Happy Belated Birthday, iPhone

“Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.” ~Steve Jobs

I neglected to mark the day on June 29, the seventh anniversary of the original iPhone’s launch. I didn’t own or use an iPhone 2008 (iPhone 3G), but my computing life sure has changed due to the iPhone.

The Unboxing

I’ve had a Space Gray iPhone 5s since mid-November, 2013. I have put off getting any kind of case, wanting to see how if fares naked under normal use. I did apply a screen protector film on the face (since it came at a discount from Best Buy when I purchased the phone), but that’s the only protection it’s had—up to this point.

Yesterday, I put my iPhone in one of Apple’s leather cases. I wanted the (PRODUCT) RED™ case—because I like the color red and I like that a portion of the purchase price is donated to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa—but our local Best Buy only carried the black and brown ones. (Aside: there are a number of reasons I chose to purchase from Best Buy instead of directly from Apple or some other retailer, but I won’t bore you with that story.) So I ordered one for in-store pickup early last week and it came in—and I picked it up—yesterday on my way home.

As I sat down to take it out and put it on my iPhone while waiting for the Papa Murphy’s pizza to bake, I decided to be a little silly and take unboxing photos to share with all my loyal fans (I say with tongue firmly planted in cheek). So here you go world, my Apple (PRODUCT) RED™ leather iPhone 5s case unboxing and installation. Enjoy…

Remove Bust Buy Label

1. First I removed the ugly shipping label that Best Buy applied to get it to our local store.

New Case in Box

2. The front of the now pristine package.

Back of Box

3. The back side of the package.

Opening and Leather Notice

4. The rack hanger is built into the top opening of the package. To open it, a plastic strip needs to be ripped off (indicated by the arrow in the orange dot). The text below reads, “This case is made from natural aniline leather. It’s appearance will change as you use it.”

Top Open

5. After ripping off the plastic strip, the top opens easily.

Slide Out the Goods

6. Once opened, the case and cardboard backing easily slide out of the plastic package.

Take Case Off Backing

7. The leather iPhone case just pops off the cardboard backing. After which, the phone easily popped into the leather case.

Phone in Case Front

8. The front of my iPhone 5s, now in the red leather case.

Phone in Case Back

9. The back of the case protecting my iPhone 5s. Such a pretty red.

 

Two-fer: Verizon sticks it to rival carriers in the US

Two-fer: Verizon sticks it to rival carriers in the US

The offer underscores the competitive nature of the U.S. mobile market, where Verizon faces intense competition from rival AT&T, as well as stepped-up price wars prompted by T-Mobile. Yankee Group estimates AT&T and Verizon are neck-and-neck when it comes to share of domestic mobile phone lines, at roughly 33 percent each.

Two crappy customer experiences for the price of one is good business. Anything is better than paying the higher subsidies to Apple—customer be damned!

iOS 7

I installed Apple’s mobile operating system on my almost three-year-old iPhone 4 yesterday afternoon. I had initially thought I wouldn’t bother, thinking the aging A4 wouldn’t quite be up to the task of keeping the user experience as snappy as iOS 6. I have been pleasantly surprised so far.

After reading reports of some laggy-ness and overall slower responsiveness I figured I could wait until November when I will upgrade to the iPhone 5S. But after a couple of clients called with upgrade questions and seeing iOS 7 in action on a friend’s iPhone 4, I decided I would give it a go.

So far I have not really noticed that much of a performance hit. The animated transitions may be slower than they would be on newer hardware, but I don’t have anything to compare them with so they seem fine to me. They are smooth and the entire interface experience seems to flow easily. There is no jerky-ness that I have noticed so it seems Apple has done a good job of accounting for older hardware in their coding.

The only jankyness that I’ve noticed has been within certain apps. For example, the Facebook app is doggy-slow and crashes often. This was the case before iOS 7, so I doubt the problem is with Apple’s upgrade.

All-in-all, a good experience so far. It’s sort of like having a new phone. I look forward to actually getting the latest hardware and seeing this OS upgrade really shine.

The Dark Side

If you are looking at buying Google because of the Android OS, don’t waste your time. Google is a great company, and the plethora of Android devices only serves to extend their lead when it comes to services like Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, and Google Maps. However, the company can’t police the use of Android in the way that Apple can control the iOS system. If you are looking at buying Amazon, do it because of their huge competitive advantage of low prices, fast shipping, Amazon Prime, and more. However, if you are looking for a great device company, look at Apple. The company has tight control over its hardware and software offerings, and the difference in quality apps on iOS versus Android is stark.

Chad Henage, writing for The Motley Fool shares his thoughts about switching from an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 — and back — in a piece entitled, My Journey to the “Dark Side”.