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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

iDon’t Care about the iPhone

Published: September 28, 2012
Section: Opinions

So, as all of the Apple fanatics (and many who are not) know, the new and shiny iPhone 5 was just recently released and it’s gotten some serious attention. According to USA Today, iPhone 5 sales toppled the 5 million mark within the first week of release.

The price of an iPhone 5, depending on the size of the memory card and the contract you choose to purchase, can vary from a reasonable amount to just an obscene glob of cash. These are the prices of the unlocked iPhone 5, quoted from the Apple website: $649 (16GB), $749 (32GB) and $849 (64GB); and the prices of the iPhone 5 with a two-year contract: $199 (16GB), $299 (32GB) and $399 (64GB).

For my less tech-savvy readers, an unlocked phone means that it has no contract and you can pretty much do whatever you want without dealing with a contract.

Now, here’s where I get upset with Apple. To create a phone that is not connected to a contract means that from start to finish it does the exact same build procedure as a contracted phone. The only difference is that the extra price is absorbed by the contractor (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) and is then regained by your unlimited data/talk/text plan that you will inevitably receive along with the brand-spanking new phone.

You may be wondering: What’s so upsetting about the phone? If you don’t like it, no one is forcing you to buy it! I am upset because our economy is on a very slow path to regaining only a portion of its former glory. People have less discretionary money and many people don’t have jobs.

And yet, over five million people can scrape together a minimum of $200 before monthly fees just to have this phone. For that kind of cash this phone better make me a fruit smoothie.

Purely based on the specifications on the Apple website, the only difference you can actually see or feel is that the screen is a bit larger, looks a bit better and the phone is a bit sleeker. I will also grant Apple lovers that the phone is better than any previous version that has come out. It will undoubtedly run faster, more beautifully and more efficiently than anything they have ever offered. The question is: Is the difference between your current phone and this phone worth it? Right away, if those are the only advantages I’m going to get for paying my life savings, I may wait a bit to purchase the phone.

Another positive addition to the new iPhone is that it has a pretty cool map app that you get with real time loading, which has actual visuals from Google maps. It’s a very exciting and useful thing to be able to see what my destination will look like before I even arrive.

Except, this is an app that any iPhone user can get, and it alone is not worth buying a $200 or more phone.

Apple is a corporation working for monetary gain. They consistently release a slightly better version of the exact same product over and over at even higher prices because people will pay. People continue to buy the newest version of the iPod even now that Apple has run out of ideas and is consequently, cycling between small and large squares. I’m sure, especially if you do own an iPhone, that you have no idea what the latest generation of iPod is or what it looks like, but I will guarantee you that there is a new one on the horizon and it is probably very similar to an older model.

The only way to put a stop to this business model is by no longer purchasing Apple products unnecessarily. Believe me, I love new technology and the latest available products, but newer is by no means better. If you want Apple to make a good iPod, you need to shift your mobile music to an mp3 player until Apple’s sales drop to the point where a new model is their only option. Apple is large enough that you, as an individual mean nothing, so this boycott must be done on a large scale.

If enough people chose not to buy the iPhone 5S (which we all know will be released relatively soon), Apple will actually reconsider their current sales strategy and make legitimate, worthwhile changes to their products. So when the newest iPhone hits AT&T, Verizon and Apple retail stores everywhere, don’t go waste your money on a product or company that doesn’t even think you are smart enough to notice that they’re really just taking your money.