I always knew that I was going to buy an Apple product one of day. I had contemplated an iPhone 3Gs for a long while, but combined with the lack (yet) of a Social Security number to sign up for a contract with AT&T, I never fully acquired the required gut to bleed out up to $600 of precious Fulbright money to buy an ostentatious gadget, especially one that will be upgraded again possibly in the next six months. No way Mr. Jobs, not just yet. Mother will rebuke me besides. But when I look left and right, window shopping on Amazon and a few other gadget shops, choices abound for high-end smartphones worthy of my part-geek alter-ego. Problem is, those gadgets cost: Nokia N97, N900, Palm Pre, Apple iPhone 3Gs, Google MyTouch 3g, Samsung Omnia etc. Unless one of such phones could make coffee in addition to their functions, generate heat for me during winter, or teach me a new language, I aint buying. Yet.
And so my second choice was an iPod – something at least to listen to good music during long rides. I can’t always depend on my laptop computer while mobile and fully packed. But as I went into the University Bookshop yesterday with an intention to pick up an iPod nano which costs far less than its expensive siblings, I was called aside by the student staff of the Apple stand to be advised to wait for a little while more – maybe until December – before buying, and I might get a Nano with a camera for the same current price. Those familiar with Apple will recognize this as the most defining characteristics of that electronics giant: they offer a product first without its most needed, most complimentary accessory, and then after six months or a year, they suddenly wake up to offer it, sometimes for an extra cost, as a new product. It took them over four upgrades before the iPhone finally got a video camera, cut/paste feature and a zoom. Yet they’re supposed to be the geniuses of the market. It is probably going to take them ages to think of Bluetooth function for the iPods so that music sharing could be more easily done. Now the camera part of the coming iPod definitely makes me giddy, but December is too far away. The 2megapixels on my Nokia N70 never did measure up to the 10megapixels of my canon camera which was flagged off, and I don’t presume that the iPod camera will be any much better. Nevertheless, it’s a good addition if it won’t cost so much extra.
So yes, I am not going to buy an iPhone anytime soon. Or maybe I will. Who knows. For now, my mind is on the iPod, whether it be the Classic (120GB) or the Nano (16GB), camera or no camera and I am already prepared for the periodic fasting period that must necessarily attend any such spending. I’ve long given up on the possibility on making a good purchasing decision based on advertising jingles rather than product specification and user experience. There is always something better out there, and notwithstanding the choice I make, I will always have the moments when I look back and wonder, “What was I thinking!” It’s always tempting, to say the least, to want to have a product that meets your needs, and makes you feel good. It’s no wonder they call it the “Apple.” For me, the good news is that we are in Ramadan, and Reham my Egyptian colleague is a moslem. This fasting should be so much easier to bear.