I remember when the first iPhone came out. Having used a Blackberry for work for years, my first thought was, “But what about the buttons?” My next phone after the iPhone and its competitive imitations came out was a slide phone – because it had a touch screen option but you could slide it open and still use buttons to type. I was once shamed by some ad agency guy on a TV shoot I was on when I was using it. He said, “My daughter has that phone. She’s 13.” Fair enough.
When that phone died, I sucked it up and got my first smart phone. Sometimes I like to be contrary for no good reason. Even though the majority of the free world has either an iPhone or Android, I decided I wanted a Windows phone. I’ve used Microsoft programs for the better part of my computer-using years, and arguably, most days of my life. Where would I be without Word or Power Point? Also, I have defiantly kept using the same Hotmail account since 1998 (it’s fine, and I hate having to update my email address everywhere). So I thought a Windows Phone would be great and work well with everything else in my life, the same way Mac users like their iPhones and iPads. And it sort of worked. I had a Samsung Focus and it’s been fine.
The biggest problem with the phone isn’t anything with the phone itself, but rather with the apps available for it. Or lack thereof. Most publishers do not make apps available for a Windows platform. Last summer, at a work event, I was talking with one of my clients and our video game publisher. We were talking mobile games and how the publisher was making the game for our next movie for only iOS and Android. As an aside sort of musing, I said to my partner, “I wonder what the Windows market share is if these companies don’t even bother making apps for the platform?” Completely deadpan, he said, “My son has a Windows phone. Here’s how I look at it: Apple is two-thirds, Android is one-third, and Windows is you and my son.” Fair enough.
I’ve been made fun a fair amount of time over the years for my phone. The most recent was on a trip to Indianapolis. On the plane I sat next to a guy who was the spitting image for Danny McBride/Kenny Powers, except that he was completely bald. Our section of the plane was filled with many of his colleagues, who were on their way home from some sort of conference. I had my phone out, and he said something about my “crappy” Windows phone and not having any apps. I told him that I had solitaire, which made everyone laugh even though I was serious. Never one to cave into peer pressure, I ignored them. I was, however, frustrated with my phone multiple times on that trip, especially when I realized that the Facebook app posts, as a default, any status update or photo so that only I can see it. If I want to make it available to my friends, I have to change it manually on a computer – I’m not able to do it from the phone. This essentially defeats the entire purpose of social media.
I’ve been eligible for an upgrade since August. I had been planning to get the Nokia Lumia when things changed drastically. My nephews back in Boston have iPod Touch’s. My boyfriend has an iPhone (and all Mac software, really). My nephews have been talking to him over Face Time while I am at work. Since I love those kids more than life and never get to talk to them as much as I would like, this was pretty much the straw. I will get an iPhone if for no other reason than to have easier access to my sister’s kids (they will be so sick of me).
I saw this story yesterday on the Daily Mail. Jessica Alba had an endorsement deal with Microsoft to promote the new phones. Apparently, her contract ended, she chucked her Windows phone in the bin, and immediately went out and got an iPhone. I hate to admit that I am about to do the same (without the million dollar endorsement, unfortunately). My phone up and died the other night and won’t even turn on. I’m waiting until next Friday and will go and get my first iPhone, the 5S. I’m still a believer in Microsoft and Windows products. I was actually excited for Windows 8 even though I had no intention of getting a new computer. I thought the Surface looked really cool. But, unfortunately, if the platform never catches on, it will just end up going away entirely. It is technological Darwin, and no one is surprised that Apple has emerged as the clear front-runner.
I’m sorry, Microsoft. I really tried. I have been swayed by the promise of Facebook apps that work, games beyond solitaire, and screen time with my nephews. Maybe when Windows 10 comes out things will be different, but for now, I am defecting to team iPhone.