Apple has had the first of its fall events. Introducing the new iPhone to the adoring masses. We all tuned in together to, ummm...well, watch a video.
It was a nice video. Lovely, even. There's a new Apple Watch, a new iPad, a new iPad mini, and four new iPhones. In a few more weeks, we'll watch a video about other new istuff.
I have an iPhone X from 2017, an iPad Pro from 2018 and a Watch from 2020. To be honest - they all work fine.
Still, this time of the year is the time to audit my tech and indulge my love for new shiny kit.
Mostly, I work at my desk, using my Mac-mini or my MacBook Air. These are both M1 chip devices, from 2021. At the risk of enraging proper tech heads - in chip terms these are basically big iPhones.
I have iPhone X, iPhone XS - but as an iPad, iPhones 12 as a Mac book and Mac mini. I don't know to what number iPhone the Watch series 6 corresponds.
Now, Apple is tempting me to buy an iPhone 13, or an iPhone 11 (as a mini iPad).
That's an oversimplification. However it illustrates the direction of travel. A direction of travel inevitable when the Ops person becomes the CEO.
The most successful computer in the world is the iPhone. Now available as Phone, Phone mini, Phone Pro, Phone Pro Max, iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad Pro, iPad Pro max, MacBook Air, Mac mini, iMac. Next event - I suspect there might be some more iPhones launched - as iMac Pro, MacBook Pro and one day, even Mac Pro.
By converging all its products, supply chain and manufacture gets so much simpler and more efficient - and that efficiency turns into lots and lots and lots of dollars. Lest we forget - that's what the company is for. Likewise - if people are looking for "cheap" then sell them all the old iPhones. SE anyone? Watch Series 3? Add in to that, content and services, and kaboom! You have the biggest company in the world.
So what form factor do I want my new iPhone(s) in?
I'm trying to think of this in terms of how I actually use my devices, and how I think I'd like to. To a certain extent, I'm projecting, assuming that I will start going out more, and who knows, maybe even travel one day.
Mostly, I'm at my desk. It might be that I'll be at another table somewhere, sometimes. Mac-mini and MacBook Air cover this for me. As awesome as these phones dressed as desktop/laptops are, I would point out that the RAM limitations do pinch - if one has to live in a corporate Microsoft world of Outlook, Office and MS Teams. My mini has 16GB (the biggest) and still reports that it is running out of memory two or three times a week. Teams seems to be the biggest culprit. M1 is good - but it's not perfect.
This function could be fulfilled by a laptop. I prefer a dedicated desktop for lots of reasons, and at some point, the Mac mini will be replaced by something with more RAM and storage.
For working at another table, in the house, at the coffee shop or on a plane - a MacBook Air shaped iPhone is my preference, particularly as it runs MacOS. I have the base model - and run it light. I won't put the corporate apps on here, accepting that if I need to be on Teams, it will be on my iPhone-shaped iPhone.
Instagram, Twitter, RSS, newsletters, the web. These happen on a couch. Currently, I use the iPhone X. It does all that stuff really well. Reading. I use a Kindle. It's brilliant. Big iPhone? Big iPhone called iPad? Reading off a small screen is less fun than it used to be for old eyes, so this might not be a terrible idea.
"Out and About"
I use the X. It takes photos and keeps me connected. It helps me navigate. I live in a hot country, and try to avoid carrying a bag or wearing a jacket. Small and light is what I hunger for. I aspire to a tiny dumb phone - until I want to check the weather forecast, or listen to a podcast or find an address. Time to replace the X? Would a mini be enough? How about a SE?
Right now - I'm intrigued by iPad mini, which would replace iPad Pro. I have the 12.9 and use it as a paperweight.
Should I replace the X? This is the domino question. I could get the mini, which would encourage me to change the iPad. I think I would eliminate the SE on the basis that I seem to be on a 4 or 5 year cycle with the phone shaped phone. I think the SE might struggle to keep up for that long.
Or, I could go for the 13 Pro or even (Max), and not buy the iPad.
Given that Apple won't ship anything to me - I need to buy from a reseller, so I've plenty of time to think. If previous years are any indication, given a couple of weeks, the FOMO will dissapate and I might stay where I am.
Perhaps I should buy a beautiful new fountain pen?
I use all these wonderfully over the top devices to write. There's even a novel coming out. If you want to follow along as the novel publishes, become a member. It costs £3 a month, discounted to £2 a month on the annual plan. Members get access to the novel, scene by scene, and will, at the end, receive an electronic copy of the version to be published more widely. There's a members' chat where people give me feedback and help me procrastinate.