Have you gotten yours yet? I'm talking about yet another upgrade of the extremely popular iPhone causing mass mania here and abroad. The hysteria has reached high octane levels, beginning with day one of camped out consumers who anxiously waited for days to get their hands on Apple's newly released slick iPhone 5 about a week ago.
For a phone that costs $800 a pop in an abysmal economy, what drives the fervor to own one to this fever pitch? Reports say the latest iPhone was sold out before it even hit the market and in New York, it is so popular that it is on thieves most wanted list. The New York City police department has issued special cautionary guidelines for commuters and pedestrians to protect themselves from being robbed.
According to USA Today, Apple has sold a record number in this latest series, with sales of 5 million in the U.S. alone. The much sought-after phone reportedly goes on sale in 22 other countries on Friday.
To add to the fascination that is Apple with its many shiny, sexy products, riots in China factories have halted production and threatens sales, with a shortage now looming.
Meanwhile, the masses who are still clamoring for the latest “iGadget” seem to only care how they will acquire one, not about the controversy behind the scenes, or the politics that has paved the way from rioting underpaid Chinese workers living in dormitories where they work on the assembly line to brightly lit, attractive Apple store outlets in a city near you.
I first heard about Foxconn about two years ago and the disturbing suicides that were occurring there, as more than 10 workers in less than a year jumped to their death from the windows of the giant dormitories they both lived and worked in for under minimum wages.
The scandal threatened to rock the Apple brand, as news of human rights violation and rough conditions at the Foxconn plant hit the U.S. Incredulously, Apple sales did not suffer, as the company did swift damage control, with then alive and well brilliant and shrewd CEO, assuring that wages and conditions at the plant had improved.
Fast forward to today and consumers are just as unconcerned about whom or how their iPhone gets made, consumed instead with owning the pricey product. I must confess, I too own an iPhone, and even if I'm ashamed to say it is of the ancient number 3S installment, I couldn't bring myself to upgrade after learning about Foxconn.
A tad hypocritical, for I didn't get rid of it, which speaks to the irrational deep addiction of the Apple product. Friends and family members look at me with pity, like I am a dinosaur for not upgrading to each slicker, slimmer, newer "iMember" to join the "iFamily" of smart phones.
Throw in the latest issues of scuff marks easily visible because the hardware is not as durable as the 4GS (see above video for more) and Google map issues, the addiction is even harder to understand, considering there are other smart phones out there.
Samsung is trying valiantly to compete with their newly released S111 variety and users say it is better performing than the iPhone, but sales are nowhere close to Apple's i5.
Which brings us to upgrades: are they really worth their value in dollars and hype? The difference most times are minimal and the older phones are always more durable. The difference between the latest and the earliest is a front camera, face time and design. The software is easily upgraded on all phones so one can have the iPhone 3S with the latest iOS.
So again, what's the behind the fascination? Whatever it is, Apple Inc. is raking it in, making that company so successful they reportedly have more revenue in their coffers than the U.S. Federal government. Now, that's saying a lot for the late Steve Jobs.