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Thursday, 05 June 2014 15:08

iPhone 6: Why the wait is probably worth it Featured

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There are many who believe that Apple has taken a major risk by delaying the release of the long awaited iPhone 6. However, there is one overriding major reason why Apple probably has nothing to worry about.

Take a cruise through the average mobile phone store and check out the myriad of choices in the Android range of phones and phablets. It soon becomes apparent that whatever else may be missing, devices with richer and more abundant features than the current iPhone model is not one of them.

A plethora of Android and more lately Windows Mobile devices on the market have bigger and sharper screens, better cameras and wider range of apps than any iOS product. Despite this, most iPhone users will not junk their current device for something with more advanced features.

The reason is really quite simple. In fact, it’s exactly the same reason why Mac users are usually content to use often less advanced software implementations of a product than its Windows equivalent. After a certain point, the issue is no longer about features – it’s about quality.

About five years ago, after two decades of going through a succession of poor quality Windows desktops and notebooks – many of them big name brands – I decided to buy a MacBook. Today, that still perfectly functioning MacBook is being used by another family member and I have since purchased another four of the MacBook range for family and business use.

Almost four years ago, after a succession of mainly Nokia phones, each of which lasted one to two years, I decided to buy an iPhone 4. Today, I’m still using the same phone and it works perfectly well. I would like a bigger screen but when I do upgrade, in all probability I will still find a use for this phone.

The message here is a major factor behind Apple’s continued success in the personal computing space and phenomenal growth in the phone space. It’s not just about the features – it’s about the quality stupid.

Now anyone who has read my works over the years could hardy call me an Apple fanboy.

Apple’s army of indoctrinated morons in the user community who feel the need to defend a fabulously wealthy multinational company that exploits offshore slave wage labour, and uses offshore tax havens to avoid paying a fair share of tax in countries where it sells its products, offends me terribly. I also intensely dislike Apple’s arrogant centrally controlled propaganda machine that is responsible for hypnotically generating these morons.

That said, there’s no getting around the fact that Apple, unlike its competitors, makes first class products. To paraphrase Steve Jobs, Apple does not know how to make junk. While the iPhones and Macs may not have as advanced features or as much grunt as their Android and Windows competitors, the build quality is undoubtedly far better. That’s why everyone in my family is still using the products we originally purchased.

Another factor in Apple’s success is its high level of customer service. I recently had a MacBook Pro serviced because it had a crack in one of the keys on the keyboard. Even though the MacBook Pro was out of warranty, Apple replaced the entire keyboard free of charge – I simply took my MacBook to the nearest Apple Store and it was repaired within 24 hours.

Many of us grumble about Apple’s “walled garden” that limits our freedom to gain access to a wider variety of applications or make machine level customisation of its products. However, this tight integration between hardware and software is a major strength. There are rarely installation issues on Apple hardware, the software works as it should, and security is much stronger.

What surprises me is that no rival vendor has cottoned on to the fact that the smartphone user community is in danger of becoming feature weary. We don’t need even bigger or curved screens, unbelievably high-resolution cameras, or apps that enable electronic pickpockets to drain our bank accounts. We don’t need to be forced to install security software that slows down our overpowered device.

What we do need are devices that will last because they are high quality. In the personal computing and mobile phone space so far only Apple seems to have grasped that fact.

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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