Let’s Not Ignore The Real Problem, Apple

I love Apple products – have so for decades. In design school, I spent countless hours staring at an old Apple poster with Jim Henson in it, all while working away at  my own eMac. They were state-of-the art back then. I still have mine, and it still works beautifully – Intel processor and all. It’s 10 years old.

I also own almost every Apple product, and proudly so. Why? They last. I’m well aware that you’ll be buying at least two PC laptops during the life of one Mac (I’m operating on an 8 year old iBook right now, seamlessly). Guess it’s not cheaper after all, folks.

iPod? Sure – I have two. I use my shuffle for my attempts at morning runs and just so happen to be the proud owner of the very first iPod, ever. And it still works and is loaded with over 10,000 songs. How’s that for quality?

Apple has amazing products, and Steve Jobs is a marketing genius. Apple is at the forefront of technology and marketing development, and that, is that.

So when I found out that Android is outselling the iPhone, I was surprised, and not easily persuaded. I read countless articles to confirm. I then had to question my authority in this debate – this coming from a smart phone user from the Dark Ages, what, with my Blackberry Curve and all.

Wait, so why don’t I have an iPhone? Has nothing to do with Apple – I am not a fan of AT&T. We were in a relationship for many years and it ended badly. The limited carrier component of being an elite iPhone owner does not appeal to me.

It’s then announced that iPhone will be opening service plans to Verizon. Okay, a little better. But if I wanted Verizon, I’d have an Android. After all, they are “Buy One – Get One Free” right now. Much better deal to spend a couple hundred on two phones, as opposed to dropping $500 on ONE iPhone 4.

And as we’ve recently learned, they are of the same quality, Android, if not better. So the “quality vs. quantity” argument is void.

But I use T-Mobile. We have a a decent relationship. I take full responsibility for choosing my provider, and honestly thought I was being strategic when signing my contract. Seemed logical that T-Mobile would be the next provider granted iPhone access at the time. I’d be more than happy to convert to Verizon for the Android (or maybe iPhone), but alas, I have yet another year of contract time before I can walk away without a heft monetary penalty from T-Mobile.

T-Mobile, what are you doing? HTC? Come on – it’s either iPhone or Android, Ralph Nader.

I’d like to circle back and ask Apple this: is there really any value in offering exclusivity to providers for the iPhone? I understand that there was a strategy in the beginning: partner with one carrier and dominate.  But here I am, certified Apple enthusiast, un-phased by the recent press release about the iPhone 4’s antenna issues, and still sans the equipment because I do not particularly like your partner.

If I were heading the Marketing department of Apple in the wake of a very public antenna issue and announcement that I’d lost first place in the market, I’d open up service to all carriers and let the consumer choose for themselves – again assuming responsibility.

And if the service provider didn’t supply sufficient coverage for the iPhone, it would be their responsibility to manage customer relations, not Apple.

Off the soapbox and back to the question: would you buy an iPhone today if it was offered through your service provider?

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