I thought about climbing to the top of Crowders Mountain and “accidentally” dropping my still-shiny Apple iPhone 6S over the side of a tall, rocky cliff.
Or “inadvertently” backing over it with my Volkswagen. Twice.
At least then I’d have a legitimate reason to drop (at minimum) $649 for one of the new iPhone 7s that were announced earlier this week, and that went on sale in the early hours of Friday morning.
And I want one. I really want one – the gadget itself, to some degree, but much more so the legitimate reason for buying it in the first place.
Because that’s what I do. Without fail, the night before every new iPhone has gone on sale, I’ve set my soon-to-be-old iPhone to wake me up at 3 a.m. (Apple’s ritual for the past four years has been to start taking online pre-orders at 12:01 a.m. Pacific time on a mid-September Friday) so I can stake claim to being first on the block to have one.
In all, I’ve now owned nine iPhones. I’ve spent more money on these sleek-looking slabs of steel and glass than I’ve spent on my overall health and well-being.
I am, to be sure, Apple’s favorite kind of customer: The Serial Upgrader. If an iPhone were an alcohol, I’d have developed cirrhosis and be dead by now.
But for once, I’m not so sure about all this. I mean, the differences between my iPhone 6S and the new iPhone 7 are about as significant as the differences between a glass of ice water and a glass of ice water with a slice of lemon.
The battery life is a little better (although all it needs to do is get me through the day and I’m happy); the processor is a little faster (although I haven’t found myself once complaining about any pokiness with the 6S); the screen is a little brighter (although if you’re in sunlight that direct, you should be enjoying the great outdoors and not your co-worker’s Snapchat story); and the handset is a little lighter (although if you can tell the difference between 143 grams and 138 grams, you should change your name to Rain Man and book a cross-country road trip with Tom Cruise).
On their own merits, those would be fine reasons to upgrade if you were moving from the much slower, much dimmer, much heavier, much weaker-batteried iPhone 4 (or 4S) or iPhone 5 (or 5S). But people considering moving up from a 6 or 6S almost certainly are in need of a firmer push.
So Apple’s would-be game-changing features are... what? A revamped home button that you can’t physically press, and is reportedly as awkward in practice as it sounds on paper? A “better” camera that still will pale in comparison to even the cheapest and lousiest DSLR? Two speakers instead of one, so you can use your phone to crank the tunes at your next house party?
I kind of like the water resistance, although I also kind of feel like if you are regularly putting yourself in positions where your phone could potentially fall into the toilet bowl, you’re doing it wrong.
Of course, the most-buzzed-about part of the iPhone 7 is actually a part that’s missing: the headphone jack. Anyone who buys the new phone can use wired headphones with an included adapter that plugs into the Lightning connector port (previously used solely for charging). Or, they can pay $159 for Apple’s first pair of truly wireless earbuds.
They’re called AirPods by Apple, but they’re called ByePods by me. As in “Bye, bye, $159!”
Yup, I predict you’ll have to kiss these puppies goodbye at some point. I mean, they’re basically the earbuds you’re used to, minus the wires, plus inch-long posts (making them aesthetically weird); and since they aren’t stabilized in any meaningful way, they seem liable to fall out when you’re doing something like running, or dancing, or mowing the lawn, or getting bumped into on the light rail, or any number of other things you might want to do while using earbuds.
And obviously, when you take them out of your ears and set them down, they’re not bound together in any way – therefore, expect “Honey, have you seen my other AirPod?” to be the catchphrase of the winter.
Anyway, like I said, this has all been very stressful for me. I wasn’t crazy about waking up at 3 a.m. Friday to fumble around with my laptop to order the iPhone 7.
But I did it.
Because unfortunately, the iPhone 6S isn’t water-resistant, and oops – I had a little “accident” with it involving the toilet on Thursday night ...