Empty inside: The iPhone SE or our souls?


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Writing for Gizmodo, Alex Cranz paints a bleak, post-apocalyptic view of the smartphone landscape, if not human existence.

“iPhone SE Review: The Phone That Proves Apple Is Out of Ideas” (Tip o’ the antlers to @mylestaylor.)

What is it about the iOS products that drive people to fits when Apple doesn’t introduce one that is somehow entirely new? When Apple ships updated Macs that are mostly just speed bumps or slight changes in form factor, no one screams about lack of innovation.

Here’s a tip: By your standard, no iPhone has been new since the first one and none of them will ever be again. Just stop reviewing phones. They’re all rectangular screens that run apps and make phone calls. If the joy of new products has left you, the Macalope can only suggest moving to a magical kingdom beneath the sea or taking up with a cutthroat but jovial group of space pirates and seeing the wonders of the galaxy.

That’s it, just those two things.

As soon as people hear I have [an iPhone SE], they implore me to whip it out. We hold our phones together like boys in the locker room and compare sizes.

Uhhh, you may have an unreasonably hot expectation about what goes on in boys’ locker rooms. There’s less size comparing than you’d think. It’s mostly just pillow fights and cuddling.

“It’s so tiny,” they exclaim, even when they have an iPhone 5 or 5s.

The SE is exactly the same size as the iPhone 5 and 5s but the people are insane, you see. They have been driven mad by any multitude of things. Power, envy, mercury poisoning, what have you.

We are all mad here. All of us.

Despite being the first iPhone to step away from Apple’s number naming scheme, and despite being the first 4-inch iPhone in two years, it isn’t a product of innovation, but rather one of stagnation.

So, Apple can literally never release something that’s targeted at a part of the market that isn’t the high-end, first adopters because to do so is to show its stagnation. Be like a perpetual Kickstarter, forever making wacky new products and then abandoning them when you’ve fulfilled the run. You know, even Steve Jobs kept the Mac around.

And to that point, let us begin the ritual invoking of Steve Jobs. The incantation will begin and Jobs’ spirit will enter the room. Do not be alarmed. He will hover in mid air and his visage will scowl at whatever thing Apple just shipped. So says Gizmodo, the publication that always knew him best, certainly better than anyone who worked with him at Apple, who barely knew him at all.

…as soon as [Steve Jobs] was gone, Tim Cook took all the ideas Jobs rejected and made them reality.

Proof provided for the assertion that Jobs rejected these ideas? Zero.

Instead of comparing “phone” sizes, how about comparing the size of the brass balls it takes for a publication that did nothing but nay-say Jobs when he was alive to now chastise Cook for rejecting his legacy. Uncomfortably long and sarcastic golf clap for that. Bra-vo.

So we got the fart in the wind that is the Apple Watch…

The product that’s selling about as well as the iPhone and iPad did during their first year and has a commanding lead in the smartwatch category, sure, please go ahead with your fart critique.

From farts to size comparisons, this technology review has everything.

…and we got the behemoth iPhone 6 and iPhone Plus. These products weren’t the result of innovation as much as they were the response to the clamoring of analysts, journalists, and some portions of the public.

“Some portions of the public.” You know, the Macalope is not the biggest fan of large phones (as evidenced by the iPhone SE currently sitting on his desk), but 75 million people bought iPhones the quarter the iPhone 6 and 6+ first shipped. That’s kind of a lot.

So, large phones are not innovative and small phones are not innovative. You know what would be really innovative? A round phone. Or a trapezoid. Or a phone that has no physical form but presented the owner with an existential dilemma. That would be an innovative phone.

And yet…

This is it. The best phone under 4 inches currently available.

Maybe you just don’t like phones. Have you considered that?

But how long will that last? In September, Apple will announce the iPhone 7 and it will likely have a whole new design and vastly superior internals.

But you just said Apple is out of ideas so clearly that phone will also suck.

This isn’t so much a review as it is an exercise in nihilism. This is the best small phone, but it is not good. Because nothing is good, everything is awful. Soon we die.

Personally, the Macalope likes his reviews to have a little more joie de vivre than The Road, but maybe that’s just him.

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