I happen to think that Apple will be a technological innovator for years to come, and the excitement that Samsung is now generating is largely the result of a tech press corps that craves a storyline less mundane than "both companies compete." But still, an email Apple sent to its iPhone 5 customers makes me think that the round of bad press is getting to the company's executives, too. The email basically tells me, as an iPhone owner, that I love the product, and it reminds me why I apparently love the product. You know, just in case I happened to catch all the nifty gimmicks that Samsung's Galaxy 4 will carry. So here is why Apple says I love its iPhone:
First, it says that "iPhone has received eight straight J.D Power and Associates awards for customer satisfaction." Translation: I should feel guilty if I am not a satisfied customer, because some entity I've seen in car commercials says I should be.
Second, the iPhone is "made with a level of precision you'd expect from a finely crafted watch, not a smartphone." Maybe this is a hint about the rumored iWatch, but I'd actually be fine with a finely crafted smartphone, and I don't own any finely crafted watches. They're cheap and plastic. The implication here is that Samsung's products feel and look cheaper, while Apple's look and feel more expensive. Fair enough. The Galaxy phones don't look like Rolexes.
"Only iPhone has Retina display." I really don't think I have ever had a moment where I stopped to marvel at the crispness of a certain feature on my iPhone. The concept is neat, but it's fluff. The resolution on Samsung, HTC and other phones offer a comparable experience. Apple says that having seen images using the Retina display, I won't be satisfied with anything less. I actually think I would be OK.
Then Apple brags about its battery. Apparently, the battery can "easily make it through the day." Not my day! And then there's this: "But it's extraordinary that we fit such a powerful battery into such a thin and light iPhone design." I think Apple needs to tell that to its battery folks, and not its customers. We're selfish. We want more battery than Apple's app-operating system-display matrix will give us, so I don't blame the device per se for not meeting my daily needs. Eventually battery technology will improve, and no phone will have to boast that it can last a day without a charge. Thing is, most Samsung batteries are removable and on most of its most recent phones, the batteries last longer. I'd rather have a bigger phone if that's the cost. Apple wants sleekness. I want performance. Anyway, Apple apparently thinks I should be grateful.
The it brags about its camera, its processor, Siri, and the operating system.
So apparently, according to Apple, I should love my phone and not even think about switching to the other guy. But the thing is: As great as the iPhone is, maybe I don't love is as much as I'm told to.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- Grammar quiz: Do you know the passive voice?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
Subscribe to the Week