To all the people out there who don’t own the latest iPhone (feels like I’m the only one though), have you noticed how big they are? They’re freaking huge!
I remember when my family first joined the mobile phone revolution, with a tiny silver Motorola in 2002. It was a huge excitement – finally, we could call people when we were outside, without having to read hooker numbers and their accompanying messages in phone booths! It was small, easy to use, slick, shiny, amazing. It seemed that the mobile phone had a bright future ahead. But it held a dark harbinger of things to come – Snake.
Now, make no mistake, Snake is one of the finest games ever made, and to some degree, whoever invented it deserves praise. But what’s it doing on a phone? Does it help you make calls in any way? And this is where things, I believe, went wrong. You see, mobile phones could have gone in two different directions. They could either have gotten smaller, and simpler to use, like all other electronics, or they could have crammed extra random things that aren’t related to its original function. So which side did we end up at?
Well, the iPhone 6 Plus is 15 centimetres long and almost 8 centimetres wide. Just think about that. Eight centimetres wide. Forget how amazingly thin it is or whatever, does that even fit in your pockets? I’ll save you the hassle of finding out – of all my pants, only one of them manages this feat. It’s so wide, you can’t operate the thing properly without two hands; it’s actually wider than my thumb is long. It apparently has a real 1080p screen, some amazing digital camera or something, and lots of other stuff, but is that worth forcing you to use two hands to operate something which is meant to be convenient? I’m not sure.
What saddens me (yes I do think ‘saddens’ is appropriate in this situation) is that the march of the mobile phone wasn’t always going in this obviously wrong direction. Phones were actually getting smaller; the model before my dad’s phone was slightly larger and chunkier. One advancement which I particularly liked was the flip-phone. This was great; you could drop them and only feel bad as opposed to actually dealing with a cracked screen for the rest of your living existence. Plus there was always that very slight feeling of swag when you hung up by snapping the lid shut. Most importantly, they kept phone sizes small, as the screen could be folded over. It was all going so well! So why did we leave this direction?
Well, the aforementioned iPhone came around in its first iteration, that’s what happened. Here was the definition of a phone crammed with extras. Of course, Apple fans flocked to this new computer-in-a-phone, as they do towards every new nonsensical Apple item. On seeing this, other companies apparently implemented a policy of applying the saying ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ to this stupidly over-crammed phone instead of the older and less exciting method of ‘logical thought’, and as a result, phones turned into ‘smartphones’ and got bigger screens, more ‘functionality’, more ‘apps’, and grew big, like the iPhone. Let’s be honest here. The Samsung Galaxy is a perfect case study into how much a company can ‘join them’ – it looks, frankly, the same as an iPhone, and its purpose is to be ‘as good as an iPhone’. Meanwhile, Apple execs are laughing their heads off at this whole debacle; their loyal customers would never change companies anyway. They even made a spin-off of their phone, the iPad, which as far as I can tell, doesn’t even have a useful primary function. I bet they did it just to see if they could also make tablets a thing and convince customers that not having a physical keyboard was somehow a good idea. Apple are actually the biggest trolls in the electronics world.
The iPhone and the stupid Android companies that followed in its mudprints made us normal people have to deal with phones that have infuriating touch-screen keyboards, a huge screen no one wants and cracks at the slightest shock, and batteries that barely last a day. Even worse, it’s taught us to choose phones with bigger screens and more processing power (with associated power consumption), even though that’s objectively worse.
Basically, the iPhone came and ruined everything.
I want my Motorola V3 back.
Update: I bought an iPhone in March 2015.