I have always been a proud and happy iPhone user. My first smartphone was an iPhone 3G and, although I had owned a couple Motorola flip-phones before that, I consider it to be the first phone I really used. I had no complaints; from when I first got it circa 2008 to when I decommissioned it in favor of the iPhone 5, some 4 years later, it worked fairly well. Sure, towards the end of its term the battery life sucked, I couldn’t run some of the newer apps, and the camera looked like a disabled potato; but it worked. The apps that I could run, a combination of Skype, Google Maps (back than a built-in), Music, and believe it or not, Phone, ran fairly well despite the age of the device. The point is, I had, at a point, a 3-4 year old phone that worked, I only ever replaced it when it fatefully died after being mistaken for a shoyu tray in a dimly lit Japanese restaurant.
In 2012, following the death of my previous companion, I bought the iPhone 5. I had no reason not to, my previous iPhone has lasted me a long time, and had worked great in that period, it was well built and I enjoyed using it. Although I never really owned other Apple products if not the iPhone, I had grown a passive admiration for them. Their products were inarguably more expensive than most competitors’ (as is still the case), but they looked, both in software and hardware, great and they lasted. Also, in 2012, and dramatically more so in 2008, the Android contenders were, in my opinion absolutely hideous. I hated the Android UI/UX and I hated the looks of the phones even more. This all made the choice of the iPhone 5 a nobrainer, specially since I had the money (not a factor to be overlooked).
I wasn’t disappointed. The iPhone 5 was absolutely great, specially when juxtaposed to the ancient iPhone 3. The battery life was alright, it was thin and light, the camera was great, and all my apps still worked! It was also extremely resilient. Unlike with my iPhone 3, I did not use a case for my new device, I liked how it looked too much and I find cases ugly, and yet it lasted 5 long years. Of course, by the end of its life it was full of dings and dents on the aluminum casing and the screen had a scratch or two. I had a broken screen I replaced, but that was my fault since I got hit by a car and got thrown to the ground phone-first. The only functionality the phone lost, about 3 and a half years in, was the camera. Somehow dirt had gotten inside the lens which made the picture quality simply horrible. The battery life absolutely sucked about 3-4 years in, and around that time too the lightning connector became really finicky.
Despite all that, the phone worked. I carried a powerbank around to make up for the short battery life and, since I was never much of a phone photographer anyway, the camera didn’t bother me. Most importantly, however, my apps all worked, even towards the end of its life they all worked fluidly. Even Snapchat, which is more demanding than you’d expect, worked well enough. Around April 2017 that phone died. I don’t know what exactly happened, but it just wouldn’t turn on one morning. That same day I walked into an Apple store and bought an iPhone 7, the latest and greatest.
It was awesome. I loved the new design, the camera was amazing, TouchID was a bliss, the battery lasted a lifetime comparatively, the screen looked super sharp, I loved it. Also, the software was noticeably snappier. I was happy having made yet another good choice purchasing an iPhone; it was a little more expensive than some similar options, but the quality paid off. That happiness didn’t last though.
Fast forward to today, a mere 8 months after buying the iPhone 7, and I find it borderline unusable. The phone is slow, I mean really slow. The apps I use most frequently, Whatsapp and Snapchat, are so buggy and slow it drives me insane. It’s almost as if doing virtually anything equates to running Crysis in the background, the animations are choppy, input has high latency, it’s truly dreadful. Now, just to reiterate, I’m not doing 4K video editing and complaining, I’m sending messages and pictures of my dog, and even that is just a horrible experience. I’m not sure what’s causing this, and since I do not own neither a copy of Windows nor an Apple computer I am unable to factory reset my phone properly, so I’m not sure what to do. I might just go to an Apple Store this week and try and get it replaced, because it has really begun to annoy me.
This is, to me, the break of a trust relationship between me and Apple. In this relationship, I agreed to pay a premium for the iPhone, and Apple agreed to provide me with a great experience; they clearly have not held their part of the bargain, and neither will I from hereon after. Android phones have come a long way. They look great, and the UI is now extremely beautiful, specially some variants like One Plus’ Oxygen OS. Moreover, the recent FaceID flop (Unrelated Chinese coworkers being able to unlock the others’ phone, masks fooling it, and other dramatic flaws), together with the absolutely staggering macOS root-flaw have made me lose faith in Apple as a company, at least for now. I’m not happy to be leaving the iPhone and iOS behind, when they worked it was an absolutely dreamy user experience, nor am I to settling on not getting a nice MacBook for work; alas there’s not much else to be done when the quality of Apple’s products has sunk so low.