Dear Apple

Hello people who designed and created my phone. You are like the friends whose names I can never remember. I know you by proxy and tell everyone your awesome. Until I see you and I say "Hi ... " awkwardly trailing off in hopes someone else will fill in your identity on my behalf.

Ever since I first slid the 3G into my pocket to claim as my own, I felt as if I had purchased a shiny glimpse of the glorious future. I was time traveling without a Delorean and it was awesome.

Do you remember the tiny phones from Zoolander? For a while I thought that was where y'all were headed. Each new model of phone being slightly smaller than the prior version. Had you continued with that trend, we would all now be debating whether or not there is more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. Then you released the iPad and everyone realized your vision for the future: iPhones for giants. As much as I would love to herald Ben Stiller as a prophet of science fiction, you went a different direction.

Now your iPhones are getting bigger, your iPads are getting smaller, and it is only a matter of time until no one will be able to tell the difference. Of course, no one will care either because your unveiling events are always an act of dazzling theatrics melting the hearts of any iPhone devotee, turning us into swooning 13 year old girls attending their first One Direction concert.

Granted, I am not an Apple enthusiast. Yes, I feel naked without my iPhone. My home computer isn't an Apple product, but I do use iTunes on it because iTunes is far better than any other media player I have tested. I adore my iPod. Why? If you've ever tried to use a Zune you would know why. If I could afford one, I would probably use a MacBook for all of my writing. (Until my budget allows such a purchase, I am wishful for some benevolent family member to bestow upon me the gift of their never used MacBook.)

But I'm not an enthusiast. More like a fan. It is for that reason I write this open letter blog post that I doubt any Apple employee will ever read.

I have a valid complaint tempting me to switch to Android or even a Windows phone. Until now, I have resisted that change despite the multitude of friends and family that have all ready blazed that trail before me. Might be because I am lazy and do not want to learn a new mobile OS. Too much effort. But this issue of mine is pushing me closer to the edge.

What is this irksome defect I have found? Well, if you don't mind me saying: whoever decided the Lightning connector was a good idea was wrong. Horribly incorrect.

Please don't misunderstand me. I appreciate the fact that I don't have to worry if the cord is right side up or upside down. Both ways are acceptable. It is nice to have a tip that is significantly smaller than the 30-pin-connector. Such a difference would be necessary if you were still producing smaller and smaller phones, but you are not. We do not live in a Zoolander world, and the next iteration of your iPhone is not the iPaperThin. The tiny tip might be pointless, but still nice.

I will not complain about the lost compatibility to docks or speakers when I upgraded to the 5s because I did not have any of those fancy accessories. I only needed a phone and a power cord - you delivered.

However, of recent times it has become increasingly difficult to charge my phone. One day I plugged it in and nothing happened; after shifting my hand in a few degrees of rotation, the device vibrated and the little green charging image appeared on the screen. All was well, or so I thought.

Over the following days and weeks, the connector progressively felt looser inside the jack forcing me to discover new ways to coax my phone to charge. Tilting the phone. Twisting and bending the power cord. Using the weight of gravity to pull pull the connection in the optimal direction to spark the flow of power from outlet to hardware. I sometimes felt as if I had been transported back into the 80s, adjusting the bunny ears on top of my television so that my family could watch the Mariners game without static and fuzz.

My breaking point came when my efforts to charge my phone felt like an act more worthy of a Vegas magic show than a step in my bedtime routine.

Thankfully, I am not an idiot. If Google is to be trusted, I found this stressor is one shared by many of your customers. The Apple discussion boards are filled with consumers complaining of loose Lightning jacks and phones that will not charge. Within those boards, I found a culprit.


Stupid, annoying, pesky pocket lint.

An easy fix and my phone has been returned to its normal state, happily accepting the union between connector and jack.

I know what you're thinking, if my gripe has been resolved then why mention anything? I do so for one simple reason: I never had this problem with the 30 pin connector. I still have my 3G. I use it as an mp3 player when I work out. Despite its age, it still charges with ease. It looks at lint and laughs.

Your research and development teams are currently working on rolling out next year's iPhone 7, and probably planning iPhone 8 designs. That's business and I understand. But I hope they figure out the lint flaw. Your phones are not Nintendo cartridges; we should not have to blow in them to get them to function.

ps: I really do want one of those tiny Zoolander phones. You should make that a real thing.


  1. Great post, Nic! Had me laughing. Sad to say though that I have been having problem was th the docking port on my 4s this past week where it thinks it's plugged in to speakers when it's not and thus won't make noise. Even the old ports aren't perfect.

    1. Very true. Technology in general isn't perfect. I believe the proper term is "planned obsolescence."