I slept, last night, dreaming of a piano black iPhone. Visions of waterproof screens and wireless speakers dominated my slumber, the product of a late-night attempt at finishing the pre-writes for a recap of an event that hadn’t happened yet. I poured over the rumors and stuffed my head with half-truths and complete lies. I closed my eyes, convinced that I wasn’t purchasing a new iPhone after today’s event.
Wearily, I drifted to sleep, a long-day’s work complete.
I woke up this morning, satisfied that none of he rumors we were able to substantiate made buying a new iPhone 7 Plus worth the cost of a $1,000-ish upgrade. I earmark this purchase every year, yet this year it seems as though the hardware in my hand was holding up just fine. I didn’t feel the need to upgrade from the 6s Plus that still felt new, fresh — especially after installing iOS 10.
I walked to work — which admittedly, isn’t far (a few steps is all) — and sat down at my desk waiting for the day to pass so that I could arrogantly laugh at those fooled by yet another amazing Apple keynote. These fools will buy anything, I told myself. The iPhone 7 is just a repackaged 6s with an extra camera and no headphone jack.
Then a funny thing happened: Apple revealed the phone in a teaser video that showed craftsmanship and design that’s nothing short of artesian. It teased a water resistant body by showing it emerge from a mystery liquid. Above all else, it made the phone that’s in my pocket look inferior to the one on the screen. I wanted that phone. I still want that phone.
This 6s Plus will no longer do.
Apple had me at the dual-lens camera. While mostly the same as the one in my pocket, it’s new, shiny and the second lens allows you to adjust the focal range for some pretty magnificent bokeh effects. How could I not want this?
As a tech reporter, I’m often straddling the line between wants and needs. I can convince myself that I need a new tech product because I’m an insider, an influencer. It’s my job to have the latest and greatest gadgets. Right? RIGHT? This is a big release, a gadget we’d be talking about for weeks, months even; if I don’t get it, how am I supposed to join the conversation?
Then I reminded myself that it’s a $1,000 upgrade (who buys the base model?) and for that price, I’m essentially getting a camera.
AirPods are cool, but I already have Bluetooth headphones. The water resistant body is nice, but I’ve got a GoPro. When I laid my cards on the table and tried to convince myself that a pair of deuces was in fact four-of-a-kind, I realized that it was indeed a pair of deuces. If I wanted to spend $1,000 on a camera, I could do a lot better than the 7 Plus. No matter how off-putting the idea of carrying around a second device is, that doesn’t make it any less true.
I’m not getting a camera. I’m also not getting an iPhone 7 Plus.
I think I’ll stick with my current iPhone and wait ’til next year.
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