So I logged off and started thinking.
Apple offers three variations on the iPhone 5 — a 16GB, 32GB and 64GB model — priced at $199, $299, and $399, respectively. Should I buy the $299 model that will hold 32GB worth of podcasts, eBooks and media? Does it make more sense to splurge on the 64GB model since I’ll likely own the device for 2 years?
“Wait…what amount of storage do I have on my iPhone 4,” I thought.
So I navigated to ‘Settings’ ➞ ‘General’ ➞ ‘About’ to learn that I am using a 32GB model (This was the maximum capacity available at time of purchase, if memory serves). I kept scrolling down to learn more about my device and noticed the ‘License’ option, which I tabbed over to.
Here’s a snippet from the first paragraphs of the license agreement (Which I couldn’t find replicated on the Apple site, even when I followed the link provided):
IMPORTANT: BY USING YOUR iPHONE, iPAD or iPOD TOUCH (“iOS DEVICE”), YOU ARE AGREEING TO BE BOUND BY THE FOLLOWING APPLE AND THIRD PARTY TERMS:
A. APPLE iOS SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT
B. NOTICES FROM APPLE
C. GOOGLE MAPS TERMS AND CONDITIONS
D. YOUTUBE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
iOS SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT
Single User License
(a) The software (including Boot ROM code and other embedded software), documentation, interfaces, content, fonts, and any data that came with your iOS Device (“Original iOS Software”), as may be updated or replaced by feature enhancements, software updates or system restore software provided by Apple (“iOS Software Updates”), whether in read only memory, or any other media or in any other form (the Original iOS Software and iOS Software Updates are collectively referred to as the “iOS Software”) are licensed, not sold, to you by Apple, Inc. (“Apple”) for use only under the terms of this License. Apple and its licensors retain ownership of the iOS software and reserve all rights not expressly granted to you.
I get that it’s illegal to reverse engineer the iOS software or sub-license a copy of it to a friend (also helpfully pointed out in the user license), but what does it mean for the thousands of contacts stored on this device when an individual user can’t even claim ownership over the object they spent hundreds of dollars to obtain?
Well, yes, I guess technically I do retain ownership of the physical iPhone I bought, but it’s not worth a crap unless I’ve got access to iOS. Don’t get me started on jail-breaking or alternate operating systems.
The facts surrounding Apple’s OS are more interesting with the recent development involving Twitter updates.
Today, Friday, September 14, 2012, Twitter agreed to share “about three months’ worth of tweets to a judge overseeing the criminal trial of an Occupy Wall Street protester.”
Why does this matter?
First, there’s an argument to be made that Twitter is not vigorously defending the rights of its 100,000,000+ users. But I’m far more interested in the potential for misuse by organizations who desire to learn about an individuals location and friend data. Can you imagine being arrested for suspicion of a crime just because your location data — logged by Twitter — indicated you were close in proximity to the crime when it supposedly happened?
In the meantime, there’s a 99.9% likelihood that I’ll keep quiet and pay my hundreds of dollars for an iPhone 5 once I become eligible for a full discount in November. But I can’t help feeling nostalgic for the first day of my freshman year of college, when I didn’t yet own a cell phone (let alone smartphone), and all of the nights activities remained stored in a single memory device — my brain.