Thursday, September 18, 2014

Seeing the Virtues of iOS8

The Thrifty Techie has assiduously avoided Apple products.  As a vertically integrated business, Apple's  products have always been significantly more expensive than other alternatives.  Apple sold with the slogan: "It just works", which appeals to consumers who will pay for simplicity at the cost of customization.

With this in mind, Apple's announcement of the iPhone 6 and iOS 8 lit up the Thrifty Techie's mental radar.  Apple designers persisted through several iterations of the iPhone to insist that a 3.5" screen (with a retina display) was the perfect size for a cell phone.  But the market for 4" smartphones which cost for more than $300 is shrinking.  In fact,  the iPhone now only occupies 32.5% of the smartphone market.  So much was made about the iPhone 6 increasing its screen size to 4.7" and the iPhone6 Plus measuring 5.5".

A screen larger than 4.0" seems much easier to type on a virtual QWERTY capacitive keyboard.  One wonders if a 5.5" device is more a phablet which one does not pocket or clutch for prolonged period.  Nonetheless, Samsung has scored with their Note line of cellphones and Apple designers look to emulate that success.

What is more significant is Apple's emphasis on data security and personalization.  Civil libertarians should appreciate Apple's insistence that it can no longer comply with responding to government warrants because of the iOS 8 passcode feature.

The new Apple operating system is downloadable for older devices and will also work on the iPad.

This sense of personal data security should compliment the consumer acceptance of Apple Pay, an NFC powered mobile payment system.  Now Apple can concentrate on selling some reluctant retailers, like Walmart and Best Buy, into paying for the expensive infrastructure to facilitate Apple Pay.