Apple Inc. (AAPL): Blame This On A Twisted Wireless Carrier System

I joined the dark side on Wednesday. After going through three different generations of the iPhone since 2008, I went Android.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

This doesn’t mean I’ve soured on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as an investment. This certainly doesn’t mean that my next three phones will be Android devices. I just came to the conclusion that it’s in my best interest to be mobile operating system-agnostic.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) lets me upgrade my phone every 20 months. Other carriers let folks swap out their devices between 20 and 24 months after purchase. The carrier’s hefty monthly bill — steep because AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is subsidizing more than $300 off the price of a smartphone on contract — makes me a sap if I wait.

I paid the stupid tax before. I would wait until the next iPhone would roll out, forgoing months of upgrade eligibility before that. All this did was the start the clock later on my next upgrade.

Enough.

My upgrade window opened earlier this month, and I went with the smartphone that seemed to best suit my needs. Right now, that’s the Samsung Galaxy S4. I’m too early in the learning curve to give it a ringing endorsement, but I don’t regret my decision.

I spend more time computing on my smartphone than using it as a phone, and the larger-sized phone appealed to me. I take more snapshots than I make phone calls. Nearly everything I used to do on my iPhone I can on Android. I never invested heavily in paid apps, and the bad news for both Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) in the future is that I’m likely to start now that I’ve embraced the “best available smartphone” approach. Get wooed too deep into an ecosystem, and you wind up paying that dumb tax where you can wait as long as 15 months between iPhone releases.

I could’ve waited for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to make a phone with a 5-inch screen. Surely Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) would match if not surpass the S4’s 13-megapixel camera in its update later this year. A rumor indicates that even Samsung is about to outdo itself with a 16-megapixel camera an an optical zoom lens in an upcoming S4 model. It certainly would’ve been easier to keep my few App Store purchases going instead of buying them again through Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play.

I choose not to wait. If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s iPhone that rolls out in early 2015 is the best device on the market, that’s where I’ll go.