Monday, July 14, 2008

The $2000 iPhone is Stupid

The iPhone just launched in Japan, much to the delight of hip young Japanese people everywhere. These same people are apparently tired of setting 10,000 yen notes on fire, and have broken their toilets by flushing money down them, so now they are flocking to Softbank outlets by the dozen to snatch up the latest overpriced American fad.

America and Japan are so in love with one another that sometimes I wish they’d just get a fucking room, rent a tentacle porn tape, and just get it over with. Seeing retards in America paying 6 dollars for a box of Pocky like it gives them some unique insight to life in Japan is right up there with seeing Japanese couples with 4 children at the cel phone kiosk in the mall deciding they need to spend $2000 on some piece of shit mp3 player that can take a voicemail because “APPURU WA COORU DESU NE?! \\(^ u ^)//”

Two thousand dollars? Isn’t that a bit overpriced? The unit itself goes for 25,000 yen, but lawd have mercy if you think you’re just walking away with that bad boy in your sweaty little hand. You have to sign a two year contract with the full iPhone Rape Your Wallet Internet service, regardless if you want it or not.

Take me as an example. I actually went to Softbank yesterday, just to see what the drill is. I already have a Softbank service plan, and have been with them since the first week I arrived in Japan about 4 years ago. I’m currently on a plan called “the White Plan” which amounts to about 980 yen a month. Calls to my wife and her family are free, and my entire cel phone usage pretty much amounts to me telling my wife “I’m going to the electronics section of the store; call me when you’re done looking at bras or whatever”. I NEVER use the internet function of my phone, have never downloaded an MP3 to it, and will never buy the mobile version of Dragon Quest 57 to play on my commute. I had foolishly imagined that I could just trade my phone for an iPhone, and continue using it that way I use my other phone, except that it would also work as a radio for my car.

Ha Ha! No.

The fact that internet capability is built into the iPhone is toted as some amazing advance in cel phone technology, nevermind that the first mobile phone to enable internet connectivity and wireless email, the Nokia Communicator, was released in 1996. Oops! Where there has always been “the stupid plan” that you can get with your phone that allows you to surf the internet like a madman using your 12x18 cel phone screen all day long, I never really found it to be very useful. Situations are concocted at keynote speeches where Steve Jobs is like “and then the 7 of you are totally plastered in your mom’s hummer, when Wendy has the insanely great idea to get sushi! Just pop open your cel phone, connect to the internet, type the search term into your MobileMe account access page, load your GPS coordinates, let google maps load, zoom in, find a sushi place that’s open at 4am on Tuesday evening in South Central Los Angeles that accepts food stamps and BINGO!” The iPhone eliminates one step from the above equation: connecting to the internet (it's always connected omg). It's also easier to type on an iPhone than a regular celphone, but does that make it worth it? I mean, nevermind the fact that by actually … oh I don’t know… LIVING in your area, you might learn where stores and shops are located. Assuming I am even in a new town, is it really that hard to find a place to eat using the eyeballs on your face that are directly attached to your brain?

The new all-you-can-eat internet contract (that won’t play WoW or download episodes of Lost, and that you pay in addition to your regular internet access at your house) amounts to 5990 yen per month, plus 595 yen “accident coverage” (insurance for the phone, non-optional), plus another 315 yen per month for… something. Multiply that number by 24 months, and add the cost of the phone itself. In the end it comes out to about 1906 dollars US. And then you’re stuck with an iPhone for 2 years. Call me crazy, but taking Apple as an example unto itself… do you think they’re going to stop here? Assuming you were foolish enough to buy the current generation of iPhone (already “generation 2”), do you think it’s built in battery would last two full years? Do you imagine cel phone technology won’t progress at all in two years time? Do you really want to PAY for firmware updates from Apple, ON TOP of the retarded amount of money you’re already paying to be trapped in a time bubble of cel phone technology?

I guess you could take solace in the fact that at least you’ll have the respect of the company you’re supporting, though, and that’s worth … oh… wait…

I think the previous version that cost Fred from Marketing his job summed it up a bit better…

The chumps stuck with the “Twice as Slow, Twice as Expensive” version are ridiculed by the rest of the community, labeled as “iPhone Classic” users. It’s short for “Classic Example Of Chumps Who Locked Themselves Into Ridiculously Long And Expensive Contracts In A Field Of Technology That Changes Drastically Over Short Periods Of Time”.

God damn it, I swear I just hate everything.

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