The iPad2 was launched in Australia last Friday. Hoards of amantes malum (that’s Latin for ‘Apple Lovers’) spent 48 hours camped outside the Apple Retailer at Chadstone, Melbourne in order to be one of the first to get their hands on the coveted toy.
Now, whenever Apple launches a new product, its detractors, notably The Android Army (people who use Android-based devices) would be up in arms! The Apple product would be dissected to its minutest details, in a concerted effort to find that bit of flaw or deficiency. Others would do a ‘compare and contrast’ – usually highlighting the advantages of owning a non-Apple product, often citing things like pricing, speed, camera power, etc to back their case.
A couple of days ago, one of my Facebook friend inadvertently opened Pandora’s box when he uploaded this on his FB profile. Before long a many people left various comments on his profile, some advocating the iPad2 while others sung the virtues of Android devices.
Now, I’ve never been fond of Apple products, mainly because those days they were priced way beyond what I could possibly afford. I went through 5 or 6 hand phones (mainly SE and Nokia) and when I got my first smart phone, it was a Palm (Treo 680). My PC, notebook and netbook are all Windows-based. Sure, the Mac Books were definitely eye-candy and I would be untruthful if I say I didn’t want one but like I said earlier, they were beyond my budget.
And then, one day, my Palm Treo broke apart (yeah, quite literally) and I had to get a smart phone to replace the beloved Treo (it was less than a month before I left for Australia). And so, I asked the best person I could think of. I asked him this question:
If I could buy one smart phone on the market now, which would it be?
And the answer was: iPhone4.
Which was exactly what I got, just days before I left the country (thanks to a friend who knew people inside Maxis, I got the phone sans contract quite quickly).
I think the verbal sparring between aficionados of Apple and Android devices can get really tiresome. I have no experience with any Android devices but I am sure it’s good and has its merit points. But I do have an iPhone4.
Am I happy with it? Yes I am!
Does it fulfill all my expected needs for a smart phone? Yes it does.
Does it help me in my work as a doctor? Yes it does.
Is it a beautiful device? Yes it is!
Does it have good after sales service and reliable regular updates? Yes it does.
Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time, I used to drive a white Proton Iswara 1.3G. It’s our national car. I bought it the year after I completed my housemanship. I bought it, not out of patriotism but rather because it was the only thing I could afford.
Does it take me from Point A to Point B? Of course it does.
Was it an economical car? Yes it was.
But you know, the first time I got the car, the radiator leaked. The seller said it was a normal thing! All the windows vibrate and rattle and the seller said it was normal. After a trip to Penang, the air conditioner broke down. By the 2nd year, the speedometer and petrol gauge broke down as well. The air conditioner went on to break down twice more. The suspension broke down by the 4th year. The radiator which leaked plugged itself because of rust build-up over the years! Rust spots appeared everywhere. And every time I brought the car for servicing, they did a shoddy job. My white car had greasy finger prints all over it by the time they were done. My complaints were ignored. I had to wait seated on a plastic chair in one corner, inhaling all the exhaust fumes.
Now? Now, I drive a Toyota RUSH. It gets me from point A to point B. It’s also very economical. Everything in it is sleek and smooth. The car is silent on the highway. And when I send it for for servicing, the Toyota guy rings me a day before the servicing as a reminder, then waits for me at the doorstep, greets me by name, asks about my welfare and my family’s welfare, gives me a summary of what they will do to my car, the estimated waiting time and costs, offer to send me home first if I can’t wait, I sit in an air-conditioned room with free wi-fi, free flow of coffee/tea/milo served by a friendly lady; I get a call the day after the servicing asking if my car is alright, and another call 2 weeks down the road asking the same thing. My online feedback earns me RM 20 each time deposited into my account with the centre to be used to offset the cost of my next servicing. My insurance and road tax is taken care of with just a phone call.
Will I go buy another Proton? Over my dead body!
Will I ever use a SE or Nokia phone again? Probably not. Will I get another Palm (and they have really good devices)? No, because as good as they are, their support sucks and updates few and far in between.
I guess what I am trying to say is, if you wish to get a smart phone (or tablet for that matter), ask what you need it for, not how much you can get for your money’s worth.
Because, the ‘money’s worth’ aspect could be intangible and not easy to quantify.
I can afford an iPhone now and so I bought one. It’s a great device and I loved it. An Android phone may have more features, work that bit faster, that bit cheaper, or have a screen a few millimeters wider; so what…it doesn’t matter to me because my phone suits me and I’m happy with it.
When one of my Windows-based device dies on me, I reckon I would be looking at a replacement from Apple.