Apples and Blackberries: fruits or firms?

Can you remember a time when you were not locked in a maze of mobile switching costs and network contracts, when an apple was merely an 11am snack? After having my 8th iPhone abruptly snatched from my zipped bumbag in the depths of Kuta (Bali) last week by 5 local middle aged woman, I have come to the realisation that I am stuck in the Apple labyrinth. I have been here for quite a while now, and I cannot find my way out.

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Level 1 was my first iPhone 3. I fell down the rabbit hole at school when I ditched my beloved Blackberry and bbm, and I entered the game. At this early stage the gates were still open, and there was an opportunity to flee and jump over Samsungs wall. Level 2 was my iPod classic, followed by iPod nano, followed by iPod touch. Planned obsolescence got me time and time again. Level 3 was getting the iPhone 4, followed by the iPhone 5. This level was repeated several times thanks to the highly skilled Barcelona pickpockets. Level 4 is when I entered the point of no return in this Apple maze, and I bought the Mac. The Apple chip was swiftly inserted in my brain. This level meant that all of my previous purchases were locked, saved and stored in the huge dark iCloud above the maze and the firm knew everything about Megan Armour. Level 5 was the family iPad. At this point you cannot even jump high enough over the hedges to wave at Blackberry and Nokia, the iCloud is too thick. And as I bought my 8th iPhone this week, I realised, I do not think I will ever get to be a sweet blackberry again. Luckily I have not reached the centre of the labyrinth, as my wrist does not have an iWatch on it.

To backtrack slightly, I was in Bali two weeks ago when the usual iPhone incident occurred. I sometimes feel in life that I have a magnet in my iPhone that attracts thieves, muggers, and young children to me. After the saga of Spain, I really thought I was going to return home from Asia with my yellow iPhone c this time, but of course, I was wrong.

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To set the scene, myself, Charlie, Aubrey and Tanja were walking back from the Skygarden, along the main strip of Kuta. I can only describe this environment as an Australians version of Magaluf, filled with the infamous “Bogans,” which are Australia’s version of a ned (if you’re Scottish) or a chav (if you’re English). They are dangerously intoxicated, wear terrible vests, and are on the island “to slay chicks.” As we wandered home, dodging bogans and picking up spring rolls, we encountered the iPhone magnet gang. It was almost as if they knew I was susceptible to iPhone theft, and within seconds they were all over me. Children at the front, woman at the sides and backs, massaging me, offering me bracelets and garms. Hands on my shoulders, I screamed for help, but it was a little to late, goodbye iPhone 5c Yellow, you did me well.

Despite being temporarily devastated, the 6 girls that I was travelling with were also deeply locked and lost in the Apple maze. They had iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches to spare. I was unable to snapchat, which for those of you who know me was quite worrying, but I was able to fulfil all of my other daily mobile needs. It became clear to me, that we actually all had Apple microchips on our trip.

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So on return from Bali this week I decided to venture to the centre of the maze, the holy Apple Shop. I was set on buying the latest iPhone 6s (after becoming accustomed to Tanja’s), the golden shrine of advanced displays and seamless technology. However when it came to paying, I had second thoughts. Is £539 justifiable for a machine that sends texts, emails, calls, and takes slightly better photos than the last one? With £539 I could actually book return flights to Bangkok from Edinburgh, I could buy a pedigree dog, I could even pay 75% of next months rent in London. Were the opportunity costs better than a puppy? No.

I took a step back, I did not progress to Level 6, I stayed firmly and comfortably in Level 5, and I am now the proud owner of a sun set pink second hand iPhone 5c. Lets hope the thief magnet in this one is weaker.

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