Emerald Specter 19: Us versus Them


Funny story: the original draft of this column had a lot of political talk in it and was mainly a rant targeting people who need to pay attention to exactly what they are about to vote on in the US Presidential election. I’ve trashed that column because I made a personal decision a couple of months ago to not talk about politics with anyone because all they do is divide. Instead, I’m going to talk about other things that divide and discuss why these “conflicts” are the result of blindly following one thing over another. Let’s do this.

One of the biggest “us vs them” situations that comes to mind is Apple vs Samsung, Microsoft, and Amazon. The funny part of that is Apple is all of their target, making the perception that all three of those companies are trying to change about Apple true. Apple is really a powerhouse.

Let’s start with Samsung. They have built an empire against Apple with their “phone for every need” mentality. They have a phone with a stylus, they have a phone with a ticker on the edge of the screen, they have a phone for this, and a phone for that. What’s their biggest issue? Their phones are exploding right now, and not in a positive way. “You can charge wirelessly,” except the charger still has a wire. “We have a ticker on the edge,” yet I’ve had a phone in the past with a ticker and it did absolutely nothing for me that I wanted… because I didn’t want it. Samsung needs to understand that Apple works for some folks, like me. I’m happy that Samsung seems to work for other people, great. Keep up the good work. Enjoy your Samsung phones all you want. Why is what phone I’m using causing you issues?

Just like gay marriage, why is what phone I’m using any business of yours? Why does my iPhone affect your life in any way, shape, or form? Just like gay marriage, it doesn’t. iPhone works for me and I’ll keep using iPhones until the iPhone doesn’t work for me anymore. I don’t slam on your Galaxy because it obviously works for you, so why does harping on my iPhone need to happen? Just shut up and live your own damn life.

Let’s move on to Microsoft, where their barrage of “Surface Pro is better than MacBooks” campaign is so ridiculous that I have to comment on how ridiculous it is. Comparing the Surface Pro (a tablet) to the MacBook (a laptop) is like comparing (yes, I’m going there) apples and oranges. Compare the Surface Pro to the iPad, because that is the true comparison. Of course Surface Pro looks like a gem compared to a laptop because the laptop isn’t in the same category. Why not go all out and compare the Surface Pro to something completely unrelated, like the AppleWatch?

Microsoft hasn’t been relevant in a long time. Sure, Windows still works but the transition towards a more “mobile” operating system has blown back in their faces. As a tech outsider, Microsoft to me looks like the kid who has been ruling the playground from the corner of the yard without paying attention to the swath of better alternatives that moved in years ago.

We’ve got a Microsoft that acts like Fonzie but is actually operating in the Wire. Fonzie dies in that situation, people.

Finally, I’m going to hit up Amazon. Why does Amazon want to compete with Apple? Amazon’s primary business model is shipping items and Apple is a computer hardware company. Amazon has tried a phone, and failed. They’ve got their own “FireTV stick” that is comparable to AppleTV. Awesome. Compare those two things, but why do they need to attack a computer hardware company over it’s voice activated lady box or their streaming TV service (which isn’t even near the level of awesome of Hulu or Netflix)?

That’s only one “us vs them” and I’m running out of column room to write about more!

What about Verizon vs Sprint vs AT&T vs T-Mobile? This is really a four man race that isn’t a great industry to be a part of, because as far as the claims being made against one another, there isn’t much difference between them.

Verizon touts the best coverage in the nation, but they have shit customer service. How can I make that claim? I’m a former customer of theirs, primarily because of their shit customer service. AT&T also has shit customer service, as well as having shit options. How can I make that claim? Well, you can figure that one out.

T-Mobile and Sprint are solidly in the “third place” spot, but both companies are doing exactly what they should in their situation: don’t gun for the biggest company on the block, start doing stuff that makes the policies and options of the biggest company on the block look ridiculous.

Verizon and AT&T have data limits and sharing plans? Why the fuck do I want to share a limited amount of data with others? Sprint and T-Mobile don’t have data limits.

Verizon and AT&T have outrageous plans in as far as cost goes. Why do I want to pay a lot of money for data limited networks just because the coverage is “better”? I live in a population center and I don’t really go into the boonies, so your “great coverage” means nothing to me because you have data limits. That, and the cost for my unlimited data plan is far cheaper than what those guys offer.

Let’s stop being antagonistic to each other. Your political candidate is better than mine? The basis for that judgment normally hinges on the letter next to their name rather than their actual value. You think Coke is worlds better than Pepsi? That’s your taste in colas, not mine, so don’t impose your opinion on me as fact.

Facts are truth, not opinion. Take a moment to be nicer.

Think on it.

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