In the beginning…
I still remember the days when people used different brands of mobile phone. Some would use Nokia, Siemens (hey, do they make Siemens smartphones?), Samsung, etc. Life was easier back then. There were no trolls. If I think about it now, it’s because mobile phones back then were pretty basic. Besides making phone calls and sending text, no other features worth boasting about.
Other features, even if existed, were pretty much today’s basic features on smartphones: organisers, memo, alarm clock, etc. There were practically no smartphone features back then. No push email, no augmented reality, no “magical” stuff. Some other features that may be considered “cool” might be: high quality sound when playing music. That’s all.
Blackberry has existed since circa 2000. It can be safely said that push email technology on mobile devices has existed since then. But, Blackberry didn’t receive much of hype as they do now. Well, at least, since the current President of the United States was reported to be addicted fan of it. We know now that Blackberry is dimming.
Seemingly targeted at corporate, back then, hardly “retail” users, teenagers would use Blackberry. I suppose Blackberry Messenger (BBM) has existed since its first appearance. But, this messenger has been, and still is, exclusive to Blackberry devices. This exclusivity didn’t bother anyone back then. It’s so exclusive to corporate users that everybody wouldn’t bother if someone next to him/ her was busy tapping keyboards on that shiny glimmering Blackberry. Who cared?
Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) has also long existed. It’s like a mini version of computers or laptop. Was PDA also considered smartphone? Is smartphone just buzz word? It probably is. But, even back then PDA hasn’t received much of hype, either. One could own a PDA device without him/ her boasting about it. They all use it as tools that help them running businesses to make profit.
Then the game changed
How did the game change? In my opinion, it was when Blackberry received attention when Obama was reported to be a die-hard fan of Blackberry. Since then, the media have been hyping so much that seemingly everyone rushed to own one for whatever reason there was. Apparently, this changed RIM in playing the game. They started to target on “retail” users. Blackberry used to be corporate devices and now has become “retail” devices.
People would boast that Blackberry devices help them connect: push email, compressed secured line in sending messages: connectivity. It got so much of hype that almost everyone I see in buses I take in the morning sticks their eyes on Blackberry devices. I doubt that they are working on important business documents. I had a glimpse on a screen of one user. Guess what I saw? Blackberry Messenger.
What follows is even game changer. Circa 2007, Apple released the first shiny iPhone. There was no physical keyboard; only large eye-candy screen. There was hype. But, there were hardly brawls between the cult of iPhone and other similar smartphones.
Apple wasn’t the first player in smartphone. Windows Mobile-powered devices, Symbian and Blackberry have been in the field way long before Apple came in to play. But, none of those devices offers the same experience like the first iPhone. Sure, there have been touchscreen mobile phones. But, usually they need stylus in the operation. Even the term touchscreen didn’t use in terms of what iPhone was intended: you just touch it. Cannot swipe your finger on the screen.
So, how come there are “brawls” among smartphone users now? If you constantly follow gadget updates, check out the comments section. Everyone would bash another for boasting a device that they adore (not necessary use it). People would attach to their gadget. The gadget creates feeling inside them. What gives? They are all just smartphones… with different features, hardware and experiences.
I would consider myself as a fan of Android. So, I might be biased in giving opinion. But, just for the record, back in late 2009, when I had enough cash in hand to buy a gadget, I did have a choice between owning a Blackbery device and an Android one. I was really tempted to own a Blackberry device. iPhone didn’t come into consideration. I can’t remember why. But, one thing I remember why I chose Android: it’s the freedom. I would like to have full control of the device I own. I like hacking into device and optimize the use of it. This is something I thought I could not achieve with other smartphones. Yes, this is bias.
Opinion aside, so, how come there are brawls? Why can’t one just peacefully own and take pride of their gadget? I know some people could own an iPhone and a Blackberry. Some others would use Blackberry and iPad. But, I hardly know someone who owns Android and Blackberry or iPhone. Usually, Android owners just stick with one gadget. Yeah, you would say that Android users don’t have enough cash to buy some more gadgets. Or, it’s probably that they have all the things they need in one place.
I tend to blame the icon of Apple, Steve Jobs. He has been marketing the shiny eye-candy iPhone like it’s exclusive. Note that there is NOTHING WRONG with that. Sure, Android-powered Galaxy series don’t receive much of hype. To top it all, no smartphone has iconic characters who promote their device into exclusivity like Steve Jobs. It’s been 4 years since its first appearance and there were like, what, 4 releases of iPhone? Android has way many ranges of smartphone. From low-end to high-end. While one of top manufacturers of Android-based smartphone has been sued many times by Apple, it still continues to innovate by releasing new products offering ranges of features.
It’s the icon. That’s where the problem lies. He has been giving misleading statements. And when people pointing out the fact otherwise, people would argue. Hence, the brawls.
Let me start with the word “retina display”. Steve claimed that the display on the latest iPhone exceeded what human eyes can see. Thus, when looking at its display, you’d hardly see or notice pixels. Google retina display steve jobs and you’d see that it’s just marketing buzz words. There’s no need to call scientist on this one. The world we are seeing now is NOT PIXELATED. It’s vector-based graphic. In other words, images reflected on our retina is not composed of pixels. It. Is. Misleading. But again, some -or all- would say, he can say whatever he wanted to market the product. Fine.
But it’s still misleading. And it has led millions people into thinking that Apple has innovated in many ways. In fact, all people would think that the first table existed is iPad. They must’ve thought that way because Apple is suing Samsung for copying its design. Apparently, the first appearance of electronic device with round corners wasn’t invented by Apple.
When iPhone 4 was first released there were issues like, one of them, death grip. How did Steve Jobs react to this? He went public and took other smartphones with him, namely, BlackBerry Bold 9700, the Samsung Omnia II, and the HTC Droid Eris. So, he didn’t bother to address the problem of iPhone 4. Instead, he bashed other smartphones. He even wen’t further by blaming users of iPhone 4. He has coined the phrase “you’re holding it wrong”.
He can; why can’t I?
So, all these misleading statements from Steve Jobs -published by media- have created the environment we live in now. One could not just leave one device live happily ever after. I know. I am one of them. But I blame Steve for that. Here’s a question to ponder: how come Steve can bash other products and that other products’ fans CANNOT bash Apple products?