For most of us, using a smartphone has become second nature. They are ubiquitous. We see them everywhere we go. We watch people use them to take photos of food on their table. Basically, smartphones have become such an integral part of our lives, that we just expect them to work one way versus another. Or, to put it another way, we expect them to just work. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
We may try to say that we get used to it over the years, but the truth is that we really don’t. It doesn’t matter how many times we’ve experience a piece of technology not working exactly the way we think it should, it’s still a ridiculously stressful situation. Whether it’s a certain feature, a list of them, or just technical difficulties, a phone that isn’t working the way we expect it to can make for a rough time.
That’s why being an early adopter can be such a slippery slope.
I can call myself an early adopter. I’ve been one for as long as I’ve been able to be an early adopter. (My parents didn’t much care if I had all the “coolest gadgets” right when they came out when I was younger. Parents just don’t understand.) I’ve reserved things online, in stores, and I’ve constantly refreshed pages to make sure that I made it into the limited purchase windows some popular products receive.
But, the real early adopters are the folks who stand in line. The lines that we see on the evening (and usually the morning) news. The lines that wrap around blocks. Where people get interviewed, and seem genuinely excited to get their hands on the phone, tablet, console, or other device they’ve been waiting for “for ages.”
I can’t even remember all the lines I’ve stood in, “braving” ridiculously cold temperatures depending on the release date, and over anxious people. I’ve had terrible times in lines, but I’ve also had some great times waiting for something I’ve really wanted to buy, thanks to friends waiting the whole time with me. (They were buying whatever we were waiting for, too. They weren’t just doing it out of the kindness of their hearts.)
But we all know the craziest lines, don’t we? Yeah, we do. It is Apple lines. The iPhone lines. Those are the lines that all the people talk about, usually days before the product’s launch. We can’t help but see them as we browse our favorite sites. We can’t help but hear people talk about them. And, just maybe, we can’t help but be part of them.
I’ve never stood in an iPhone line. In fact, I’ve never picked up an iPhone in the first few weeks of their availability. I’ve always waited, just in case. I wait because I remember when a friend of mine picked up the iPhone 4, and he couldn’t make phone calls because he was holding his phone the wrong way. Being an early adopter in that particular case led to “antennagate,” and while it’s all water under the bridge now, it was a pretty big brouhaha back then.
And if you’ve ever been an early adopter of a video game, then you know how broken those particular events can be, more often than not.
With the BlackBerry 10-based BlackBerry Z10 available in international markets, and coming soon to the States, I want to be an early adopter of the new platform so badly. I think it would be worth it, and I fully expect BlackBerry to push out some kind of update by the time the phone launches here locally. On top of that, while I'm not much of a fan of the Galaxy S III from Samsung, I'd be willing to wager there's going to be a big part of me that wants to try the Galaxy S IV out when it launches, later this year.
But I want to hear your early adopter stories. Do you have any horror stories, or has your early adopting gone without a hitch over the years? Or do you make sure not to buy anything that’s brand, brand new, for this specific reason? Let me know!