This is one of the biggest decisions I have ever had to make: to keep my iPhone or to move to Samsung, LG or another Android-based provider.
After years of being a faithful iPhone user, I finally had to face the fact that I seem to care more about Apple than Apple cares about me as an end-user.
Yes, I had put up with high-priced phones and devices for years. Of course, I always knew that as soon as I made the commitment to the latest phone that it would be dated, at best, or obsolete, at worst, within 12 months.
Yes, I knew that I was paying a premium to buy music on the exclusionary iTunes platform that made it difficult to access and share music I had bought at a premium price. In fact, I am missing music that should be in my library right now and can't figure out how to access the illusive company to help me. Yet, I stayed.
I watched as friends with Android-based phones like those from Samsung as they took beautiful, crisp pictures with cameras that seemed to have more features, clarity and pizzazz than my iPhone. Yet, I could not let go.
I even ignored the commercials that seemed to intimate that my iPhone was not giving me all it could compared to other phones on the market. I comforted myself by saying, "they just don't know what it's like to be in a relationship with Apple. It's wonderful!"
Then something happened this January. My contract with my phone carrier ended and it was time to upgrade to a new phone and I was frozen.
I couldn't quite bring myself to leave Apple. I had the desktop iMac and would buy the new iPad Air for myself and the iPad mini for my eighth grader over spring break. But, for some reason, I could not bring myself to purchase the iPhone 5S.
Apple did not seem at all concerned that I, as the mother of three boys who depends on her phone to capture so much of their lives, needed more.
It is true. I could fish out my full DSLR camera that I bought only two years ago, but seldom carry, with all its bulk, clarity and features. But the reality of my real life is that I am too busy and weighed down already with the demands of every day to carry my fancy camera. So, I depend on my phone for the bulk of the photos and video that will chronicle a time in the life of my family that will never come again.
Moreover, the phone I had come to love and rely on did not seem to care about the challenges that sharing music on the exclusive, expensive iTunes platform represented for me and my family -- even after several years of use.
In short, my eye started to wander.
Finally, when I saw that Samsung and LG had created smart watches that solved actual every day challenges that I and my families face on a daily basis, I could no longer turn a blind eye and continue in my loyal following of Apple.
Samsung cared about my health with its new health apps and smart watch to monitor everything from my heart rate to the quality of my sleep.
LG could send my middle school sons reminders and texts on their watches even when phones weren't allowed to leave their backpacks or pockets in school. No more missed assignments or forgotten books.
My husband who has finally accepted that reading glasses are sometimes needed for many of us in our 40s (not me, of course), needed a bigger screen than his iPhone could offer. He does not like change and is extremely loyal once he commits. Good for 18 years of marriage, bad for the ever-changing landscape of electronics. So, I had to literally pry is fingers from his beloved Blackberry three years ago to have him join the 21st century in the days before Blackberry finally acquiesced into joining the smartphone, touchscreen revolution. And he has adapted quite well.
In August 2014, because of their new smart watches, I purchased the new LG3 phone and the new LG smart watches for 7th and 8th grade sons. This has worked out great. But, why hadn't I made the switch for myself?
Apple loyalty is truly hard to underestimate and difficult to explain to anyone who hasn't experienced it.
So, here I am after nine months of looking, comparing, waiting, hoping, researching, googling information, not wanting to make the wrong move, waiting with baited breath -- I am waiting with great anticipation for today's Apple's iPhone 6 announcement to make my final determination on the phone that will be a part of my and my family's life for years to come.
Believe me. I am as shocked as anyone that I have become so passionate about my cell phone. I am the woman who five years ago used to walk into a phone store and say, "just give me the cheapest phone you have -- no bells, no whistles, just functional." That all changed the day I saw my first iPhone app that seemed to speak to my every need at the time.
Today, I will find out if the iPhone is still the phone that meets my needs and inspires passionate loyalty in my life.