Almost two years ago I was in Chicago exhibiting at NCTE with Gene. Our booth was near the back wall, and I sat down one day to eat lunch. Twenty minutes later I was back at the booth and realized my iPhone wasn’t in my pocket. I looked over and saw it sitting on the floor where I had eaten lunch. I picked it up and… it was dead. At first I thought it was just discharged, so I plugged it in. No dice.
Finally I realized the bitter truth - right next to where I had lunch was a set of double doors leading to a storage room. Several times a day the doors would open and a forklift would bring a palette of supplies to a booth. This had happened after lunch. My iPhone had been run over.
I had mixed feelings about this. I bought the original iPhone at its original price, then upgraded to the 3gs, which improved the speed, camera, and bandwidth to make it worthwhile. By the time the forklift incident happened the 4s had just been announced, and I had just completed spending way too much time deciding that I could wait for one more year to upgrade my phone. And I was happy with the strength of character this demonstrated. I am not a puppet, to be manipulated with every Apple announcement! I have will power! I can resist!
Now I essentially had no choice, since I’m on the road so much that going without a phone (or downgrading to my original iPhone) was not really an option. So I took a bus to the nearest Apple store and got a 4s, weirdly disappointed to be upgrading. I was so resentful at this turn of events that I resolved to spend as little money as possible. Of course I could have gotten a new 3gs or 4, but that seemed silly. So I bought the cheapest 4s, the 16gb version.
This was a mistake.
I use my phone a lot. I use a lot of apps, and take a lot of pictures and video. The new camera meant that said pictures and video took up a lot more space. And this was a time when a lot of big iPad apps (like Pages and Garage Band) were coming to the phone, and they filled it up fast. Almost immediately I found myself having to make difficult choices about which apps to install, which music to have, and having to continually upload my photos onto my laptop. If time is money I have spent the money I saved many times over. Hardly a week has gone by when I haven’t kicked myself for this decision. I even tweeted “My greatest regret is getting only 16gb on my iPhone”, and only half in jest. NEVER AGAIN.
So last week I watched the iPhone announcement and tried to decide whether to upgrade. I had lusted after the 5, but my contract wasn’t up for renewal. This was my opportunity. And despite all the cool new features, the #1 attraction was the opportunity to upgrade the storage. Once again I had convinced myself that I had the moral fiber to wait another year. As recently as yesterday afternoon I had decided I could live with my 4s for another year. I had installed iOS7 a few days earlier, and it was like getting a brand new phone!
Then I spent an hour going back and forth between Safari and another app. Each time I switched, everything reloaded. And I realized iOS 7’s dirty secret - it is a huge memory hog. Ugh. Some apps are quite graceful about reloading, but most are not, and the idea of spending a year waiting for every app to reload on switch, combined with the storage problem I already had, made my choice clear.
So I stayed up until midnight last night and was one of the first to order the 64GB Space Gray iPhone 5s, “the most futureproof iPhone ever”. If they had a 128GB model I might seriously have considered it.
Let’s see if this one will last 3 years.
And oh crap, the new iPads are coming out next month.