Or Why I Will Never Buy An I-anything
I didn’t buy an Ipad yesterday, I wanted to; I think it looks good, I love the screen, all those apps from Istore, I want to buy one but they just won't sell me one. Confused? Well let me tell you about Apple's new Icar.
Imagine Steve Job took it into his head to take a look at the motor industry. Seeing the US manufacturers in disarray, he spies an opportunity. He tasks the Apple team to create a new breed of car, revolutionary in design, sexy yet functional, the ‘must have’ car for the cognoscenti; in short the Icar.
Having soaked up the advertising, the endless PR fueled journalistic superlatives, I can imagine me walking into the show room, slipping behind the wheel, admiring the controls, and fantasizing about piloting this amazing vehicle up hill and down dale, mastering the high road and the low road and every other road in between. And then the questions. What fuel does it run on? “Oh you have a choice Sir, there’s I-gas or I-lpg. And remember, it’s a multi-terrain vehicle, you can drive it on I-asphalt, I-tarmac, I-paving in fact you can drive it on any I-road anywhere in the world”. I can imagine sarcastically asking if my girlfriend can ride in the car or I have to get a specially compatible Igirlfriend from the Istore.
Head hung low, I see myself walking dejectedly out of the show room before having an inspirational thought. I rush back in and and ask if I can rent an Icar for the weekend (plus or minus Igirlfriend).
You see as far as I’m concerned, rent is all you can do with an I-anything. The 'I' doesn’t stand for me or you, not unless you happen to be Steve Job. All we can do is rent the damn things on this weird ‘rent till you junk it’ basis, where you pay all the rent up front. Now I’m not knocking the positives of the I-anything, and if its faults were not so willful I’d probably forgive it. The reason I don’t buy it is because I know that every time I can’t do something that the device is clearly capable of but Steve Job doesn’t want me to do, my stress level will get wound just a little bit tighter. And that is not healthy.
Now as a short term rental I could live with that. If I rent a car from Hertz I know that I can’t pimp my ride because it’s not mine. I can choose from a range of options that they offer, just like I can with a lease car. But Apple wants to have the best of both worlds. And I’m not buying.
If I could buy the Ipad or the Iphone that was all an Ipad or Iphone could be, then I’d buy it. But it isn’t. It’s the Iphone that is all the Iphone that Apple wants it to be, and that ticks me off. It’s not that it can’t play those AVI’s as it lacks the technical capacity, because it doesn’t. If Steve and the boys at Apple weren’t so invested in QuickTime and could figure out how to make a penny on me watching an AVI movie then count the milliseconds till the PR announcement of the New AVI enabled Iphone. It’s the same deal with the apps and the Istore. If it’s my phone I want to do what I damn well want with it, including choosing the carrier.
So what am I going to do? Well the more I think about it, the more I think the Ipad will be redundant before too terribly long, along with the kindle, and all the other E-Readers out there. Why duplicate all that expensive infrastructure that we all ready have inside our smart phones? Not only is it costly, and not at all friendly to the environment, it's bulky, and inconvenient. All we need is to have a way of connecting our existing smart phones to dumb screens, be they e-ink, lcd, plasma or whatever. Dumbscreens will be cheap and will start popping up everywhere from the table tops in Starbucks to the back of greyhound bus seats. Pretty soon they will be ubiquitous.
It is simply far more efficient, not to say cheaper and more convenient. For those who always want to have the latest technology, all the clever stuff will be in one device (no more duplicating all that expensive technology on multiple devices), so that you only have to renew one device, which I'm guessing will be a smart phone.
In this vision of the future I will be able to keep all my ebooks, pics and video on my 32GB Nokia N900 (with additional 16GB memory cards) and just connect to any available dumb screen when ever I need to. Just so long as the hook up process does not involve dialing a '#', a function that the Nokia N900 is unable to perform (unbelievable- but I'll save that for another rant) I will have full functionality and utility from just one smart device.
All we need to do now is develop a standard for the dumbscreen. Samsung, LG, Nokia, I await your call.