Kate Williams ponders the world of social media, and today takes a bite of the Apple …
The week, for Apple, was both sweet and sour. Exhibit A: Tuesday’s opening of the pre-order list for the iPhone 4.
Now, nothing in life is certain: I’ve recently discovered that the rain in Spain in fact follows a fairly random precipitation pattern; and it turns out that bears don’t always sit in the woods.
But it is a truth universally acknowledged that popular demand for anything which begins with an ‘i’, and ends with a ‘Phone’ will likely be so enormous as to be literally (okay, not literally) visible from space.
With this in mind, I think we can reasonably postulate that Apple were somewhat taken aback (you may translate that as you see fit) to discover that AT&T, their exclusive carrier in the States, had bungled the opening of the iPhone 4’s pre-order list so comprehensively.
In case you weren’t following the thrilling debacle with quite such rapt attention as I, AT&T’s phone and online systems buckled, like a bunker made of butter, under the strain; frustrated customers faced endless busy-signals and repeated online error messages, whilst over at AT&T’s retail stores, in-person customers had their details taken down with (wait for it) pen and (oh the joy!) paper for subsequent manual input into the system. To ice the cake of chaos, several people reported being automatically logged in to other users’ accounts, while checking their upgrade eligibility.
Thus far, AT&T has not commented on their colossal Fail, and Apple remain zip-lipped – perhaps having in mind the fact that, despite the Keystone Cops ambience which permeated the whole sorry muddle, they have shifted not only their launch day inventory, but their second wave stock as well.
The upshot: if you want an iPhone anywhere near June 24, you need to persuade Grandma to cash in her ISA right now – no dawdling. Next, start scoping eBay, where a 32GB model, hand-delivered by June 27th, is currently available at five thousand bucks.
You hesitate, I see? You are, perhaps, unsure whether to mortgage your soul for the fleeting thrill of early adoption? Well, for an alternative view, let us ponder Mark Zuckerberg’s now-deleted Facebook update from earlier in the week, in which he mulls the bittersweet truths of iPhone ownership.
Ah. Well, if I’m honest, I was already reeling from the cruel disappointment of the iPhone 4’s UK pricing plan, revealed earlier this week. If you missed it, it seems Apple’s new baby will be delivered in the UK without the traditional ‘2 years and your first-born, please’ lock-in contract – but only if I cough up a super-sized £499 for the cheapest model . If you’re not from round these parts, you should be aware that it’s entirely possible to buy a second-hand car in Britain for a similar figure, if one isn’t too picky about the number of wheels and so forth.
So, on balance, I think I will wait till the hoo-ha dies down. This early-adopter thing is vastly overrated, don’t you think?
That’s All Folks!
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