Yesterday the sleep/on off button/whatever it’s called on my iPhone 4 suddenly stopped working. The spring had obviously gone. As I was out and about, I thought I’d take it to the Apple Store to see what could be done.
Obviously it was in warranty as the things have only been out for less than a year, but even so, for some reason I wasn’t expecting an easy experience. Paranoia strikes again.
How wrong could I be. The first assistant I spoke to (forgive me Apple if I’m not using the right brand words to describe your sales staff) registered me for an appointment, explained they were pretty busy, but said they had a slot in ten minutes time. He asked me to enter my name and Apple ID on screen and that was that. This was all done via the nearest display Mac to me. Talk about networking.
He then pointed me towards a lady with an iPad who would book me in. Sure enough, she took my serial number and pointed me towards a waiting area. To be fair to them, they were a couple of minutes late seeing me, but judging by how busy they were this wasn’t hugely surprising. A young chap (how old do I feel) then came over, introduced himself, asked me not what the problem was, but how he could help me fix things. I told him the switch had gone, and without a quibble he explained that unfortunately the only way to resolve my issue was to replace the handset as the one thing they can’t fix in-store is buttons. Not an issue for me one bit. Whether it was to be a re-conditioned model or a brand new handset, this would be one free from the little scratches and knocks that accumulate over time. All fine by me.
Luckily I had backed up a couple of days previously at home, as the assistant mentioned I would lose the data on my phone. I was a little worried, not knowing how much data iTunes actually does back up when you plug your phone in.
I was probably sorted by my new Apple best friend inside five minutes, but it didn’t feel rushed, just efficient. He even offered to dispose of the new phone’s screen protector plastic sheath for me.
When I got home, I went about the usual paranoid checking via Google of what I could expect from restoring my phone from a backup…and then went ahead and took the plunge.
EVERYTHING was restored. To a ridiculous level of detail. Even down to the fact that I have my battery percentage showing. Texts, contacts, even voicemails, all present and correct.
I don’t know if it is just me, but whenever I have had to repair/replace a phone before, I have always lost something. Not this time. A 15 minute restore saw to that.
Okay, so my music, photos and apps weren’t but these could be easily synced from iTunes. I choose to do these manually anyway. And even more incredibly, all the app data also re-synced itself once the apps were back on the device. So, here, I am with a brand new, unscratched iPhone 4, with all my stuff on there, not having to start again on my hard-earned Angry Birds and Cut The Rope achievements, and with an even better impression of Apple than I had previously.
This brings me onto their announcement this week around the iCloud. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but this is nothing new. Companies have been doing the same for years, but stick that magical ‘i’ in front of it and you wow the unconverted.
So, are Apple just masters of the Emperor’s new clothes? I don’t think so. I think they are just particularly good at taking the impenetrable and making it mass market through beauty of design, incredible functionality, usability and the sense of prestige that users feel when they wield an Apple device. They truly do put the user/customer/client/friend/whatever they choose to call us regular people at the forefront of everything they do.
Good job Jobs.