I never have exhibited the obvious signs of being an Apple fan boy – getting the company’s logo cut into my hair or having a Mac Mini serve as my toilet paper holder, for instance – but any review of my writings or tweets suggest that I have had more than a passing fancy for what comes out of Cupertino.
And I’m hardly alone.
There is so much trust in the Apple brand that it ranks first on the prestigious Most Valuable Brand list created each year by Forbes.
Even in my hometown of Seattle, where Microsoft has created loads of job opportunity and upped housing prices, Apple is the standard. That’s on display every day in the Bellevue Square mall where traffic is brisk in and out of the Apple Store while the Microsoft Store can often record visits in a single hour on fewer than 10 fingers.
I’ve owned no mobile phone but an iPhone since V1 was introduced in 2007. I’ve rushed to buy a new version at exactly the time each year when my carrier contract allowed for one. More than once, I have committed even before I could eyeball or touch one.
In the last decade, my purchases just for me have included two iPads, four Macbooks or Macbook Airs, and an Apple Watch.
But something changed for me this year. Or maybe it’s the fact that something changed with Apple.
The company that has defined dependable underdelivered. And, worse, it has made no apologies about it.
Specifically, in a bad way, its Apple Watch turned back time, producing an experience for me that was vintage BlackBerry 2004. Tasks have timed out. Buffering has felt as long as an Alaska summer day and night. Notifications have come at inexplicable times, like the requests to stand up while I was barreling down the freeway at 65 miles an hour.
Some apps, including OpenTable’s, will not update. Even worse, on one occasion, I suspect that an effort to communicate with the app caused the battery on my Apple Watch to be depleted in less than an hour.
This isn’t the Apple that I know or want.
It was with through that lens that I listened in on this week’s Apple announcements.
-- Live Photos that have been positioned as a reinvention of the way we take and view pictures
-- 3D Touch that will change how we get in and out of mail, messages, apps, and more
-- Claims about the “revolutionary”Apple TV that reminded me of HBO’s ad campaign of several years ago. It’s Not TV. It’s HBO.
-- Even more dependence on Siri, which had been Apple’s biggest miss until Apple Watch came on the scene
-- A pencil that looks, smells, and writes like a stylus, yet is supposed to be so much more.
I’m not buying any of it. The age of innocence is over.
In the hours after Apple’s event, T-Mobile CEO John Legere texted, “Pre-order for the new #iphone starts at 12:01am on September 12. #getready #setyouralarm”
Ummm, nope. Those of you taking to his site or to apple.com at that hour will have one less competitor to be first with a new device.
Apple has built up so much good will, and has risen to the occasion much more often that not, that it certainly remains in the lead position when I’m considering new products.
But it has no lock on my thinking or my money. If that puts me in the former fan boy category, so be it.