Thursday, June 12, 2008

Everybody Loves Apple

I admit, for all the crap I've been talking about Apple in the past few years, I have to say, they might actually be starting to win me over, and that's not a good thing. You see, I've always seen apple as a design company 1st and foremost, and their ability to sell products (computers as it happened to be back in the day) was based on integrated design that gave the consumer what they needed when they needed it. You can simply do more, faster, on an apple, based on the fact that apples design was intelligent enough to understand what its users wanted to do. That means less clicks on 'apply' and 'ok,' less sub-menus, sub-windows, and sub-folders to get through, to get to where you need to be. Of course that is assuming: you are like the majority of the general public who just wants to get the job done. I am of a different breed. I like to customize things, take them apart, put them back together, and configure my computing experience to the kind of experience I want. When something goes wrong, I like to figure out what it is, and when at all possible, I like to fix it. Apples on the other hand, need you to schedule a doctor's appointment for them at the local 'genius bar,' where the 'genius' on staff takes 45 minutes to tell you that your computer is broken, that they don't have the part, and reschedules another visit in 2 weeks. Yikes.

I may not be able to avoid the college kids a the genius bar for long, 'cause now there's the I-phone. I spent 2 years heckling and mocking apple's attempt to conquer the cell phone industry by relying on their design. Such a move is to me, a colonial display of greed and power, to enter into a whole other industry, confident that your brand and design could out-do industry veterans who have YEARS more experience under them. Such a move indeed. And they are winning, more specifically they are winning me over. The truth is, with the release of the I-phone 3G, Apple has ironed many of the wrinkles in its prior cell phone endeavor, and now, as more and more friends of mine are beginning to contemplate switching, I have a very hard time convincing them (or myself) that it's a bad idea. With the shoddy service of cell phone companies these days, it seems that Apple has become the knight in shining armor (or touch screen glass as it happens) saving us from the blandness that has become mobile service.

There is still hope however, in that competition in the industry pushes more innovation, and offers us valid alternatives to Apple's mobile monster. Google's Android platform is a promising venture forged between many industry insiders, developing an open OS that promises a mobile revolution. I am crossing my fingers that Android will be my savior. Aside from that, the mobile seas are turning red with the cannibalization of the touch screen wars. HTC, SAMSUNG, and even BLACKBERRY have products out or in development to piggyback on the innovation of the I-Phone's success. Every other week there is an article on the next 'I-phone killer,' none of which are ever valid. Someone out there needs to make a phone with a vision bigger than Apple's or we will all be waiting in a very long line at the genius bar.