19

Jul 2010

Queue here for the iPhone flaw

Posted in Business tactics | 0 Comments

It baffles me watching people everywhere carrying the iPhone 4. It’s broken, flawed, and yet people are still, after hearing about it on the news, from their friends and even in-store (fix your iPhone! Just £29!), walking out of the Apple Store with them. They don’t work, guys. Yes, it’s an apple product. Yes, it’s better in some ways than the previous one. Hey, wait! Where are you going?!

I’m serious. If you “hate” Macs, although you use the iPhone which you’re  thinking of upgrading, the same principle applies to your operating system. Windows releases new versions of its OS every few years, millions buy it and forget that it won’t work properly until the next one is out. XP is still the best possible operating system, and yet people are flocking to Windows 7 in the same way they ran to Vista.

Personally, I prefer the look of the most recent two Microsoft OS releases, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to pay through the nose for them. Same with the iPhone. Even if you’re using an iPhone original right now, why change it? Many people tend to stick several updates behind the latest model gadget or software update simply because years of testing and patches ensure that it works. Why not do this with Apple’s new phone?

If you have bought one, and you’re left handed, you’re left (pun not intended) with one choice – mod the casing. Nail polish, rubber bumpers (funny how Trading Standards hasn’t picked up on Apple selling an expensive fix to a fatal flaw in their hardware), or becoming ambidextrous – all are viable options.

But what about the consequences? An office full of people who’ve upgraded to the iPhone and put it on expenses, are now left with a bill in the thousands, and a phone that might cut out at any time during an important call. There are many bugs with smartphones that are tolerable. Signal failure and sensitive casing are at the margins of what is endurable.

If anything, it encourages us to take a second look at the way we view upgrading a company’s oft-used technology. Making sure there are no well-known bugs or major hardware flaws in new equipment can mean the difference between a digital storage solution that holds your client files reliably for ten years, and one that loses them the morning after installation.

Any office technician will tell you that they’re more inclined to stay behind the times with certain bits of hardware and software to dodge the risk. But we’re not all tech experts, and some people’s knowledge of what may or may not be good for the digital health of their business may only extend to which phone is the most current, the most expensive and, importantly to many, the most fashionable.

Technology, especially the kind that finds its way onto our person when we’re out, has become something of a fashion statement. People don’t just want the iPhone 4 because it’s improved and (minus that major flaw) a great bit of kit, but also because it’s a very cool thing to have. People get them out to show them off just as often as they do to actually use them.

I’ve just come into possession of a shiny new Macbook Pro, and I’ve got to say, I couldn’t be happier. Moving from an Acer laptop which constantly broke, slowed down, and lost its wifi security details to something that boots up and shuts down in less than 20 seconds combined is a blessing. Am I aware it could cook eggs when running over 70% of its CPU? Yes. But it’s still reliable and won’t lose its wi-fi connection if I touch one side of it, which, ironically, my Acer laptop actually did do.

Did I upgrade because it was cool? Yes. Did I upgrade because it was better for what I did for a living? Of course. But would I have bought it had someone told me it lost signal if I touched one area of the chassis? Not in a million years.

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