Apple Alternatives: My journey from Apple to Android

I’ve been an Apple fan for many years.  However a few recent experiences have pushed me to look for Apple alternatives.  My long-version story of my journey from Apple to Android is below.  If you’d like the quick version, here’s a summary.

What I (still) love about Apple: 

  • Great design – just looks and feels nice!
  • Camera quality on iPhone is high
  • Apple products sync really well
  • Find my iPhone feature
  • Siri (quick and easy way to do things on iPhone & iPad)

What’s making me lean towards Android:

  • Apple is Expensive to buy
  • Apple is Expensive to fix
  • Apple has Limited storage and not easy to upgrade (e.g. 16GB iPhone)
  • Apple’s Business model pushing you into expensive Apple-only accessories and expensive iCloud storage
  • Apple has limited places to do Apple repairs
  • Gap between Apple & Android capabilities, design and usability  is narrowing


Here’s my Apple to Android story and experiences so far:

I bought my first iPod in 2008, followed by an iPod touch in 2009, and my first iPhone in 2011 (iPhone 4).  In 2011, I added a Macbook Pro to my Apple family and an iPad 2 in 2012.  An iPad Air was my treat to myself as a 2013 Christmas present so I didn’t have to share the iPad 2 with the kids anymore!  Finally, a shiny new iMac was on my desk a year ago and around the same time, I upgraded to a iPhone 5 (2nd hand from a friend).  I also have Apple TV and an AirPort.

Until last month, I loved everything Apple and wouldn’t really even consider anything else.  Each time I made the initial purchase, I had to really think about the significant investment and whether I could justify the cost, but decided in the end, it was worth it.  Why did I love Apple?   It helped me get my work and life organised, I rarely had problems with anything, and it all “talked to” each other.   I was familiar with the operating system and didn’t want to learn a new one.

However some problems with my iPhone5 made me reassess everything recently.  Apple is great when it works, and when you’re under warranty.  When it doesn’t though, you can get stuck.  For products that are so expensive in the first place, it diminishes my loyalty when they are so expensive to fix.

Firstly, my iPhone5 battery didn’t seem to hold a charge very well.  I prefer to get Apple products serviced by Apple, with genuine parts, which is what their business model also seems to push you towards.  These are expensive products, you don’t want to mess with them.  But then, I would have had to pay 79 euros for a phone only a few years old, take a few hours out of my busy schedule to go to their store, and be without my phone for up to a week.  I ended up going to a local (non-Apple) store, who replaced it in 10 minutes, for 40 euros.  Sure, it wasn’t a genuine Apple replacement but I thought I’d try it – and it worked just fine for the year afterwards (as far as the iPhone battery can work, it generally lasts a day).

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 11.04.50 AM

Then, a few weeks ago, I started noticing consistent, annoying “dots” in all my photos and videos.   Again, to have to go to Apple out of warranty would have been a pain, and would have cost me nearly 300 euros, and again be without a phone for a week.  So I went back to the same store that had fixed my battery, and in the meantime, had also replaced the screen on my iPad.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 11.02.42 AM

This is when the stress started though.  Long story, but firstly, they quoted 20 euros to open up the iPhone and clean the dust out of the camera.  Then, told me that it wasn’t dust, but I could have a camera replacement for 35 euros, which I said to go ahead with.  But with the new camera, the problem was actually worse, and while checking why – something major happened and the screen wouldn’t turn back on.  That was nearly 3 weeks ago.  They’ve sent it to someone to look at the motherboard, but I’m STILL waiting to get it back.  I have no idea what it will cost if I do get it back, and what kind of quality the parts are.  So I will pretty much have to write off my iPhone5.

After a few days without it, I started researching my options.  I talked to my mobile provider, but as I was on a SIM-only 2 year contract that only started recently, I would have to sign an ADDITIONAL 1-2 years and still pay several hundred for a phone, plus a monthly cost.  I was stunned that to buy a new one outright (iPhone5S) would cost me 559 euros, and the 6 is of course even more expensive.

My husband said – “Here’s a crazy idea, why not buy a phone that’s just a phone!”.  I actually borrowed my 8 year olds little flip phone we recently bought her, but particularly as someone working in social media, I decided I really do need an up to date smartphone. My husband has my old iPhone4 which I could get back (he’s not as attached to his phone as I am!) but I thought I’d find it difficult to go “backwards”.    I still couldn’t bring myself to spend over 500 on a new iPhone though, especially when I already have an iPad on wifi at home and work.

So, I asked my friends and colleagues and did hours and hours of research online.  I considered Samsung but the latest models really aren’t that much cheaper than an iPhone.  So then two options came up I’d never heard of but seemed decent Apple Alternatives in my case:

Apple Alternative: Android OnePlus

This is marketing as a direct competition against the flagship phones (of Apple and Samsung no doubt).  I haven’t had a look at one yet, but from their site, it looks like a good value Android.

Apple Alternative: Android WileyFox

A British Start-Up offering two great value Android phones: the Swift and Storm.

Full details here:

In the end, I bought a WileyFox Swift from CoolBlue for 179 euros.  I ordered on a Saturday evening and had it delivered by Sunday afternoon.  (I’m in the Netherlands)

It’s been about 10 days since I made the switch from Apple to Android and am happy with it so far.  I’ll write a seperate review post soon.

So in summary, I’m still happy with my iMac, which is only a year old.  My MacBook Pro is slowing down significantly though and as I typed this post, I noticed some chips and small cracks in my iPad Air.  When the time comes to replace all these, I’m not sure I’ll be as adamant about Apple.

Are you Apple or Anroid?  What do you love (or not love!) Why?


4 thoughts on “Apple Alternatives: My journey from Apple to Android

  1. Hey Renee, how do you sync your Wileyfox with you iMac? I’ve just got one and have no idea how to get my contacts and music on it?

  2. Hi Renée, I’d be curious to hear your current opinion on your new phone, now you’ve been using it some months. What’s the pros, what’s the cons?


    1. Hello Jan Willem,
      I have to admit, I ended the “affair” and went back to Apple! Not because I didn’t like the Wiley Fox, but because the store that was repairing my phone gave me a iPhone5 replacement. What it comes down to is that if I have the choice with price taken out of the equation, then I would go for an iPhone. However, I have had several people interested in seeing my Wiley Fox when an iPhone is out of their budget, have bought one, and been happy with it. I still use mine from time to time, for example as a back up phone. I believe with T-Mobile, I can get a 2nd SIM card to share data and have been meaning to do this (i.e. my iPhone would be my main phone but I could still use the Wiley Fox on the data network on the same plan).

      Battery life on the Wiley Fox is much better than my iPhone. I do find it a little on the big side, and the only cover I could easily find for it made it slightly bigger. Photo quality on the iPhone is better, but the Wiley Fox is fine for the average person.

      Hope that helps, let me know how you go!


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