Is there a world beyond the iPhone? If so, how do I get there?
I can vividly remember the excitement that would overcome me every time I realised that my phone contract was coming to an end.
I would instantly find myself scouring the web looking at the newest smart phones, weighing up which had the best camera, which had the best battery life, which was best for playing music and so on (note - not once did I consider it’s practicality as a phone, so long as I could bluetooth ringtones that was all that mattered at 15 years old). I would debate whether I wanted the newest Blackberry so I could BBM my friends, but in turn sacrifice other benefits that I could get with perhaps a HTC or Samsung.
This all changed on one glorious evening, when my dad returned home from work and presented me with an iPhone 4. I spent that entire evening playing Temple Run (remember that game?), thinking about how I couldn’t wait to compare scores with my friends in our free periods at school.
Granted, that was a slightly simpler time when smart phones were still a pretty big novelty, but I’m not joking when I say I would spend hours trying to decide which phone to get next - it was a decision that would last me two years, which again, as a 15 year old was a massive decision.
But spin forward 7 years, and here I am, phone contract on it’s last month, deciding whether to switch to an iPhone SE or hop up to an iPhone 8 (not X, I’m not made of money). I haven’t given any other brands so much as a thought. Now, that’s not because I’m a strong, passionate believer that Apple is the best brand in the world, but simply I never thought to consider another brand. I used to flit between brands like there was no tomorrow back in the day, yet here I am on my third iPhone looking to pick my fourth without so much as a thought to what I may or may not be missing out on in a non-Apple world.
Now admittedly back in 2011, despite being not even a decade ago, it really was a different time. As the smartphone was still in it’s early stages and face recognition was a mere myth about the future that circled the school corridors (for me, anyway), different phones had very different key features. If your priority was a great camera, as mine was, that would change your phone options to someone who’s priority was high storage. That meant it was less about brand loyalty, and instead picking a model that fitted your needs.
However, I have no idea when the transition happened from someone who absolutely loved finding the newest, greatest phone with no attachment to a brand - to someone who can’t imagine a life without an iPhone, for absolutely no rational reason other than familiarity. If I was in a scenario where I’d never had any issues whatsoever with an iPhone and had a ‘if its not broke don’t fix it’ mentality I could possibly understand it, but the reality is I could list off at least 10 thing I’d change about my iPhone right now. Maybe it is the case that yes, the iPhone has its issues but it’s still the best on the market, but then again maybe it isn’t. How would I know, I’ve not owned another brand since 2011.
I’m fairly confident that I’m not alone on this one, so why is it that we have this brand loyalty and where has it come from? There is a part of me that thinks it could be the 14 year-old inside of me that dreamt of owning an iPhone, having a phone that could use the internet, download apps, that I could link to my iTunes account and have as many songs and tv programmes that I wanted at my fingertips wherever I was, and that super responsive touch screen that was a million miles away from my Nokia 5800 touch screen that needed a stylus because you had to press so hard your fingers would ache (still a great phone, though). That 14-year-old girl just won’t let me ditch the iPhone, after all I spent my childhood using my iPod, I got an iPad for my 18th birthday, how could I leave Apple?
From the moment I opened that iPhone 4 box, I fell into some sort of iComa that has meant it’s impossible for me to leave the world of Apple. But maybe, just maybe, it might be time for me to branch out again.
I wanted to write this piece because it’s been playing on my mind recently, and I’m more than confident I’m not alone on this issue. It’s almost a plea for help, why is it that we’re scared to leave the iPhone behind? It’s not like it’s the only thing I’ve never known, I was previously very happy with an android, so what is it exactly that is holding me back?
If you’ve already taken the plunge, please do let me know how you found the transition. Have you switched from iPhone and hated it? Or was it the opposite? What about those of you that have never owned an iPhone before, would you ever convert to an iPhone?
Tweet me @Orchard_Abi with your recommendations, stories, and theories as to why we have this blind brand loyalty, I’d be genuinely fascinated to hear your thoughts.