I was not very excited when my cousin brought me an iPhone couple of years back. Only when others looked at my phone with awe and admiration that I realized that the petite, pretty device is something that stands above among a range of cell phones available with people. They praised my phone and narrated its features and said it can store lakhs of applications for everyday use. Yes, I used the phone and important applications. But let me confess that this phone is not worth its money though it can satisfy one’s urge to own a globally sought after and widely hyped gadget.
This write-up is not for those brand conscious, trendy people, but for those who would like to have their phone cost-effective, reasonably durable and easily serviceable.
Why I say that it is not worth to have an iPhone?
First: The cost of the iPhone is exorbitantly high. I am sure all the techno-entrepreneurs would agree with me that the retail price is highly disproportionate to the cost of its hardware and software and all related expenses. I know they spend hefty amounts for marketing and advertising. I was amazed to see some of the leading vernacular dailies in India carried multi-column articles in their editorial pages (not in the business pages) about the benefits of the new iPhone. They never thought a national calamity (flood in Jammu & Kashmir or many other larger public issues) be given priority over the launch of a mobile phone! One can’t blame the media or the marketing companies. India is a country with 880 million mobile subscriptions (second in the world), though half of them have no bank accounts! Ultimately money matters honey!
Second: Do you want to spend such a hefty sum for a product lasting just 18 months? Why I say this? Your costly mobile phone will become an ‘ordinary’ one within that period. The technology changes, software changes, applications changes. After a few months, you can’t update your phone with latest software and applications. They say ‘it is not compatible’! You can continue to use it for basic services for a few more years. But, for that you can get a phone costing less than Rs 1500 (less than US $25) which has internet and many other utilities.
Third: I faced several issues with the phone within a few months. (I don’t want to generalize this because I haven’t attempted for any corroboration from others). I could see a bunch of employees in their stores who are totally uninterested to respond to the customers who carried their cellphones to the store with complaints. After several minutes of waiting they irritatingly direct us to meet the service personnel, who won’t have the patience to listen. He would rudely ‘request’ you to leave the phone there and come back after a week or fortnight. And the service charge? I am leaving it to you to guess!
Fourth: I faced problems with its charger all along. It won’t work properly in some plug points (especially in the trains and also in a few airport points). It won’t work if the charger is not tightly fitted in the plug. These are all fine. But most chargers will become useless within a few months of its use. And, after about 18 months of purchase you go to the authorized stores to buy a charger and the first comment from the sales guy would be, ‘Oh! Old model’. He will make you a ‘second class customer’ instantly. Then you tend to request, and they demonstrate before you that they are frantically searching for one in the showroom. Then they would tell you: ‘Out of stock’, ‘Check in other stores’ or ‘Check for the local ones in the city market’. You go and buy a cheaper ‘duplicate’ from the city market which either won’t work properly or would get damaged in no time. This is true for most spare parts as well.
Fifth: I faced issues with signals too. When the person sitting next to me who is subscribed to same telecom service provider but in a different device has better signals, my phone will totally ‘ignore’ the signals if they are of poor quality. If I spend a few minutes in a ‘blind spot’ where there is no signal and then immediately move to an area where there is good signal, the phone takes several minutes to detect the signal. Many times I had to switch to airplane mode and back to retrieve the signal manually when the phone remained without detecting signals.
Sixth: The strength of the battery depletes faster within a few months after the purchase. Even when we don’t use the phone for data services or any other entertainment services, its battery would deplete faster.
Seventh: iPhone is very fragile than many other high-end phones in the market. A very mild impact results in cracked screen. The authorized shop will charge a hefty sum to replace it. I should appreciate their well-researched warranty period. Believe me, most people would face trouble immediately after the last day of the warranty. What timing!
Eighth: You heard a lot of sermon from the salesman about the prospects of upgrading when you first bought it. But many will agree with me when I say that upgrading is never an easy process and if you approach the service personnel, they will simply direct you to have a look at the new model!
Ninth: You can’t blame the manufacturer of a low-end mobile you bought from the city market for the heat it generates on your ears while using. But after spending huge sum, if your ear is getting heated within a few minutes of your call, then there is something wrong with the iPhone! I haven’t experienced this. But this was shared by a friend of mine.
Tenth: The Company proclaims that their products can be serviced globally. But try to go with a complaint in a country other than the country you purchased, you will find how difficult it would be.
The above facts may be true for many other high-end phones as well. In a technology driven world where changes happen every second, the urge to try something new is perfectly justified. Companies thrive on the inevitable technology replacement necessity created by companies themselves for their products to be in perennial demand.
Still I would encourage you to buy the new iPhone 6 if you are a big fan of apple products. You can be above the rest by holding one.
(Disclaimer:I don't deny that iPhone has many advantages over other phones. Above facts are based on my personal experience and need not be generalized)
Views are personal © Sibichen K Mathew