turn your phone into a pocket camera?


There are about a million things I would rather have than an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. Sorry, Jimmy Fallon and Apple fans, but I am not getting on this train.


Any store that makes its customers wait for days in the cold and rain for their product to be unleashed, sight-unseen, is building up way too much hype and their products will never live up to it.


Unless you have inexhaustible resources. Then have at it.

Adrian Miller is a Field Service Technician with extensive electro-mechanical training and experience. He is the Zenith’s web and graphic designer.

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