Apple released the iPhone X with Superbowl-like pomp but little circumstance last week, the very same week it reminded us that it makes a lot of money, more money than any other (publicly listed) corporation in the world.
Yes, I’m bored, and I suspect so are you.
It’s now rote. It’s now sadly predictable. LOOK AT ME!
I have the new iPhone!
This is the iPhone X. TEN! EX! Ha!
ARE YOU LOOKING!
I HAVE FACE ID AND YOU DON’T!
This is what they want you to spend $1,000+ on?
What need is the newest iPhone fulfilling? What hole is it filling? You’re not more empowered, you’re not more connected, you’re likely not more creative, you may in fact become less so, so enamored are you with the new and the shiny and playful.
The great irony of Apple is that it finally has the resources and user base to create the future, but it no longer possesses the vision.
Apple can’t even get the UI right for the *tenth* incarnation of its own iPhone.
Watch Apple’s own UI tutorial video. Yes, yes, the Genius is lesbian, that’s how you know Apple is on your side, the right side of history. Fine. But its product? Watch. No, wait. Hand your shiny new iPhone X to your mother or father or your son or daughter. Now have them watch this video, and play along. The entire UI is a shocking mess, hot garbage, it’s almost a parody, a thing someone in a college dorm might make to mock Apple.
Swipe from the bottom, then pause, then swipe…
Swipe down from the top right.
Press firmly on these buttons…
“To turn your iPhone off, press and hold the side button, and either volume button, then swipe.”
I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!
Want to use your $1,000 iPhone X to make purchases?
“Double click the side button, glance at your iPhone to authenticate, and hold your iPhone near the terminal.”
DEAR LORD, HERE, JUST TAKE MY CREDIT CARD!
There are times when I get angry, but I am not angry now. Just disappointed. Again.
What is Apple’s purpose?
Outsourcing all its manufacturing to anti-democratic China? Dodging Europe’s tax laws? We know the company makes more money than everyone else, which is absolutely an achievement, but for us, those of us who remember when Apple was about more than making money, about more than having lines of business that — as the cheerleaders never tire of telling us — are bigger on their own than competing conglomerates, where is the joy?
U2, still the biggest band in the world, has released several new songs.
Each sounds exactly like a current U2 song.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. U2 knows what it’s good at, understands what it’s great at, desperately doesn’t want to disappoint its fans, obviously fears not making enough money to keep the entire U2 ecosystem well paid and happy, and the new music is, well I suppose it’s fine. But it’s not going to nourish your spirit. It’s happy background noise, which, fair enough,is a positive in this overwhelming world, but also a reminder that neither U2, nor Apple, are going to get us to that next signpost, nor even point the way there.
Apple is our General Electric.
It doesn’t know us, it doesn’t care to know us, we are its market, one of many, but we are also — still, for now — it’s most important market.
Fine. Let’s start making demands.
Rush Limbaugh, the popular American conservative radio host, is probably Apple’s biggest fan. Certainly, he’s the iPhone’s most vocal cheerleader. Limbaugh also loves capitalism and professes his joy in “criminal” profits, which no doubt Apple Inc, world’s largest, richest, most profitable corporation, has in spades. But I wish Limbaugh would take Apple to task for its betrayal of its roots.
Let’s all of us — including the cheerleaders who in all other ways insist they are “progressive” — demand Apple move its manufacturing out of China, the very country that has outlawed access to information its ruling government finds displeasing and which does not allow anyone to opt-out of its personal web tracking, and which is devouring America’s and Europe’s patents and innovations and very best technologies.
Let’s all of us — including the cheerleaders who in all other ways insist they are “progressive” — demand Apple pay its fair share of taxes.
Let’s all of us force Apple, and I am not sure how we do this, to end the primacy of ecosystem profits and focus instead on usabilitiy, user experience, and use cases.
Let’s make Apple care about us, not just our checkbook.
Apple has lost its way. Let’s help them find it again. We’ll all be the better for it.