It was a late September evening and, as always, I was in an agitated state as yet more reality dross was served up on TV. Humming along to a tune, Mrs Thompson asked me to download it on her 2 year old iPad. I will be honest and say that I am not a fan of mega brands and world domination, so my dander always rises when I log into iTunes to make a purchase.
For me, this is a not a new thing, I just prefer the underdog; why make your life easy with Windows when you can delve into awk scripts and the green screen beauty of Unix? I got over that one in the early noughties. Out on the road, not for me the teutonic perfection of a BMW, I prefer bits to drop off my cars from time to time, it gives them character!!
So, back to the living room and another small step down the Apple cul-de-sac having invested £1.99 on a song that sounded like rending metal. I am acquiescent about the situation, but that was perhaps the bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. Two weeks later, the almost new iPad declares itself virtually obsolete as the OS8 update fails and don’t even get me started on Bono. What the hell was all that about?
A new iPad is duly pencilled onto the Christmas list by my beloved. Cue much ranting and raving at the injustice of it all. I understand that, to a certain extent, all devices must have an in built lifespan, but is two years really acceptable, especially as this is such a premium priced product?
A rough calculation tells me that I have over £750 worth of music and video lodged in a bank from which there is no escape unless you are prepared to simply let it go…and start again with another device and format.
So for that reason, my rebellious instincts will lead me down a new path. Apple is now on the ‘black list’, along with Heinz Baked Beans (over-priced), Diesel Jeans (over-rated) and Abercrombie and Fitch (over-American).
Instead, I setup a Spotify account and listen variously through my Panasonic TV, Samsung mobile phone and Microsoft Surface tablet-cum-pc. If it isn’t as good as iTunes, I wouldn’t know the difference. If it was more expensive than iTunes, it is a price worth paying to satisfy my rebellious instincts.
As I write this blog, Apple have just announced a 13% rise in fourth quarter earnings to £5.24bn and the new iPhone 6 is selling like topsy which is interesting as it is, for all intents and purposes, a slightly bigger version of its predecessor…and that is all!
Surely I cannot be alone in jumping off this bandwagon? They say all great empires fall, so how long before Apple start to a) innovate again b) make their devices last longer than a haircut and c) share content across platforms and devices? I won’t hold my breath, I don’t think any of those suggestions are good for business.
‘Empire’ is an interesting word which generally has negative connotations – think Darth Vader and the Death Star. Pitched against them are the Alliance of predominantly Asian competitors, battling to save the world from unused iTunes accounts and U2.
Which side are you on?