Make up your mind, Apple! A complaint 12 years in the making

Make up your mind, Apple! A complaint 12 years in the making

Summary: Is the iGeneration rebelling against Apple or is such a rant an isolated opinion? Find out how one member of the iGeneration reacts to Apple's ever-changing product design mill.

TOPICS: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad

Yesterday, my daughter who just turned twelve before entering the 7th grade this year, sat down next to me while I was enjoying an episode of Supernatural with my number two son. I looked at her and said, "What's up girl?" And before I tell you what came next, let me say that you know, in every group there's always this person who you avoid asking him how he is doing today? Well, asking her to tell me "what's up" was enlightening and kind of funny. It's funny because, she, unprompted by anything* except gadget news about the new iPhones, came to me with the following rant, which I asked her to put into writing so that I could use it here.

On a sheet of college-ruled notebook paper, which she titled, "Make up your mind, Apple!", is the verbatim rant from a seriously annoyed twelve year old.

"This 'generation of the iPhone' is making people want new i-whatever ASAP! It all started with the iPod but what the point? It can't message or call your friends. So, they made the iPhone. A smaller, portable, easier to use cell phone and laptop with games! 

But we couldn't stop there. The iPhone4 was new and improved! Now with straight edges instead of the rounded edges of the previous iPhones. Still wanting to be the latest and greatest, Apple made the bigger iPhone 5 because bigger's better...right? Hold on, I thought that the point of iPhones were that they were smaller!

Now people still want more so they decide to fall back into a great product everyone loves: plastic. But hey it adds color so, so what? Oh but that's not all, the iPhone 5C (or whatever) has different EVERYTHING now with iOS 7 you have to learn how to use your phone all over again!

Wait there's more. They went back to round edges!

And the wallpaper is the same color as everything as your phone! You can see it all the time because everything is slightly translucent. And the new cases fit perfectly on them. Hey who needs convenience when you have Apple. All I'm saying is, MAKE UP YOUR MIND APPLE!"

Yes, that's my daughter as you can tell.

First, she's talking about the old iPods that we bought for all three kids, which were little colorful square things with a clip on the back. They had no screen. These days, and she knows this, iPods use iMessaging, includes FaceTime, and you can make Skype calls on it. 

Her main point—and she's heard some of my problem with the ever-changing design issues—is that, once Apple finds a form factor that works, shouldn't it stick with it? 

Apparently she and I agree on this.

I was more than mildly irritated that none of my peripherals that I purchased for my iPhone 4 would work with my iPhone 5. I'm still considering trading it with my number two son who got my iPhone 4. I just have too much invested in peripherals to give it up. 

Rounded edges, straight edges, rounded edges again, size changes, connector changes—this whole planned obsolescence thing really bugs me. And it also bugs my daughter. I never knew to what degree.

But she's right.

My oldest son who sports a Windows laptop, Microsoft Surface, and iPhone 4S, will probably opt for a Windows phone or an Android-based one next time. He's not a big Apple fan.

My middle son rarely uses the iPad 1 that I gave him when I got my new iPad 4. He does use the iPhone 4 (my old one) that replaced his much broken iPhone 3GS. I don't think he cares what brand of phone or tablet he uses unless it prepares food and delivers it to him. It seems like he went on an anti-Apple rant the other day. I wasn't paying a lot of attention to him because we were both sick and had spent too much time watching Supernatural and some vampire/werewolf series that he likes.

My daughter who owns an iPhone 3GS, an iPad mini (aka MineCraft game system), and a Windows 8 laptop, has gone totally rage against the Apple machine. I'm a little shocked frankly. I thought that the iGeneration was all into Apple.

How could I have been so wrong?

Aren't kids obsessed with Apple and iStuff?

Maybe not as much as I thought.

As I looked around the room a few nights ago at a parent-teacher meeting at my son's high school, I noticed that a minority of the phones were Apple. Most of the ones I saw were Samsung Galaxy types and two or three HTCs.

I hid my Tardis-cased iPhone 5 so that no one would see it. And not because of the Tardis case.

But here's the question again: Is my daughter's anti-Apple rant an isolated opinion or is it a new trend of the iGeneration?

I'd like to know what you think. Talk back and let me know. What technologies are your GenerationZ (iGeneration) kids using?

*I haven't talked about the new iPhones with my family. I'm too busy and I don't care.

