Why I Own An iPhone When Everything About Me Screams Android

Why I Own An iPhone When Everything About Me Screams Android
Image: Gizmodo Australia

If you want to do anything with your smartphone beyond the basics, there’s no reason not to go Android. So, as someone who has not only owned some form of hand-built computer since age 15, but worked at a PC enthusiast magazine for five years — including being editor of the darn thing — why on Earth am I using an iPhone 5s and before that, an iPhone 4? It’s complicated… but also not.

There’s no conspiracy, no convoluted logic, behind the purchase of my first smartphone: an iPhone 4. At the time, I’d started a job at Flight Control and Real Racing developer Firemint and with an eye to getting into mobile games, Apple was simply the better choice.

This was back in 2011 and iOS was the platform for developers: the market was massive and fragmentation made Android a nightmare. Of course, the landscape is much different seven years on, but the decision was made and I’ve persisted with it.

But why? Why?

Two reasons. Two big ones, both of which stem from the same emotion: apathy. A big, sopping load of apathy.

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1. I want a phone, not a gadget

I’d still be using my Motorola Razr2, killing time with Tetris and Yahtzee, if the punishing march of technology hadn’t forced me to something newer. Despite living and breathing IT the moment I left the womb, the last thing I want to do is spend hours tinkering with my phone.

Make calls. Play a few games. Check my email. Would you like anything else, sir?

Nah, I’m good.

And I get it. You don’t have to tinker with an Android phone if you don’t want to. It’s not like Google is sitting there, tempting you with chocolate-coated bootroms in raspberry bootrom sauce. But iOS gives you constraints — crippling ones — and for me, that’s awesome. Without jailbreaking, I literally can’t extend it much beyond what the App Store provides.

To put it another way, my desire to tweak and customise is an addiction, one that can be incredibly draining, especially when you’re a perfectionist and doubly-so when you can’t get something to work the way you want it to. Given the choice, I’d rather spend this limited resource on, say, my laptop, rather than my phone.

I can guarantee you if I’d owned any sort of Android phone in the last five years, I’d have drowned in a sea of custom firmware long ago. And I don’t like drowning.

So, why don’t I buy a basic handset and be done with? This brings us to my second reason…

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2. I’m locked into the ecosystem

Look, we have a guide on making the switch from iOS to Android, so it can be done. And while there’s some effort involved, saying you’re “locked in” isn’t the strongest of arguments these days.

Until you make it about the money. Why the hell would I want to pay for apps I already own? I like my money and I want to keep it. Few points can stand up to this truth.

Clearly, if it’s all about dosh, then I’m an idiot, because I bought a $1000 smartphone. It’s a fair point, to which all I can say is: I don’t want to be a complete luddite, alright? I’m also still using my iPhone 5s and will continue to do so until it melts because the sun has swallowed the Earth a few billion years from now.

That, or planned obsolescence kicks in and I don’t have a choice.

OK, I might upgrade a bit sooner than the heat death of the universe. Probably when planned obsolescence kicks in. Maybe I’ll like the iPhone SE 2, because the desire for gigantic phones remains baffling to me. But, as long as I can browse the web, message people and make phone calls, me and my iPhone 5s are Thorin Oakenshield and the Arkenstone. Or Richard Armitage and a role as a brooding magistrate in period drama.


And that’s why I own an iPhone.


  • I hear ya…

    Android fanboy, myself. However, I die a little inside every time I see someone with a Samsung/LG/Nexus/Pixel/etc., and 4 or 5 lonely app icons spread randomly across an otherwise empty array of 3 home-screens…

    Get an iPhone, FFS!

  • If you want to do anything with your smartphone beyond the basics, there’s no reason not to go Android

    What a load of crap. Most people have Android phones because they are cheap.
    Not because they are l33t.

    And if you don’t think Android is walled, try buying one without Google software.

    • Nearly everyone I know with an Android phone (unfortunately) has a Samsung S7/8/9. They aren’t cheap.

      And I’m assuming you mean try to find one without the Google apps and not the Android software itself? Just don’t use the apps, or download different ones. You could even go further and disable the Google apps completely so they disappear from the app drawer if you want.

    • And if you don’t think Android is walled, try buying one without Google software.

      You know you can easily install custom roms and apps right? ever heard of a .apk?

      Why are you so overly defensive of apple? No one at apple cares.

      • He’s defensive because like many people, he spent a lot of money on a phone. When you spend money on something don’t let any one say that they don’t like your purchase or criticise it. That’s a personal attack that they think you made a bad decision and you never make bad decisions. You spent money and you spent it wisely and everyone has to agree.

  • I stick with iPhone for similar reasons.
    I have already purchased the apps. I have an Apple Watch and an Apple TV which all work together.
    My job involves doing iOS and Android development. It’s easier to have a recent iPhone and a cheap Android phone ( or 6 ) for development and a Mac.
    The other thing is, I used to love tinkering, customising, fixing things on my computer. Now I just want things to work, so I can work. That’s the thing with Apple, generally, it just works, even though it can be more restrictive.

  • After a few iPhones I left Apple because of how much didn’t work: iTunes, iTunes, iTunes, iMessage, iTunes, iTunes, and then Apple bricked my iPhone 4 needlessly for a security patch.

    When I looked at how money I had invested in iOS apps, it was so marginal compared to hardware and accessory cost savings with even top-end Android, it had no effect. My favourite Sudoku app was iOS only. I got over it.

    I’ve actually spent less time tinkering with my Android than I did with my Apple devices, because I could set them up once and not have to fight with Apple wanting things done differently.

  • I have / had an ipad, wife has / had an iphone. Apple stopped supporting my model ipad, and the 3G service the iphone uses got switched off…
    Now, each time Apple update their OS, apps change to follow – and stop working on the ipad / iphone. Wife’s new phone is an Oppo [skinned to behave like an iphone] and the ipad gathers dust in a corner. The games have been transferred to a little Nexus 7 which works just fine, thank you.

    I have been instructed to never buy Apple again.

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