July 5 2008

Apple Craziness Reigns Again

cubesApple is all over the blogosphere again, and again it is for the craziness of Apple fans more than the company themselves.

It seems that on Friday, July 4th people were spotted lining up outside the Apple flagship store on 5th avenue in New York City.  Why were they lining up?  Because they wanted to be in line the iPhone 3G release next Friday.

Normally this is where I would go off about obsessive Apple fans, but as time has passed, it is appearing to be more and more like a publicity stunt by some group with the website,  The site goes on about how they’re going to be green with recycling, and having organiaclly grown food brought to them, all while trying to set a world’s record for waiting in line to buy a product.

What disturbs me is that they have a baby with them.  Yes, you read that right, a baby.  Hopefully it is being taken somewhere else the majority of the time, and perhaps was only in line for Friday, I don’t know, but a baby being anywhere around this stupidity makes me nervous.

So, all well and good, perhaps it is just a publicity stunt, every one will shake their heads, laugh and move on with their lives.  That is until a site like AppleInsider decides to list why they feel people would be justified in standing in line for a week for the new iPhone.

…there exists more of a clear incentive to be first in line at the New York City flagship outlet. With customers required to activate iPhone in-store rather than simply walk out with their purchases, the time spent processing each customer is estimated to take at least 10 minutes — a process that will slow the line down considerably versus the original launch, in which many customers could buy their handsets and leave in just a fraction of the time.

iphone 3gYes, 10 minutes of activation will slow down the line, but isn’t standing in line, inside a store, for one day, better than waiting outside for a week?  Or you could do some radical things like come back later in the day, maybe the next morning, how about the following week?  I know, now I’m just talking crazy talk!  Also, unlike last year, there is going to be plenty of supply, no one will be running out, so why not wait a day or two to get it?

Then there is the situation with the pricing.  If you are just starting up a contract, the iPhone 3G will run you $199 for 8GB and $299 for 16GB with the purchase of a two year contract.  However, if you bought an iPhone gen 1, at most you have burned through 1 year of your 2 year contract.  If you upgrade now, you are looking at $399 for the 8GB and $499 for the 16GB, and this will also make you extend your contract.

Look, I know a lot of people who had never gotten into gadgets before jumped into this one, as evidenced by people screaming for Apple to give a refund after a price drop, but I can just about guarentee you that the iPhone will get a major update once a year.  It’s what Apple does with the iPods every year, and this is considered part of the iPod family, so get used to it.  My suggestion?  Skip a generation each time.  That will put you right back at being able to upgrade with your contract expering.  The only major change for you this time will be the 3G fuctions, pretty much everything else will happen in your firmware update that is due out July 11th.

In short… calm down… it’s a gadget.  No need to make babies wait a week in line, no need to scare people they have to be there early to avoid lines and there certainly is no need to pay $399 – $499.  Deep breaths, folks… deep breaths.

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