News broke earlier in the week that 69 of the Top 100 economic entities in the world are corporations, as opposed to countries. Walmart is the highest-placed business in the list at 10th, ahead of Canada, Spain and (significantly) Papua New Guinea. Apple is 26th on the list, just behind Belgium. Aside from the obvious concern about double-counting (don’t the revenues of these corporate giants add to the GDP of the countries they reside in?), the big question now is “How on earth is Belgium wealthier than Apple?”
Three months ago I made the break. I escaped, or so I thought, the clutches of the giant that had held me in its thrall for far too long. I’m talking about Apple, by the way, not Belgium. It was to be a brave new world beyond the comfortable boundaries of my iPhone. Reader, I left them.
Two broken SIM card readers in as many months (along with the usual hoop-jumping and calls to the dark side of the moon that these technical issues seem to require nowadays) did it. Truth is, though, that I might still be with them if they had been nice about it. Just one little gesture and I would have stayed; I was waiting for them to appease me with some small goodwill offering, but they didn’t. Habits are hard to break, especially at my ripe old age (it took me a long time to wear those weird new ankle socks, for example) but I made the leap.
My iPhone6 was twelve and a half months into its existence when it stopped working, almost like it was programmed to go wrong just beyond the warranty period. So I was left still paying quite a lot a month for what was effectively a very expensive iPod. Of course, they said that I could buy a shiny new unit for just £229, and by ‘new’ they meant from reconditioned parts with just a three month warranty. Er, no thanks. Forget it, I’m done.
It felt liberating walking from the ironically-named Genius Bar. I wanted to shout “I’m free” from the rooftops, and tell friends and family of my heroics. And I would have done, if I’d had a mobile phone. So I went to Samsung, who make very good TVs, and quite good phones it appears. My children have to show me the tricky bits, like how to delete more than one email at a time, and how to turn it on, but I’m getting used to it. Apparently, I can even drop it in the bath, but I haven’t tried that yet.
However, like a jilted lover, Apple still gets its little digs in. Text conversations disappear into a chasm somewhere between iMessage and eternity. Really, it is a remarkably clever system, specifically designed to rule the world. If you turn iMessage off because your non-Apple friends don’t get your messages, you yourself don’t get messages from your Apple friends. Texts I’ve sent on Android have been replied to as iMessages (and therefore not received) because, as Don McLean sang in American Pie, “you can never leave”. The only solution is that the whole world goes Apple. Simplicity is the key to world domination, I’ve often thought.
But let me make this clear – I shall never go back! So I’ve taken a Luddite approach to the whole thing. If friends can’t reach me because they are still sending me iMessages it is their loss, and their penance for sticking with the beastly behemoth. Be brave comrades – if we do not stand united against this global and constantly evolving (witness the announcement of the iPhone7 with wireless earpiece that reads your brainwaves) threat, the history books shall record the day Apple took over Belgium.