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Topics: Apple, iOS, iPhone, iPad


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • hehe :)

    That's cute. And kinda ironic because the main complaint that floats around the web about Apple is that once it finds a form factor that works it actually sticks with it TOO LONG. Does she actually read ZDNET? This just proves the old axiom, you can't please all of the people all of the time.
    • @oncall

      No neither my kids nor my wife read my stuff. OK, my oldest son does sometimes. To them, I'm dad, not an awesome interplanetary techno superguru. I mean, you don't think that Abraham Lincoln's kids came up to him and said, "Great Gettysburg Address, Dad. You really know how to rally a crowd." ;-)
      • Proof positive

        Techies really are different than other people ;)

        Here is my honest opinion: There is no right answer that applies to all companies and all products. If Samsung only released a new phone design once per year, it would probably be finished in the cell phone business, but it works for Apple. Some things can never change, like Classic Coke, but most things must change over time. Technology by its very nature is evolving and at an accellerated pace, and people expectations of technology is keeping up. The best any company can do is try to please most of its customers most of the time.
    • My thoughts exactly

      Reading her rant, made me think the same thing. People say Apple isn't doing enough to respond to competition, but when they do people complain that they're changing things? How is it a new product if it's identical to the last one?
      People complained with nausium that iPhone screen is too small, so Apple gives us one, so now people complain?
      "Make up your mind?" The iPhone 5S didn't change from the 5 on the outside except for color. I just wonder what said daughter is hoping to see?
      It's just so interesting to see that the complaints seem to counteract other complaints.

      Well if all teens feel this way about iPhone products, Apple is screwed because that's what drives their business forward.
      • Change for change's sake

        If the changes Apple introduced to its product lineup offered were obvious and crave-worthy, i.e. iPod -> iPhone3 -> iPhone 4, then they get heaped with praise.

        If, however, they just make annual minor tweaks with no obvious end-user benefit, then they'll get panned.

        Sadly, since Jobs' passing, Apple have released almost nothing that's truly crave-worthy other than retina screens on some of its laptops and iPads, and those retina screens were not anything that the competition can't add to their own devices with impunity from Apple's lawyers.

        The iPhone 5 was a bit quicker and a little taller, but had a new connector and case shape that rendered all existing accessories redundant. The new iPhones are not only different shapes from the iPhone 3/4/5, but are "a bit quicker" and ... erm ... oh yeah ... have a fingerprint reader under the button. That's pretty much it.

        I said this a long time ago, long before Jobs' unhappy illness began, but Apple's success relied too much on Jobs. If he was ever to leave, we'd see the company stagnate and then decline in mindshare and eventually, market share.

        Apple are now well and truly stagnant and their market share is starting to show signs of repeated slow-down/decline. The worst is yet to come for the once mercurial Apple.
  • Ken Hess

    Thanks for airing your families problems to the public.
    • lol these 1st world problems must

      crack up all the poor people of the world as they eat dirt sandwiches.
      • @everss02

        True dat. However we don't take our fortune for granted. We are all very thankful of our blessings.
    • Funny...

      just 2 days ago you were saying Ken was "almost the master"...OIC!!! This time there was a bit of negative inflection towards Apple! Your "iUnderAlls" are showing...
      • @wizard57m-cnet

        My almost being a master doesn't make everyone in my house a master.
        • @khess

          Are any of us truly the "master in our own house"? Hehe...I've got 4 kids, 5 grandkids and another grandchild on the way...sometimes, I feel more like the slave! No, I was not ready to be "Grandpa", but it happens!
    • @Pogo Blue

      You're so very welcome. And thanks for always having something awesome to say about it.
      • khess

        I try not to be negative. Sometimes it is very hard.

        These type of articles really makes me want to read more of your stuff and know more about you and your technology.
  • suspicious...

    I am not sure your daughter wrote that letter sound more like you.

    However you could state the same for many manufacturers look what happened when coke tried to change its formula there was an out cry

    Life is about choice if you don't like it don't buy it but plenty will

    Microsoft tried to change Windows and look at that mess
    • @pjc158

      I could scan the note and post it into the article but she wrote it. Why would I lie?
  • Have you ever seen the Katie Holmes movie, The President's Daughter?

    When you little princess goes off to college, she, like Katie Holmes, will opt for a Volkswagen Beetle. Now that's one manufacture that has stuck to a winning - and never changing - design. (More or less)

    Then again, by the time she does leave the nest, and still a teenager (have fun with that one, Ken) perhaps she will have the same observation that Mark Twain shared with his public. That is, Samuel Langhorne Clemens once remarked that when he was 18, he couldn't believe just how stupid his father was. But when he reached the age of 21, he found that he was amazed at just how much his father had learned in three short years.

    Give my best to your daughter. She's a bight lass.
    • PS .. tell your daughter not to rely on automatic spell checkers. Grin.

      Just a word to the wise.
      • @kenosha77a

        Believe it or not, she hand wrote all that. Maybe a spell and grammar check would help. I didn't edit it very much. It is 99% verbatim.
        • I was referring to my misspelled words that I posted.

          She did just fine, dad.
  • Pretty standard

    "I was more than mildly irritated that none of my peripherals that I purchased for my iPhone 4 would work with my iPhone 5"

    Apple has been doing that forever. That is not something new. And one of the biggest reason why I'll never buy an Apple product. Their attitude is "hey we already charge more for our devices. Let's not have the ability to use the same cords and peripherals as other devices even our own so we can charge exorbitant prices and force people to buy these things.