About Me

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

An Apple a Day: The iPhone's away

Smartphones to me were not a necessity, until 2 years ago, until I held that iPhone. It wasn't yet a necessity for another fortnight - the SIM card had to be changed to a micro-SIM and contacts had to be moved from the old Nokia Music Xpress to the iPhone, manually. Apparently smartphones come with a class-distinction and don't care to be compatible with partphones - the kind that can be taken off into many pieces and reassembled with a mini screwdriver by the candle light.

The OCD wasn't far off. I found myself using the iPhone as a paper weight, as a conversation starter, as a compass - to draw circles and occasionally to take calls. None of the calls mattered, since there was no need for a personal loan, 3rd credit card, new bank account or pay a bill 15 days in advance.

Little by little, the iPhone crept into my life, joining gym classes with me and soon finding itself wedged under my pillow when sleep. I bought a leather cover for the phone - like a gladiator protecting his sword from accidental injury and wear and tear; an insurance against accidental damages, the premium for which cost as much as an entry level partphone.

It was after one of those runs in the gym! The pounding of feet on the treadmill could have triggered it. With the eagerness to establish credo, I called the wife to update her on the calorie progress. She needed the input for her math calculation. 2 times the number of calories burnt, divided by 100 and rounded off to the next whole number, were the number of butter-smeared dosas she would prepare. This update was critical to kitchen strategies. I opened the phone and rushed to the favourites' list. And what I see - holy smokes and a 20 pound barbell! The contact list was empty. Vanished! Kaput! Not a single number. No calls could be made. The kitchen math went awry.

Apple tech support said such things should not happen. Like that client who refused to pay after work completion, tech support was being irrational. And I told them so. Toughened glass not withstanding, there were other exposed parts of the iPhone that weren't working. "You are speaking to level 2, SIRR!!" thundered a voice. It felt like a Level 2 voice and the firm believer in numerology in me, did not want to continue the conversation. He promised me, an even higher person from Singapore would call. Apparently iPhones, unlike all the other documentaries-in-design that the fruity one makes, are not under warranty locally. The phone was bought in US so had to be sent back there. She was helpless she said. A 3 months warranty extension was the best she would do.

Logic is mixed up with a bowl of fruit loops - Apple-flavoured to be precise. If an iPhone purchased in India can be fixed or replaced why couldn't those purchased elsewhere be given a similar treatment. Perhaps replaced with one that is of India-specific requirements. "Company policy" said tech support, which is the corporate version of the personal "It wasn't you, it's me".

And I sit here, contemplating if a product so beautiful, is functionally worth the trouble if I can't have it replaced. Maybe, I should have gone with the better half's wisdom - remove the iPhone from under the pillow, pray to the toothfairy and shift to a Samsung phone. After all, Temple Run looks better on her phone and that's where I spend most of my phone time.