Daily Haiku 2014.09.11 —

(Image credit: Abaconda Management Group)

flocking sheep
seek out Apple stores
upgrade time



Well. It’s that time of year again. I find myself wrapped up in thought about the inevitable consequences of the new round of “Device Wars”. I’m taking a serious look at everything I believe, and I’m asking myself the hard questions. I have the opportunity to upgrade my phone in a month and a half, and now there’s this new iPhone that’s about to hit the stores. I told myself that I really wanted to see a bigger iPhone. The new iPhone 6 comes in two sizes, both bigger than the iPhone 5. I wanted a faster processor and better specs that I know could have been delivered with my current phone. Sure, the next iPhone 6 has them.

In fact, the iPhone 6 has stuff that will wrap people around the corners of Apple stores for weeks, congesting the most popular blocks of big cities all over the country, while each employee in the Microsoft Store next door plans his or her disguise for when they get into line after work. Because honestly, we don’t know jack about Windows Phones, and that’s typical.

I was a Zune user back in the day. I had a regular Zune, and then I had a Zune HD. I loved them both because they were fabulous devices, and yet they never seemed to be able to crawl out of Apple’s shadow. Neither, I fear, shall the Windows Phone ever see the light beyond the iPhone’s penumbral cast.

With this new iPhone, I could have it all. I could shoot HDR video at 60 frames per second. I can make videos in stop-motion and slow motion. I can make secure payments with my phone (finally!) and that one has not just customers, but vendors from Wells Fargo to McDonald’s lining up as well.

The whole gamut of improvements, as well as the feature fragmentation between the two models, rightfully warrants an upgrade from my current device, but to what — another iPhone?

Maybe. Android users like to make fun of many iPhone 6 specs, quoting similar specs that were available with the Nexus 4 phone from 2012, while ignoring those things the new iPhone is either bringing to the table or doing to keep up with the mass of Android competitors. Apple is Julius Caesar in an Android senate, but it manages to hold its own, and while I know that this discussion has me looking a little hypocritical in light of my “surveillance device in every pocket” rant, but I do think it’s time I ask myself the tough question: do I want to stick with an iPhone, or do I want to make another switch to Android? My phone is nearly two years old now. It’s dinged, and dented. It’s been nearly shut in a car door and it’s been dropped in the ocean. I’m almost certain it would kill me if it could.

Coincidentally, there’s been no mention of iPhone 6 being water-resistant, let alone waterproof. Meanwhile, there are several Android phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, that are both water-resistant and dust-proof. That sounds like a perfect fit for an outdoor enthusiast who works in an industrial environment, but is that good enough to make a switch I’ll be in bed with for two years?

And while part of me knows that I don’t have to upgrade at all, the rest of me says I’d be stupid to think that I could possibly resist . . .

This is America, after all.


  1. “baaa baaa” as the sheep flock πŸ˜‰

    As soon as I saw the image and read the Haiku – I was laughing!

    Since I have no mobile/cell phone ….. waiting ….. as everyone faints dead away and needs CPR for revival ……

    ……. still waiting ….. lalalalalalallalaaaaaaaaaa ….

    Boogie nights …. and curly fries … and woolly things ’cause it’s a cold dark rain …. hmmmmm???

    Life? Any signs of life?

    Okay. Pardon me for having inflicted such pain and shock … but if I had to consider a phone today – I honestly would be like: where’s the damn one that JUST makes calls?

    Call me a Luddite.

    It’s mind-boggling what all the devices offer and I have to wonder at the usefulness of it all – but maybe if I needed certain things, then I would understand more. And no, this isn’t a critique – just openly admitting that I’m clueless πŸ™‚

    Good luck with figuring this out – and sorry about ‘jacking your comments section πŸ˜‰

    • Nice to have comments to read. πŸ™‚

      They still make the phones that just make calls, but they’re slowly and surely pushing them out of existence. Many carriers only offer a couple anymore.

    • I love my landline phone. It is solid, reliable– no dropped calls.

      We have a cell, but only by mercy of the government Universal Access Program, i.e. I get 500 minutes a month, fixed. That means it gets saved mostly for emergencies and for Cimmy and I to let each other know where we are and what’s happening (less of an emergency, but still, restricted). Before that, it was pay-as-you go, but, even Cimmy has fallen back to this subsidized phone, i.e., we share it.

      Cimmy has a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, which supercedes her PDA. She does love it to play silly games, but, the majority of our appointments are scheduled this way.

      There is no room in our fixed income budget for a calling plan or any of that mess.

      • Yes, I could certainly appreciate the reasons why indeed. Technology does have certain responsibility filling necessity applications that make sense.

        I can’t imagine not having a land line – but I’m getting rather annoyed with the ridiculous pricing. Maybe sometime in the future, I’ll have to consider switching providers – but hah – despite doing this – all it means is that the new provider is piggybacking on the one and only who owns all the lines and techie outside gizmos blah blah blah. So, it makes me wonder sometimes.

        • We went with the cable company– its infrastructure is a little newer, and they have more of a vested interest to keep it maintained (although even that took some doing.) They did a much better job than the new little company that took over when Verizon decided to dump Ma Bell’s landline network here.

          Granted, the cable company could do more, but they got our landline phone working when the phone company could not.

        • You might wonder how the piggybacker can afford to offer significantly cheaper service than the provider they lease the “lines” from. I wonder how the big providers can justify their pricing when the smaller providers have to pay lease fees and still undercuts them by 50%.

      • Well I can’t say I’ve ever had a dropped call, but I communicate mostly by text anymore. It’s getting to the point where I feel like they should divorce the traditional voice network from these devices to help bring down the cost of service.

        • Oh, don’t do that. I have a difficult enough time when companies rely hardcore on texting for receipts, two-step authentication, and other notifications. Many companies, including Wal-Mart and my insurance company (Humana), jabber to me in disbelief when I tell them I *cannot* receive texts– because it’s all they offer. Yes, there are other means– e-mail, voice, etc.– but such a move would encourage them to believe texting is available to everyone, and it’s just not.

          Oh, and then there are my friends. People just don’t parse very well that I don’t have a smartphone device, let alone anything mobile, at all.

          If things are mainstreamed enough that the Universal Access Program starts offering subsidized texting services to the impoverished, then I could see it. But I’m not at all for encouraging companies to shut people out who can’t afford the technology.

          • Well that’s fair enough. The fact is they’re not divorcing but folding the traditional cell network’s traffic into the datasphere with advanced services for smartphones, and chances are that the changes to those services will benefit voice-only customers with better quality because of the fact that you’re not trying to switch from voice to video mid-call and somesuch whatnot.

            • Oh, I keep forgetting I’m thinking apples vs. oranges. There’s a big difference between the broadcast spectrum, which includes satellites, cellular towers, and over-the-air TV, and the landline spectrum, which covers cable and telephone networks. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, but for sure, the old telephone lines (at least in some smaller and remote areas) are aging badly, and they’ll need to be upgraded extensively to support better data transfer rates. Of course, I know people out in the boonies that can only get cellular and satellite signals… and I haven’t heard so many good things from them.

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