There is a new iPhone in this world. It is called the iPhone 5. For those who don’t care about smartphones, because they have real problems like jobs, babies and Tata Sky connections, “iPhone” stands for the phone Apple makes, and “5” stands for the number of rupees more you will pay per litre of diesel starting this week.
Apple says, in typical hyperbolic fashion, that the 5 is “the best thing to have happened to iPhone since iPhone”, or as which sounds like Deepak Chopra’s version of “Mujhpe ek ehsaan karna ke mujhpe koi ehsaan na karna”. The iPhone 5 comes with an 8 megapixel camera, so now all those photographs of food and kittens people put on the internet will look more food-y and more kitten-y. It also has an A6 chip, which is faster than the A5 chip, which means you can now waste time quicker. It is also 18 per cent thinner, 20 per cent lighter, and features 600 per cent more smugness-value than the previous iPhone.
The traditional protocol followed during the launch of a new iPhone is this; First Apple launches the iPhone. Then everybody who loves Android says it’s rubbish. Then everybody who loves Apple responds by saying that the Android fans are liars and Chelsea fans, and that the iPhone is the best phone in the world. In fact, it is the fourth-best thing ever in the world, after Sachin Tendulkar, the wheel, and those yummy cut-up vegetables you get before your meal at Chinese restaurants. Then Monty from Lokhandwala buys one on the grey market (also known as “Atif bhai”) for 90 lakh rupees and goes around telling everyone he has “voh latest Apple ka phone, jisme latest Android Bandroid sab hai.”
That is standard protocol. But that didn’t happen this time out. The reaction to the 5 (the phone, not the diesel-hike) was a bit underwhelming. The general tone is that Apple hasn’t changed enough, or that it isn’t a significant upgrade. Which leads to the question; what exactly was it that people were expecting? What magnificent leap forward were people expecting from a phone that already does pretty much everything a phone can do, and fast, at that? I’m sorry you’re disappointed but “Yeah but it can’t iron my shirts, perform a hysterectomy or for me” isn’t an argument.
When things hit a point in their evolutionary cycle where they’re already performing 99 per cent of their functions at peak-capacity, the best you can hope for is an improvement of tiny proportions. When Katrina Kaif’s learnt three words of Hindi, the best you can hope for is that one day maybe she’ll learn a fourth. Otherwise, she’s already gotten as good as she’s ever going to get. Which is not to suggest that Katrina Kaif and the iPhone have anything in common. The iPhone, for example, has more emotions.
The iPhone is also the latest salvo in the most pointless war since the Deccan Chargers played the Pune Warriors in the last IPL; the iOS versus Android war. It is a war in which people who like Google’s operating system fight with people who like Apple’s. The weapon of choice in this battle is usually a well-timed internet comment that says “UR PHONE SUX” followed by six hours of weeping at your utter lack of sex-life. Why the two sides hate each other is beyond me. Would you stab a Heinz ketchup user in the face just because you use Kisan? No, of course you wouldn’t. If you were smart, you’d sue them for “selling another product that has the same redness and viscosity as our product, which clearly infringes our Redness Patent so we’d like to block anyone from selling anything else that is red. Yes blood-banks, that includes you.”
So bottom-line, if you want an iPhone 5, buy one. If you want a Samsung Galaxy SIII, buy one. If you want a Nokie Lumia 920, buy one after you’re done coding the virtual girlfriend you’re probably designing. Me? I’m going to wait for the iPhone 6. I can’t afford the 5, I have to buy diesel this week.
Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on www.facebook.com/therohanjoshi