Thursday, April 09, 2015

A is for Apple, and A is for Ain’t

Apple has never been the apple of my eye.

Sure, I’ve long admired their marketing and design genius, but  - other than an iPod I bought, what?, 10 years ago – their marketing and design genius have just not been enough to get me in their camp.

For Macs, it’s always been pretty simple.

I’ve been an Intel-processor type of gal from the get-go. Most of my career has been spent in the Microsoft world, both from the standpoint of the applications and equipment I used and of the platforms that the products and services the companies where I worked offered. (Even this post is written using LiveWriter, a no- longer updated freebie MSFT product that’s better for blogging than anything else I’ve used.)

Microsoft-y bias aside, when it came to doing a laptop replacements, which tends to happen every couple of years, I always look at the Macs. But even after I was convinced that Office apps would work just fine on a Mac, I would always cheap out. It just didn’t seem worth the extra $$$ to be one of the cool kids.

I don’t need a tablet, so I haven’t been tempted by the iPad.

I need a real computer for work. And I’ve got a Kindle, which is an excellent device for readers who travel. Yes, if I also want to use the Internet for anything other than a book download, I do have to lug the laptop. So I am probably going to replace my rickety old Dell with a tablet, but it will be a combo taplet-laptop SurfacePro.

As for the iPhone, well, when I finally get around to replacing my Blackberry – I think I’ve been holding out for being the last person in America to use one – I’m leaning Android.

For whatever reason, I can’t bring myself to get an iPhone, even though  pretty much everyone I know has one, including my generally technologically retrograde brother.

So I guess it goes without saying that I won’t be standing in line for the Apple Watch.

Come to find out, no one else will be, either.

Apple is pushing those interested in the new Apple Watch - an item that, let’s face it, no one really needs – to order online. Or make an appointment to come in an decide whether you want the $349 basic or the $17K gold luxury version.

Angela Ahrendts, Apple Inc.’s sales chief, wants to scrap the company’s tradition of having customers wait in line, sometimes for days, to get their hands on the latest gadget. Apple has instructed its sales force to prod shoppers on the company’s website to purchase the new smartwatch, which can be pre-ordered Friday.

“The days of waiting in line and crossing fingers for a product are over for our customers,” according to a memo to Apple sales staff. “This is a significant change in mindset.”(Source: Bloomberg via Boston Globe.)

There is some speculation that, fearing they have a Google Glass on their hands, Apple doesn’t want to end up with a no-line release, and have the world go into a spin about a mega, post-Jobs failure.

That would be something of a wormhole on the old Apple, wouldn’t it?

Me, I’m ‘meh’ on the Apple Watch – and not just because it comes from Apple.

I’m not that keen on the whole “wearable tech” thing.

And these smart watches seem to be trying to duplicate functionality that you already have on your smartphone. Which, since everyone always has their smartphone with them, doesn’t seem all that necessary. And the smartphone form factor is just so much better for actually getting things done.

I have a friend – a gadget-guy engineer – who has an early (non-Apple) smart watch. He says that the one thing it’s good for is to gently vibrate on his wrist when he’s in a phone-off meeting and gets a phone call. He can discreetly check his phone and see if the call is important.

Other than that, he’s not sold. (And he’s a gadget-guy engineer.)

It will be interesting to see how rapidly the Apple Watch is adopted. It has, from what I’ve seen, mostly gotten good reviews.

But I don’t see it turning into the next iPod/iPhone/iPad anytime soon.

And, of course, I a-is-for-ain’t going to be getting one soon, even if I don’t have to wait in line to get one.

I have to admit, however, that I’ll miss watching those lines on Boylston Street, slowly wending their way into the Apple Store. Me, walking by, taking it all in, shaking my head in disbelief that there are so many people who’d wait in line for a shiny new piece of technology, however genius the design and marketing behind it.

Sorry, Apple, not that it means a thing for you, but you’re just not the apple of my eye.

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