As I lost one of my AirPods Pro gen 2 AirPods, I decided to go for the new USB-C AirPods Pro gen 2 from Sky Mobile who were doing them for a good deal (I will eventually get around to sorting out the missing AirPod, that way I’ll have a spare). When the DPD driver turned up, he took this photo as proof of delivery, and it makes me look like some form of drug addict waiting to get his fix.
The USB-C AirPods Pro gen 2 should have really been given a gen 3 label, as they are different (other than the USB-C port) – the H2 chip within the AirPods can now use the 5Ghz wireless bandwidth to incorporate lossless audio which, apparently, is intended for Apple’s new Vision Pro headset. Not that I intend buying one given that it costs more than my 16″ MacBook Pro. But I do wonder if Apple will enable it on the iPhone and iPad.
As for the iPhone 15 Pro Max – well, again, Sky has had a very good deal on them for the handset only (I also note that EE, Sky and Vodafone now all let you pay the handset off separately for up to 36 months after which you’re just paying for the airtime – so everybody is now following in the wake of O2 which has been doing this for ages now). I’m on an older EE contract which will still charge me full rate even when I’ve finished paying off the handset, so I’ll be changing to SIM only once that’s up next year.
Now, I’ve said that I’m slowing down/stopping my tech spending as of now – and I am – but I do feel that the iPhone is a very personal and important device that for my line of work (especially the iPhone 15 Pro’s ray tracing capabilities for games) and as a hobby. I feel the need to switch out handsets each year so that I can be familiar with the new features and whether it’ll impact stuff at work (for example, some of the newer privacy features in the iPhone affected Wi-Fi connectivity back in my old job – took me a while to figure out what was happening). After all, a smartphone these days is my personal assistant, camera, wallet, ID, phone, portable entertainment centre (music and video), gaming device, bus pass, train pass (though there’s going to be a whole blog post about that soon), loyalty cards, messaging service, taxi ordering service, maps, delivery tracking, and so much more.
The only problem is that on the day of pre-ordering, pretty much every single service provider (and even Apple’s own site) had significant problems keeping up on demand. I had problems with Sky but managed to get a pre-order in, and received an email to confirm that I’d get the unit on Friday 22nd but, ALAS, “due to a technical error” (yeah, more like logistical error) that was wrong. Hopefully should find out next week when I should be receiving the device, but indicators point until the end of October. Analysts have stated that there has been a significantly higher demand for the iPhone 15 Pro (and especially with Max edition with the 5x telephoto lens) than anticipated.
The only real problem is that I was due to send the iPhone 14 Pro Max to be sold and the very generous offer for it is about to expire on Tuesday. Nevertheless, even if miss the deadline, even with a reduced offer it’ll still hold a much better value than an Android device. We go through this rigmarole almost every year, though this year has been particularly bad with delivery delays.
You should see the Sky forums about the Pro Max delivery days – many people claiming Sky mislead them. Alas, I wish people would see reason because this practically happens every year during pre-ordering. Apple has an initial finite stock that has been split between the various telecoms companies and themselves. There is much higher pressure this year because of the change to USB-C for data and charging, and the new camera system in the Pro Max. Many people have been waiting to upgrade from the iPhone 12 or 13 to the 15 – and if there was going to be one year that they’d do it, it’s this year.
At the end of the day, people will get their phones – it just requires a bit more patience – although a legitimate criticism has been that Sky hasn’t communicated the delays very well. A lot of us have either been on holiday or working from home when the phone was originally due to be delivered and it means that now we’ll have to organise another day to be home to take delivery – but as to when? Whenever Apple has more stock, and whether your order takes priority within the next stock release.
Technology, eh? Got to love it. It’s expensive AND it drives us insane.
P.S. – The Apple Watch Ultra 2 isn’t worth upgrading to – I’m perfectly happy with my Ultra 1. Don’t need the extra 1,000 nits of brightness or the speedier processor. Nice to haves, but not essential. The Ultra 1 has been a great trooper so far and it really is one of Apple’s finest products to date (along with the AirPods Pro) and it’s even better now with the release of WatchOS 10 (I love the new Modular Ultra watch face in particular).