the iPhone 5 cometh

it's a few hours until apple inc. announces the next iteration of the iPhone and i am, like all apple fanboys i would suppose, giddy with excitement. i've been an iPhone user since the first one came out in 2007. i purchased it from a good friend in september, more than four months ahead of its local release, and about 3 weeks after it was made available in the US. i remember vividly how i would get lusty stares from strangers when i needed to use it in public. i have to admit though that filipinos are less inclined to strike up conversations with strangers over a newfangled device because when i went to singapore in november of that year, merchants, salespeople, random pedestrians, and even a taxi driver quizzed me about the phone, one guy even said he would trade his nikon lens for it. one of the more bizarre comments i heard was this: "how come you got it in philippine and singapore don't have."

well, there was one encounter on the MRT, when a guy who was shabbily dressed in an office barong asked me: is that the iPhone? i said yes. he asked to hold it and asked questions about it while other passengers looked at us with curiosity. he was a foreigner, judging by his accent, and he said something like: i'll be in singapore next week maybe i can buy it there. to which i replied: oh i was just there last week and it isn't available there yet. if i had heard it in public, i would have rolled my eyes and said: what a pretentious prick! but anyway, my statement was factual. it isn't like i made it up.

3 years later, i also snatched the iPhone 4 within two weeks of its release in the UK. i contracted a friend to buy it for me. although i had to pay for shipping, including her train ride downtown (she lived and worked in a suburb in bristol where the device wasn't available at the time), it was well worth the almost two months advance i had on what was essentially a toy with a number of other uses. having been an iPhone user for 5 years now, i have been swallowed by the ecosystem that is the iOS. i've maybe spent well over a hundred dollars on applications, since my devices aren't jailbroken. oddly enough, my downloads are uncharacteristic of any specific pattern of consumption: i've invested in many reference apps, several utilities, some photography and design platforms, and only a handful of games.

i know that a lot of people diss iOS as having been outpaced by android, but most critiques of the iPhone environment is lost on me. i'm just so stubborn. either that or i'm too entrenched into the system that i could not imagine an online and mobile life without the iPhone and its applications. besides, all my personal computing gadgets are from apple. late last year, i tried to shift to a different phone because i felt that the allure of the iPhone had been diminished by its ubiquity. it was no longer unique. it was, well, common. so i bought a nokia N9, and although i couldn't really complain about its functionality (in fact, it had its bright spots), i couldn't leave the iPhone home because there were apps there that i needed. and i'm not the kind of guy who likes to bring around more than one phone. so after just two months, i switched back and the N9 is in a drawer at home deteriorating from non-use.

naysayers are obsessed with predicting the downfall of apple following the death of steve jobs. but i don't see that at all in the foreseeable future. yes, the patent wars are annoyingly counter-productive, i believe, and i think that the competition with samsung and other smartphone manufacturers only serves to benefit the consumer, but the end is not nigh for this company i have been loving since 2003. proof of this is the fact that no other single device is more anticipated nor talked about than the iPhone 5. and it hasn't come out yet. based on the rumors, i think many of them are on point, although i do have my doubts: a bigger screen will mean larger real estate for apps. will that mean that all apps have to be upgraded or would they be "stretched" to fill the screen? that would mean ugly pixels. also, i wonder how apple will spin this rumor about a new dock connector. i have three other toys using the old 30-pin connector (2 iPads and an iPod). this is a major shift for me and i would have to update cords and get adapters, otherwise i would render my mobile chargers and a host of other accessories obsolete. although the new 9-pin connector looks sleek and sexy based on the leaked photos, part of me is hoping this is just a rumor. i really don't find the present connector a hindrance.

so it is no question at all that regardless of how (non) revolutionary the iPhone 5 will be, in the same way that the first iPhone changed the world of smartphones, or how the iPhone 4 upped the ante: i will be getting one. already i am in touch with friends i hope would help me get my grubby hands on one as soon as it becomes available. besides, my present iPhone is already slightly malfunctioning (i dropped it on the asphalt last year). if anyone else thinks he or she can help me get the iPhone 5 sooner, let me know.