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So, how do you like them Apples?

September 22, 2013
By CRAIG HOWELL , Weirton Daily Times

Well, the new iPhones are out, and along with it a new operating system and new widgets and bells and whistles to make us all feel as if we've got the next great thing tucked into our pockets.

It both amazes and troubles me each year when I see the latest iPhone or other i-device released and I see reports on the long lines of people waiting to get their hands on it.

People have gotten into fights and hurt while trying to make sure they are able to get one on the first day.

It's a cell phone. There are lots of cell phones out there, and yet year after year we see this happening.

I don't own an iPhone. In fact, outside of my work computer, I don't know that I use a single product made by Apple.

I'm perfectly content with the phone and other gadgets I have. I don't necessarily hate Apple, I simply have had no desire to run out and buy every single gizmo they make.

The problem for me isn't about Apple as a company. It's not even about the quality of the products. I'm sure they are very nice and they do a lot.

I guess I'm just bothered by the whole cult of personality that has grown up around it.

Steve Jobs was a brilliant man, and will be remembered for years to come as such. He was especially a great salesman.

It was simple, but effective. He would have the company spend months developing new components, with very little getting out into the public. Then, when it was time, he would walk out onto a stage, wearing the trademark black turtleneck and jeans and calmly describe the latest device, all while getting the audience hyped up and convinced it would be the next great thing.

It didn't matter if there were only two or three new features put onto an older style device. It was going to be great!

It has gotten to the point now, I truly believe Apple could put an "i" in front of just about anything and it would make them millions.

How about a new iWaffle Iron, or an iRock? Will we still see crowds lined up for two or three days just to get into a store to buy it? Probably.

This time around, of course, they released the new operating system and two new models of phones. Plus, they actually gave you a choice of colors. I've still heard of people who have gotten stuck with the basic color scheme though, because the store they went to didn't have the other options for a particular service provider.

Android and Windows, on the other hand, offer their operating systems on a variety of phones. You don't have to stick with a particular company or model.

Plus, there's no fingerprint scanner.

I've had my current phone (which has an Android OS) for about three years now. It takes care of what I need it to, and while I have an option to get something new periodically, I don't have to. I'll probably keep it for as long as it continues to work.

Again, it's just a phone.

Yes, being able to browse the Internet, check your e-mail or get directions from a hand-held device is nice, but it's not going to be the end of the world if we don't turn in our iPhone 5 for a iPhone 5s.

But they have you convinced it will be.

Apple does make a good product, even if you do have to constantly update those products in order to use them more than a couple of years.

We don't have to waste away hours, if not days, of our lives just to get the latest and greatest.

This is one of those scenarios where, perhaps, online shopping is actually better. Put yourself on a waiting list. That way, if you absolutely have to have the new device in a particular color, you are guaranteed to get it. You might have to wait a little bit longer, but you'll still get it.

Even if you have to wait a month or two, the phones will still be there. It will be OK.

There are bigger things going on in this world than whether we have the latest Apple gizmo in our hands.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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