There are many kinds of connoisseurs in the world these days. Cheese. Wine. Chocolate. Even cars. Over the past few years though this has even found its way into personal technology items, and this is mostly due to the technology behemoth that is Apple.
Every year they produce a bunch of pretty, newly updated products, and present them on a fancy stage and grossly overuse adjectives such as magical, gorgeous, amazing, revolutionary, and a bunch of others I could care less to remember. But, I’ve been thinking. Is there a parallel that can be drawn between the ultimate cultured connoisseurs, the Oenophiles.
Now before you get your panties in a twist, just know that the word “oenophile” is the highbrow way of saying you are a wine freak. You can perfectly swirl around a glass of expensive “red”, inside a massive glass resembling a petrol tanker, and say you are “letting it breathe”, with an air of perfect upper-middle-class upbringing. You sip it gently and speak of the (insert upper-crust adjectives here) flavours and how the wood from the barrel has carefully crafted the taste, to create a “true masterpiece”. I doubt most of these people have even handled a hacksaw, let alone laid their eyes on a barrel in person.
On September 9, 2014, Apple launched it’s (in their words) “all new iPhone”, and it got me thinking, who is the stereotypical Apple user? In fairness, a vast majority of users are just average Joe’s on the street wanting a decent device, in the same way as restaurant goer wants a non-vinegar tasting bottle of wine in a restaurant. But there is always that exclusive group of individuals that want.. more. These are their stories.
The way it makes you feel
What are your reasons for drinking wine? To enjoy a tasty fermented drink? To cool off after a long day? Or to simply get liquored to the point of a kidney transplant? Regardless, you want to feel something good, right? People like to know they are tasting the earth’s finest grapes in a bottle of Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection 2011. Or that a winemaker specifically used a wooden barrel from the Anglo-Boer war to give that certain African taste. Or maybe just so they can tell their friends they dropped $149 on a glass bottle with really old grapes in it.
Now I’d agree that like carefully crafted wines, iPhones are very well made products, and give a certain sense of satisfaction in their use. I know this as I used to own one. However, true iPhone connoisseurs will harp on with copious adjectives in their best Jony Ive accent, as to its “premium build”, and how it was “designed with the user in mind”, and how it is a symbol of style and status. When in all honesty the only status I’m worried about is that of my bank account. After purchasing an iPhone 4 in 2012, my bank account resembled that of the Gaza Strip after an Israeli bombing run. And if you have watched the news in the last, well I don’t know.. for freaking ever, it’s really not what you’d call ideal.
A sense of refinement
Now, it can’t be said that all wine drinkers are classy folk, nor can the same be said about iPhone owners. However, most of them probably have an inkling towards this demographic. Why do people buy BMW’s? Because they are beautiful machines, crafted carefully, best of the breed, and wonderful to drive. The same could be said for those that choose to drink wine over beer because drinking beer is possibly a little too blue collar for their liking. A little to…common. Similarly, many iPhone users snub Android phones for their commonality, and for their “pavement special” dog breed nature. Anyone can make, and therefore buy an Android phone, thus watering down its premium appeal.
I have the best
When you buy an aged quality wine or whiskey, the value tends to go up. Given that aging the drink can improve its quality and taste, this practice doesn’t seem so bad. After all, the best is worth paying for, isn’t it? You would also likely tout this fact to your friends so they all know your great fortune, or even (heaven forbid) take a photo and stick all over the social networks.
However having an arguably older set of features on your phone (most of which are hijacked from competitors, but that’s another story) that have been repackaged as new and amazing with the aforementioned abuse of adjectives is not exactly the same thing. But try convincing the most loyal of iPhone users that. At let me save you some time by telling you this universal truth…It’s not going to go well for you.
You can polish a turd, but…
The end result is the same. Oenophiles are forever going to tell us that quality is worth the expense, that the truly cultured find their brethren at the bottom of a bottle of Cape Town’s finest, but… it’s still old grape juice. As for Applephiles, you to have a piece of pop culture, and you look cool, I’m sure. But it’s still just a phone. And technically, an old one.