The beginning of the end for Apple

iPhone 5 is almost here, but does anyone really, really care?
iPhone 5 is almost here, but does anyone really, really care?

I was asked by my good friend Simon Egan today to comment on what I thought about this article on the BBC about Apple, which basically says they are no longer innovative and have become merely followers. And, despite being an Apple user for well over 20 years (before it was this widespread) I have to say, I agreed with it.

In fact, I completely agree. Apple is no longer special or surprising. It’s too ubiquitous to be different or sought after.

iPhone five with its new dock will annoy masses of people as it will render all their own kit worthless. I have a beautiful Valve based Amplifier that was totally designed around that very connecter. Admittedly I use it with my old style disk based chunky iPod and not my iPhone, but it means the end is nigh.

My sixteen year old daughter broke her iPhone (by dropping it down the toilet) and moaned for a few days but it’s all gone quiet. She is now using my old Nokia and has just stopped complaining because it’s a better phone and you can still text. The rest is a waste of time done better by other devices. I experimented a few years back and lived without my iPhone for three months. I enjoyed it and may well go back there.

Unless apple do something truly radical it will begin to fail. The new Televsion they are due to launch will give them a big positive blip but I can’t see them being able to do much after that. Most of our tech is covered and unless they invent a new category like they did with the original iPod, they may well be left high and dry.

They could obviously extend into Domestic appliances? But for me, that really will be the end. Look at Bugatti, Dualit and the other once great brands that have gone into pastiche brand extensions. That’s where apple will arrive soon enough unless they go back to where they should be and innovate.

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The End

87 days after the experiment started, it has ended.

Quite suddenly.

I was speaking to a friend yesterday (hello Simon) and I was getting complaints that he couldn’t hear me and that I sounded like I was mumbling. I came to the sad conclusion that my old Nokia had seen its best days and was now effectively scrap. So the iPhone came back out again.

But what have a I learnt?

1. Push email is a total pain. I would rather wait until I got back to my computer and dealt with the emails properly. When I was away on holiday last week, I left with no emails in my inbox. As it stands today, there are now seven. That is a huge improvement from my position at the start of the experiment. I have become more efficient.

2. There was very little I missed on the iPhone. Most of the apps are nice to haves. Almost none are need to haves.

3. I saw a new sale board for our client Royston and Lund. This was the first one we had done where each property has a unique QR code to allow you to view the property details for each house they list. I did feel a bit left out not being able to jump out of the car and grab the code to start browsing. I think this will become increasingly important over the coming years.

4. The amount of extra thinking and reading time I have gained has been amazing. I will vow to keep off the apps and on my reading. I have watched almost no TV since I left the iPhone at home and feel better and brighter for it.

That’s it, the end. It’s been a blast.

Living without an iPhone – a social and business experiment

We all have too much stuff in our life. Too many possessions, too many media choices and too many ways of accessing any piece of available information from anywhere in the world.

And I’ve had enough, so i’m making a change to the way I run my life and the first stand will be against my beloved iPhone.

I am on 24/7. always checking mail, checking share prices, checking scores and checking things I don’t really need to know.

A book I read many years ago by Isaac Asimov called Azazel, stuck in my mind. I’ve blogged about it here before.

By being so on all the time, i’ve lost my downtime, my time to think, my time to learn and understand. People expect an instant response, but instant isn’t always best, it’s often quite glib, so I want to change.

For an initial one week, my iPhone is staying at home, switched off. I’ll check my emails when I am in front of my computer and i’ll try and deal with them first time.

I’m going to spend tomorrow getting rid of all the emails in my inbox. Currently 70 in number – Most of which need some sort of action. On Sunday, i’ll be into the new regime.

I’ve been a bought a new phone today. The simplest and cheapest they had in the shop. A Samsung GT-E2121b at only £9.45. A bargain from Phones 4U. Sold to me by a young lady called Adele, who thought I was a bit simple when I told her my plan.

Adele from Phones 4U Nottingham Victoria branch - Complete with perfect sign above her head
Adele from Phones 4U Nottingham Victoria branch - Complete with perfect sign above her head - That's the bloody point - I don't want emails on the go!

I’ll try and update the blog every day to let you know how I get on with it.