The rising prices of Apple products

I fell in love with the iPhone ever since I touched one that belonged to a friend. Back then, the iPhone was exclusive only to a certain carrier and I was on a different one.

Years later, that carrier no longer had the exclusivity and I was able to buy the 3GS model. My very first smartphone. Even queued through the night for it.

Since then, I would upgrade my iPhone almost every time when there was a new release. As of this time, I’m using an iPhone 8 Plus 256GB which costs SGD $1,030, after recontracting with my carrier for 2 years. My monthly phone bill is about $40.

With the recent announcement of the new iPhone models, an XS Max 256GB will cost $1,475 and the XS 256GB at $1,335. (2 year re-contract)

While it’s a more powerful phone than the previous generation, at the way the new phones are being priced, I have no doubt it will gradually become unaffordable to the average person.

Guess this 8 Plus will have to stick with me for one or more years.

On the bright side, there’s no “compelling” feature on the Xs that make me want to own one.

My iPad Mini 4 serves me very well since I only use it to read manga.

The only Apple product I want to upgrade is my MacBook Pro. It’s an early 2015 model with 16GB of ram, 128GB SSD.

I’m having disk space issues as I only have 5GB free most of the time. I run virtual machines so I need lots of ram. Responsiveness seems to have been a thing of the past because a lot of my work apps are CPU intensive.

I was glad when they announced 32GB ram MacBook Pros but disappointed to learn it was only for the 15″ model. I would prefer to stick with the 13″ model for it’s lighter weight.

If I ever get the MacBook Pro with the specs that I want, I don’t see myself upgrading my Apple products for years to come.


Apple comes up with something so compelling I just have to get my hands on…

Which I doubt they will for at least the next 3 years.

My iPhone stories ep1

As I spend more time with my iPhone, I love it more and more. So once in a while when I have enough real life stories to tell about my phone, I will share it on my blog. Stories of how it has made my life convenient.

Firstly, my iPhone is not jailbroken. I do know that only by jailbreaking this phone can I unlock it’s full potential. But due to warranty reasons, I shall hold back on the thought. Yes, you can still restore the phone to a non-jailbroken state and Apple will not be able to detect it. But what if the data cable port is damaged, or if some hardware on the phone fails and prevents me from restoring it? That’s one of my concerns.

But anyway, on with the story!

The other day I was at Liang Court. A friend was on his way to meet me from Funan mall. Although Liang Court is quite close to Funan, he forgot where it was. He too had an iPhone.

Instinctively, I started the Maps application on the phone. Dropped a pin on Liang Court on the map and proceeded to see if I could send this location someway, somehow, to him. And sure enough, I had the option of emailing him or sending him an MMS. I chose the email option and sent it to his gmail.

Map app features
I've set my phone's language to Japanese for practice. The small button in the middle, right at the bottom is the one that allows you to send this location via email/MMS.

I then sent him an SMS to tell him to check his gmail. He did and the pin that I dropped on my phone showed up on his.

I did not know that this could be done. I just felt that it should be possible knowing how Apple can make good software.

And here’s another tip for those who regularly buy manga and have a lot of series to keep track. This can be done on any phone with acceptable camera performance.

Oftentimes I forget what’s the last book of a series I’m following. So I started keeping a list of manga of all the series I’m following and the next book I should be buying.

Which creates another problem, I forget to update that list sometimes.

So to remedy this, each time I buy from Kinokuniya, I arrange my books and take a photo of their sides with my phone. Then in future when I need to confirm if I’ve already purchased a certain book, I can refer back to these photos. It’s easy to take a photo, and it’s not that often that I will need to check back on my purchase history.

Jan 10

iPhone, 2 weeks later.

So did iPhone really change my life? Perhaps I overexaggerated because everything’s still the same.

However, a lot of things have become a lot more convenient for me. Here’s a few stories.

The other day I was shopping for manga at Kinokuniya. I decided to get I”s manga after eyeing it for a long time. But the thing about Japanese manga is that they don’t indicate if this is the last book in the series so I don’t know if this is the full set. I went online on my phone and googled for info, found a wiki page which indicated how many books there are in the complete set.

I"s 完全版

Next I wanted to know what was the issue of Macross Chronicle that had a very nice Sheryl Nome poster in it. I went to check out my anime club’s forum. I had earlier posted the issue number there but forgot what number it was. Sadly, it was sold out.

I have this little app that shows the estimated bus arrival times for bus stops in Singapore. I’ve bookmarked the 2 stops that I take to work and from work to home. I use this to determine if I have the luxury to walk slowly or not.

Having twitterific and facebook apps help me catch up on what my friends are up to while killing time.

I also now have a proper email reader, with push email by google. And I can also type in Japanese and email my friends in Japan now. Though Google’s sync seems to have problems with Japanese text. I have a silly workaround for that for the moment.

The calendar app also syncs with my google calendar.

There’s a nice and free pdf reader called Aji Reader. So my phone is also a “book” now. I can read while on the bus but right now I’m trying to break this frustrating sudoku puzzle at extreme difficulty.

Downloaded Japanese and english dictionary apps. Now I can look up words during my Japanese classes.

One of the default applications, a map, proves to be useful should I go to Japan again.

So far there aren’t any phones out there that meet my requirements. A fast, smooth and responsive UI, ability to type Japanese, check emails and surf the net.


To prove that I’m not an Apple fanboy, the next best phone I would recommend to friends would be the HTC Hero. 2 of my colleagues own this phone and it’s pretty smooth and good. I didn’t choose this because it didn’t support Japanese input, the screen size is smaller than iPhone’s and when I try to type really fast on it, it couldn’t catch up.

so I got my iPhone

And I queued for over 6 hours for it.

I should’ve checked how long the queue was. And should’ve given up when it’s going slow.

But I stayed all the way just because I’m stubborn and optimistic. I thought I could go home by 3am.

I ended up leaving the place at 6am. I started queuing at 11.30pm. I didn’t expect such a huge crowd because the phone has been on sale in Singapore for at least a year?

The first part of the long queue ends when you arrive at the customer service counter (bottleneck #1) and you submit your details for a ticket number. A sales person immediately called for my number once I got the ticket. I thought my ordeal was finally going to be over when she directed me to another long queue which is for payment (bottleneck #2).

Then somewhere along the queue, there were 2 M1 girls helping customers apply the screen protector to the newly bought phones. So I too bought screen protector when making my payment and joined the queue.

And there weren’t seperate queues for those who pre-ordered and those who didn’t. I’m assuming there were people who didn’t pre-order in the same queue.

iPhone 3GS


The long wait is finally over.

My telco is finally selling M1 tomorrow, a midnight launch party. I think I’ll go grab mine and hurry back home because I have work the next day.

Now for some silly thoughts of mine.

  1. I somehow believe using a smartphone will change my life. Which is why I’ve been desperate to get one. But several things happened which has delayed me until now.
  2. Women who use smartphones (iPhone, HTC android phones) appear smart to me. Guys, just guys.
  3. I’m going to set the UI to Japanese (if it’s possible). So most of my curious friends will have a hard time using it and then give up.