The Techpocalypse 2011

So, it’s been an interesting week for technology users to say the least.

First, we get the announcement that many were expecting regarding the latest iPhone, the 4S from Apple. No redesign outwardly, but inside is a processor faster than before, a new, improved camera and a whole host of other lovely features courtesy of iOS 5. It came with the usual Apple backlash, that after a 16 month wait this wasn’t good enough etc etc, but in reality, what would a redesign do? A bigger screen would cause a massive headache for app developers who would be forced to resize their wares, and the build quality and design of the iPhone 4 was always one that would stand the test of time. The technological changes are easily a big enough leap to keep the device ahead of the game in the mobile market and the phone has since become the most pre-ordered of Apple’s handsets.

Then came more news from Cupertino – that the founder and revolutioniser of the tech world, Steve Jobs, had died aged only 56. We’d all known that he’d been ill for some time but the news still shocked the globe. Never before had we seen such a figurehead in the relatively young computing and technology world and one who had been so visible at product launches and speeches across the planet. Jobs truly was a man of the people, and one who had an idea and the desire to make something of his life that would change millions of others’ lives forever. And he succeeded.

After such a massive blow, this week Apple seemed to have been dealt a boost, after Samsung claimed they held back the announcement of their new handset, the Nexus Prime as a mark of respect for Jobs’ passing. More likely is that they simply aren’t ready to unleash this Ice Cream Sandwich Android OS beast yet, but they truly are the main rival to Apple’s monopoly as proven by their Mobile of the Year award at the T3 Awards this week.

Another major player, RIM, have also now handed Apple a big advantage with the now-global failure of many BlackBerry services including the rioter’s favourite BlackBerry Messenger. Initially confined just to a few regions, the server issue now appears to have surfaced Stateside and if people needed convincing about the imminent iPhone 4S, then this may be the proof they were looking for.

But then came iOS5. Launching two days before the handset on which it comes as standard, the operating system has seen numerous problems as millions attempt to download it and install it on their i-devices. The ‘3200 error’ is trending on Twitter and rather than having some great new features to play with this morning, users are instead left with iPhones in various states of app-deletion and recovery mode loops.

Of course, this is purely symptomatic of Apple and their success. Which other company would see this level of excitement over the release of an Operating System? No-one. The hype around iOS5 is warranted as it pretty much changes the entire way people will use their iPhones. This is proof that Apple have almost single-handedly made the impenetrable accessible and turned technology into that which can be used by anyone from grandchild to great grandparent.

And for that, I think we have one man to thank. Rest in peace Mr Jobs.

Advertising – Not Fair

In recent years we have seen the banning of tobacco advertising, junk food ads condemned to late night TV like some dirty old man and the constant refunding of contractual bank charges. All of which is why I have been astounded to read a case of Jessops, the camera people, falsely advertising a product via pay per click marketing on Google and thus far failing to honour the deal.

The case in point can be seen right here on WordPress and also over here on Money Saving Expert and involves Jessops advertising a Panasonic TZ5 camera for £229.99. The normal RRP for this camera is £299, so quite rightly, the chap who spotted the ad contacted Jessops in order to buy the camera (the clickthrough from the advert said the product was still £299).

 Of course Jessops claimed that they had no control over the advert etc etc etc and could not offer the product at that price. It just amazes me that in today’s “not fair” culture, they can simply refuse to do so and that there is seemingly little comeback on them from a regulatory body for doing so.

Imagine if a young single mum with 14 children saw an ad outside McDonalds that said “feed your family for £1.50.” Said mum then goes into the eating establishment only to be told that in reality, a Mcfamily feast costs £150. Would The Sun not have a field day with such a tale and force McDonalds into an apology and some form of compensation.

I have also been surprised by the reaction on the so-called “Consumer Revenge” website Money Saving Expert. Over there, people constantly scratch around for loopholes which exploit big companies but on this occasion many simply say “tough luck, you have no chance of getting anything.”

Double standards throughout!

NB – A quick update, it seems that Jessops are paying attention to what is happening in this case, as they have contacted the customer in question and promised they are looking into it. Still no word on an outcome but goes to show the power of the consumer is not dead!