Breaking up with Apple

by Chris Airey, Editor and Animator, Creative Studio

Published on
September 12, 2017

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At the time of writing, it is T-minus 12 hours until Apple CEO Tim Cook takes to the stage of the brand new Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino to proudly unveil the company’s newest lineup of iPhones.

It has been ten years since Apple’s first imagining of the smartphone which, without doubt, revolutionised the way we communicate or, paradoxically, do not communicate.

This is going to be the big one.

If you believe the rumours, which are becoming more and more accurate, (three people can keep a secret, if two of them are dead – imagine keeping a secret with the size of Apple’s supply chain) this phone will be Apple’s most radical ever.

Rumour has it that Apple will be announcing three versions of the iPhone early tomorrow morning, with very different features and price points to boot. The expected iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are a given, as the company’s bi-annual product refresh, however, it’s the all new ‘iPhone X’ that has had the rumour mills swirling for weeks.

I have been planning a breakup with Apple and its products for a while now. Our relationship throughout the last ten years has been rocky, to say the least – compatibility issues, expensive hardware and accessories, and iTunes, etc. I have had enough.

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The thing that attracted me in the first place – the fact that Apple products allow people to create content better than any competing product – no longer rings true.

As time passes, more and more iPhone releases make it apparent that Apple is putting its professional users on the back burner. This is partly due to their market share, which in some countries exceeds 50 per cent.

50 per cent for one line of mobile phones in a sea of hundreds is staggering. If the iPhone was a car, it would be a Toyota Camry or a Volkswagen Golf, not a Ferrari. And that is the problem.

Android devices have come a long way since I last considered making the switch. Google now has the Pixel, a true iPhone competitor. The Pixel, along with many other Android devices, has advanced the frontier that is currently shaking up the mobile industry – Virtual Reality (VR).

Creating and consuming VR, Augmented Reality (AR), and 360 video content has become a billion dollar industry.

This technology offers an incredibly immersive consumer experience, even in its infancy. Developers and software giants were all racing to innovate and introduce VR and AR into their devices, but Apple calmly sat back and watched.

I was expecting something big from Apple. Tim Cook said earlier this year that AR will be ‘as big as the smartphone. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives’.

Then Apple’s VP Craig Federighi stood up at WWDC 2017 and rendered an augmented reality coffee cup on a table in front of him using Apple’s brand new ARKIT.

AR surface detection was a game changer in this space and it seemed like Apple was once again back out in front. However, Google wasn’t far behind in announcing their own developer kit ARCore which boasted enhanced light and surface detection capabilities.

With the rumours providing little to suggest ‘innovation separation’ from its competitors, barring a major sleight of hand from Apple tomorrow morning, it’s official, it’s over between us.

Someone wise once said, ‘you’re only as faithful as your options’ and for the ‘Apple Faithful’, there just are a lot more options out there now – I, for one will be playing the field.