Apple is engrained in the lives of millions in younger generations. We grew up with what I’d call “the mature Apple.” We had no knowledge of its rough past or the incredible human being who devoted his life to it. To some Apple may even feel like family. But several years and the death of an icon have left a sizable hole where the company we grew to know and love once lived. Our awe and wonderment at the incredible feat of engineering that was the iPod faded with age and the release of a new device that would eventually lead the “iPod Classic” to its demise. The iPhone has had a permanent impact on technology and in the world, but how long before the iPhone is just a sad, distant memory?
Gone are the days of salivating over the thought of what Apple was cooking up behind closed doors in Cupertino. Their products are still largely unrivaled today and continue to set new standards for innovation in technology, but the age-old question of whether “iPhone or Android” has yet to disappear. It’s as though we’re all standing around hoping and praying that an Apple reincarnate appears in the news tomorrow and proceeds to knocks our socks off.
Apple will go down as one of the most influential companies in history, ruling from the late 90’s through the foreseeable future. But just how long will Apple fend off it’s enemies and defend the throne? How long before our prayers our answered? Or will a reinvigorated and re-energized Apple emerge under a new post-Steve Jobs image? The iconic fruit has likely lost a bite or two since Jobs passed, but should we as consumers continue to relive the iPhone glory days or look to the future and the apparent start-up boom already in motion?
I should clarify that I’m what you’d call an Apple “fauxboy.” (I made that up on the fly. If I just coined a new term…) In this respect I mean I’m a very loyal Apple fan (still rock my 5th gen. iPod Video) in just about every category but the most important. I love my iPhone because it’s simple, to-the-point, and pretty darn good-looking to top it all off. I’m still carrying around the best iPhone we ever got. It’s standard 8gb’s and stunning 326ppi Retina display pumping out skeuomorphic eye-candy everyday for four long years. It really was the best iPhone update we’ll ever experience.
In 2010 the iPhone 4 was the undisputed, all-around, title-holding, Android-killing, champion. I remember praying for weeks before it’s announcement that Big Red had finally pulled the right strings and I’d be the proud new owner of “the best phone on the best network.” Evidence would show that Verizon did just that and although I never owned an iPhone 4 or 4S during their time as flagships, I was ever thankful that I had the choice.
But all good things must come to an end. Apple will one day fill the shoes of countless companies and competitors that came before it. While I can assure you Apple in its entirety doesn’t plan to hand over the reigns anytime soon, I do believe the end of the iPhone dynasty is (hopefully) approaching.
I could easily turn this into a list of current and upcoming competitors that give Apple’s flagship device a run for its money. Although I’d like to assume that most of us already have a pretty good idea or are capable of constructing one easily. Not to mention I don’t like to regurgitate already regurgitated information. But, if I was to list the two or three devices that challenge the iPhone’s popularity they would certainly be Android powered. Personally I’ve had more Android devices than iPhones (once upon a time I knew an iPhone 5), but that was back when Motorola’s Droid was the only viable option. As much as they’d like to think so, Microsoft, Amazon, Ubuntu, and Mozilla haven’t produced anything worth a glancing at.
It’s been a long time since the iPhone hit the scene and quite frankly competition in the smartphone department has been somewhat stagnant ever since. Even if I wanted to provide you the ultimate iPhone alternative it would still be just that, an alternative. I’m due for an upgrade mid-December and I would deeply enjoy something other than a physical and performance update to hold me over for the next 730 days. Should I remain team iPhone the next two years will undoubtedly be stress-free and to the point, but I draw the line when I feel no enthusiasm to upgrade from an iPhone 4. There are likely numerous reasons behind my general lack of excitement to upgrade, but was it all that long ago that the iPhone was the pinnacle of innovation AND excitement? It’s just not the same.
Yes, all of this is coming from the owner of a nearly four-year old model. If you thought “no wonder he’s given up” you have a valid point. I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of a ‘real’ iPhone experience for a long, long time. Regardless, I wouldn’t have trouble finding someone to agree with my perception of the greatest company our generation has ever known. With each successive release a wave of longtime iPhone fans jump ship or give up hope. Sales don’t appear to be affected in the slightest, but that’s because the population “giving up” and switching to iPhone outnumber the opposite 10:1. No matter our feelings about Apple’s latest release there’s no doubt that it is still the clear winner. Maybe smartphone innovation has hit its peak?
Whatever the case, I won’t at all be surprised if I lack the guts to give Android another shot. The Nexus 6 is the only flagship device I would ever consider and to say it’s enormous is an understatement. To this day my only hesitation to switch back is long-term reliability. I love the direction Android is going and 5.0 Lollipop certainly has my attention. I can’t ignore the fact that while I’ve had plenty, rooted plenty, experimented with countless custom ROMs, and a slew of other things, on day 730 an Android phone will never run exactly like it did unboxed on day 1. I’m willing to bet you know what will.
Featured Image: Bite That Apple Steve Jobs Desktop by [Anthony Sigalas Link to Flickr]