A Parting Song (The Walk of Shame)
It was a crisp winter's day downtown and just like any other day, people were going to work, drinking their Tim Horton's coffee and using their smartphones. As I made my way to a meeting, I approached a red light. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and hammered out a quick text message.
"Be there in 10" - I typed
'OHH-OOP' - The phone sounded back - I knew my txt had been sent.
Naturally I pressed the lock button and started to move the phone back into my jacket pocket but something didn't quite feel right...
Like plummeting shares in RIM, my lock button had sunk down into metal trim of the phone.
After trying to revive the flat button for a good 5 minutes, I finally came to terms with it actually being physically broken.
'Eff you iPhone. Eff. You.' - I tweeted.
Almost immediately, my fellow iPhone-using friends began tweeting encouraging tales of when they too broke their iDevices and were treated by Apple to free replacements. I was excited. I was also out of warranty. But I was more excited than I was concerned about my out-of-warranty status, as I'd heard many stories of replacements in similar situations.
After an expedited meeting, I went to the Apple store. Walking in, I was met by a bevy of nerdy all donning bright red Apple tshirts, all looking very eager to help me out. They verified my name and asked me to sit down at their Genius Bar.
I sat infront of an unbelievably sexy MacBook Pro, which was no doubt configured to max-spec. I hardly had enough time to open the terminal when I was approached by a 20-something Apple Genius. He asked me a few questions about the phone and about it's pedigree and proceeded to look it over with a small blacklight LED light that was attached to his laynard.
"Well, it's been dropped" he said. I was mildly offended because I've never actually dropped a device in my life. OK that's a lie. I dropped a Blackberry 8310 one time after a few too many martinis at a company party. (But it was a one-time thing, I swear!)
The Genius told me that it would be $168.00 CAD to 'repair' the phone with an entirely new replacement unit, warranty included. At $197.00 CAD (after tax), I was feeling pretty annoyed and thought that heck, I would 'stick it to Apple' and switch back to one of the many brands I'd used before.
I went to my local 31-flavors 'indirect retail' store in my hometown, and ended up getting a brand new shiny Blackberry. And all for $0 down.
I was happy to have the familiar form factor in hand. It was sleek and light, and had a fairly good keyboard. "WELCOME BACK!" was a common expression that day and within minutes of my first Tweet from the new device, my BBM contact list was already starting to fill up.
Thumbs hammering on tiny keys, emoticons a-flyin'. I was glad to be back, with my Blackberry 'cred' held high as my status across all of the popular social networks.
Some thought I was crazy, but I assured them that I'd put at least some amount of thought into the purchase and was already brimming with excitement over the new phone. I figured I'd quickly be able to get my contacts by downloading Google Sync and downloading my contacts from the Cloud.
Acocunt locked. Please log in again. Please log in again.
I cleared my cache, killed the browser and logged in from a desktop just to make sure my credentials were in check. After 35 minutes of looping captchas, I was now starting to get a little peeved.. in the end the Blackberry Battery Pull got me fixed up. It had been so long since I had used a Blackberry that I'd almost forgot that it was an integral part of the Blackberry user experience. After about an hour of trying, I'd finally had my contacts on the new phone and I was starting to warm up to it.
Holding the Blackberry next to my iPhone, I realized the size of The Verge podcast, vertically-aligned, was actually about the same size as my Blackberry screen. While keeping this PG-13, I'll just say that this was the first time in my life I'd felt the embarrassment of size envy.
I'm not proud of what I did next. Maybe it was something in my coffee, maybe it was something in the air but I somehow thought a Motorola Atrix actually looked like it might be a decent alternative device. 16GB on-board storage, HD camera, screen that was relatively the same size as my iPhone. A quick buyer's remorse exchange later and I was all hooked up on Gingerbread.
Over the next 24 hours I got back into the swing of using an Android device. The Atrix was quick for a 500mhz phone. And for VGA, the display was amazing. Oh... wait. If not for the 'Dual-Core Technology' line on the boot screen, you'd never know this phone even had a processor let alone (effectively) two of them. It was incredibly laggy and stuttered on any pages in any browser as I attempted to scroll around.
I tried to convince myself that it was workable.
As the txts and tweets started coming in, all the little missing details of the user experience started to pile up. I became more and more horrified by every jaggy corner and every stuttery attempt at opening an app. The Gingerbread-packing Motorola device just didn't quite add up to the iPhone I'd come to know and love. Every unfinished menu item, every choppy refresh, it all started to come apart over the next couple of hours.
After crying myself to sleep, I awoke on the other side of a sleep-induced epiphany. Suddenly a $200 fix for the largest bottleneck of my well-connected adult life seemed like less of a bad idea. For every 15 seconds I had to wait at a loading screen, I assigned a $5.00 dollar value. After trying to use the Atrix for another few hours, I quickly had 'raised the funds' required to replace my iPhone.
And there I found myself. 40 hours after I'd discovered the fate of my lock button, on the Walk of Shame going back into the Apple store, tail between my legs, hundred dollar bills in-hand.
Anyone else have any tales of when they strayed from their iOS devices?