Apple - an addiction

It started with us getting an Apple iPod shuffle by redeeming some credit card points.  I was impressed by the fact that a one square inch device could hold 2GB size worth of songs and could actually play it.  The concepts were amazing - you just had one interface - to be used both for earphone as well as for charging.  You had to charge it connecting it to a USB charger (or your computer).

That was a few years back.  I then got into an organisation where I could choose a Macbook Pro - an amazing computer that I fell in love with.  Then it was an iPad which I picked during a US visit - succumbing to the temptation to own a tablet.

iPhones were never popular in India - Apple had a deliberate strategy of not addressing India market.  That changed with the launch of iPhone 5.  Apple (post-Steve Jobs?) recognized the size, value, purchasing power and other features of the Indian market and launched a substantial marketing campaign.  And it bore results - I know of at least two non-Apple users, who did not have a need to change their cell phones - switch to iPhones.  As if that wasn't enough, both bought iPads.

I was happy with my Android phone and saw no reasons to shift.  Until the Apple ad came out, which offered to exchange my existing smart phone for at least Rs.7000/-  - the ad claimed - all they needed was a working phone and the charger.

By no stretch of imagination could my phone have fetched so much, if I chose to exchange/sell.  Smartphones are obsolete the day you buy and their longevity in your hands is mostly a matter of luck, as much as choice.  (By the way, I know of a friend - an experienced IT professional working on cutting edge technology, who uses a 10+ year old Nokia model and sees no reason to change).

Anyway, I took this phone to iStore (a Reliance Digital outlet) in Phoenix Market City.  The first question the salesman asked was - where is the box and all the accessories.  I showed him the relevant section of the ad (in the newspaper that he had in his shop).  He was unconvinced and said "conditions apply".  After a bit of negotiation, he said that he would at least need the earphone.  In retrospect, I feel I should have walked out of the shop, but in reality, I asked him to give me a price less the earphone.  He agreed to Rs.6,500/- and I walked out with an iPhone.  (By the way, I had misplaced the earphone and would not have given it to him anyway)

Yes, it is an iPhone 4 - two generations older than the latest one.  But what still prompted me to get it was, the hardware problems have been fixed over the period, and more importantly, it runs the latest version of iOS, which means it runs all the applications that runs on iPhone 5.   Of course, it doesn't hurt that it is less than half the price of iPhone5, after exchange.  An ex-colleague of mine recently had bought iPhone 4 as well (before the exchange offer) and he is quite tech-savvy (having developed a popular Android app).

I feel Samsung will face the heat from Apple in India - due to a combination of pricing strategy (like this), marketing and word of mouth.

End-note:  I miss one thing though - listening to Radio One FM as I drive to office.  Why, you ask me. iPhone does not have FM:(

I had stopped using iPod for a while. On impulse I decided to use it in my drive to office. It needed some charging, but imagine my pleasant surprise when it continued to work with the latest version of  iTunes?  Contrast this with the challenge I had with Kies and my android upgrade experience!