Punch-drunk Apple fans crashing Android party
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 27, 2013 at 6:11 p.m.
True, an apple a day can keep the doctor away, although Android fans might argue too many apples will make you sick to your stomach.
Many such fans are probably doubled over by now after a week of hoopla surrounding the recent iOS 7 update and release of not one, but two new iPhones. For “Fandroids” it's akin to the neighbor you already dislike having a week's worth of late-night parties.
Apple users, however, are in a euphoric state. Punch drunk, actually, as reports have gold versions of its new flagship iPhone 5S selling online for upwards of $1,500. How upwards? A recent eBay auction ended with 51 bids leading to the final sale price of $10,100 for a 16GB device. Umm, this is not real gold here folks? The same device sells in stores for $199 with a new contract. The demand revolves around the fact Apple shipped as few as one of the golden idols to each retailer after greatly promoting the version.
Want even more craziness? Just listen to the stories coming out of the pre-launch crowds who annually line up to be among the first to buy a new device. How about the Apple Store in Tokyo, Japan, where “iAddicts” waited outside as a deadly typhoon bore down on the city. As winds rose to 160 kilometers per hour, employees of the store finally had to bring the overeager customers inside for safety. Even amid the insanity, some demanded tickets to reserve their place in line before coming inside.
Back home, nearly 1,500 people waited outside an Apple store in New York City for a chance to get a new iPhone. The first few in line camped out a full week before the devices were even announced. Oh, the humanity.
Of course, there was launch day, when the masses descended on just about any electronics store possible to get a new device, even though most already had a perfectly good iPhone in their pockets. Want the irony? There were reports of multiple fights and chaos on launch day and even an incident at a Houston AT&T store where eager customers were robbed at gunpoint by armed assailants who went through the line taking wallets, jewelry and — gasp — their iPhones.
Samsung, Apple's biggest rival in the smartphone market, actually sent out film crews to select lines to capture the chaos. The company might sell more phones than Apple but could only wish for the sort of cultural phenomenon that comes with annual iPhone releases. All in all, Apple sold about 9 million devices over the launch weekend, a new record. Of course, stores would have sold millions more if stock had not sold out so quickly. Samsung's response? You guessed it: a new gold version of its popular Galaxy S4 is in the pipeline.
Of course this was not the only earthquake that rocked the mobile computing world recently as Apple also released a major update to its mobile operating system. Perhaps you've heard the buzz. Facebook was flooded, Twitter was twerking and tech blogs were bloated with updates. Not to mention the traditional television and newspaper reports. The noise has been loud and for “iHaters” it must be like nails on a chalkboard.
So far, more than 200 million users have upgraded. In fairness, this was the first real overhaul of the mobile software since the iPhone was first released in 2007, and it arguably took users from outdated to out-in-front. For many, the update was akin to the feel of a new device, considering we interact more with the software than the hardware, which generally lives behind the comforting walls of a thick case.
In the relentless, yet pointless duel between “Fandroids” and “Apple Fanboys,” these recent events have been a big momentum shift for the former. Apple has recently been labeled as slow to innovate and falling behind the competition. Each company wants the relevancy, technology and, of course, the spotlight, and Apple has now snatched it all back. To borrow a popular phrase, Apple users are enjoying the thrill of victory while their Android counterparts have had to, well, listen to it all.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.