Hype. That’s what it all comes down to: Hype.
I thought that I’d treat myself to an iPhone 5. I’ve been feeling kinda shitty lately, and could use a pick-me-up. Plus, while I’m not an Apple Fan Bouy, I do have a love for new tech, and they make nice machines. My current phone is an iPhone 4, so I thought it was time to upgrade. Now, I really didn’t want to stand on line for 12 hours to get one, so I figured I’d wait a week or so, then go to the store and buy one. Mistake.
I spent hours on the phone — admittedly while I was doing other things — trying, just TRYING to get someone to tell me if they even had one of the fucking things in stock. Nope. No go. A fucking WEEK after the launch of a HUGE product, the stores — all of them — are sold out.
So screw it, I thought. I’ll just order one online and wait a FUCKING MONTH to get it. Oh well. Then, on a lark, I call again. Yes sir, I’m told. We have some. Not many, but some. Come on down. This, mind you, after 45 minutes on hold. So, I get in my car, drive the half hour to the Apple store (Get one at an AT&T store? You’re joking, right?), and I’m told, oh no. We haven’t had those in for HOURS. Now I’m kinda pissed.
So I’m back to fuck it — I’ll order one. Until someone says, hey, they have this online thing. Between 10pm and 4am, you can order on line and pick it up at the store. Huh, I think. Interesting. I’ll give that a try.
So I do. What a laugh. By the time I go through the process of giving the All Mighty Apple all the required information, there are no phones left. That was about 10:10, mind you. Ten minutes. And they weren’t just out in the store I selected, they were out in stores as far as a hundred and twenty miles away.
Over the next two days, I refine the process of going through Apple’s gauntlet. Last night, I actually picked a store that had what I wanted in stock. So I click to order it, and Apple throws up a NEW road block: The Apple ID.
This is a new thing for iOS 6. You apparently don’t use your itunes information anymore, it’s been usurped by the Apple ID. I don’t fucking WANT an Apple ID, thank you very much. But, because it’s Apple, I don’t have a choice. If you want to play in their walled garden, you must bend over when they want you to. By the time I get through the Apple ID debacle, well… you guessed it. The phone that I’d clicked on and had been ready to pay for, was gone. NO ONE had any, not in any store. None.
I thought I’d give it one more try tonight. I had EVERYTHING ready. EVERYTHING. I was signed in with my shiny new Apple Approved Apple ID. I had my credit card info ready to cut and paste. I had EVERYTHING. So I wait.
Then it happened. At 10:01, a store within range showed my product. I selected it then clicked on Check Out Now. However, having been fucked over now for three nights running, I’m only the tiniest bit optimistic. Then, I get it again. YOU MUST NOW SIGN IN USING YOUR APPLE APPROVED APPLE ID. WTF? I’m ALREADY signed in. Well, I’ve prepared for this, so I quickly input my info. The little wait dial spins and my order comes up. Hey, look, they’ve already got my credit card information! I do a quick check, then hit final checkout. I might actually get it this time!
The little spinnie thing comes up as I wait for my final confirmation. Aaaaannnnd….
Sorry, the store you selected is out of stock.
WHAT?? BUT I FUCKING HAD THE FUCKING PHONE! I FUCKING PAID FOR IT!
BZZZZZT! Thanks for playing you stupid fuck! We got you again! HAHAHAHA!
Elapsed time from when I clicked on the store that had it, until I clicked to pay for it: less than 2 minutes. Elapsed time from the 10pm start time? 3 minutes.
Three. Fucking. Minutes.
And there are no phones available within 120 miles of where I sit.
In THREE MINUTES Apple sold out of all of the phones they graciously dribbled out the their adoring public.
Hey Apple! Could you maybe FUCKING SEND OUT MORE THAN THREE FUCKING PHONES PER STORE?
It’s all about the hype. Keeping the rabid Fan Bouys rabid. Keeping the supply low so the demand stays up. And it’s a good plan, because people will fall for it again and again and again. Even if they’re not Fan Bouys, but just someone like me who likes tech. I use Apple phones because they just work. I don’t use Apple computers because I don’t like them.
I blame myself, of course. As I said, I’m having a shitty week, and a new phone would have been just the thing. My wife gets my iPhone 4 (which she really wants), and I get a new toy. But nope. Because of the Apple Hype machine, and their AWESOME business model, that ain’t happening. I’ll have to look for my pick-me-up elsewhere because all Apple has delivered is disappointment, and, quite frankly, a lot of serious anger. In fact, they made my week a good deal worse by dangling the prize in front of me, then laughingly yanking it away just as I think I might get it. If it were up to only me, at this point, I’d be looking at another smart phone. But my wife is, alas, NOT a techie, and trying to get her moved over would be… difficult. Besides, she doesn’t have to deal with this shit, and she really, REALLY likes her iPhone (can you say addict?). The pain of trying to get her to change phone type would be… significant. Plus, I find it hard to deny her pretty much any thing. So we’ll probably stick with that.
But in the mean time, I won’t be forgetting this. And when people ask me what I think of Apple, and their products, well… a glowing review is out of the question.