Technology

Apple Sells 10 Million iPhones on Opening Weekend. But Why?

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The New York Times reports:

The company on Monday said it sold more than 10 million of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models in the first three days they were available in stores. That is higher than the nine million new iPhones it sold last year in their first weekend on sale.

The phones' larger screens — 4.7 diagonal inches for the 6 and 5.5 for the 6 Plus — are a considerable jump from the 4-inch screens of earlier iPhones.

The iPhone sales were on the high end of financial analysts' expectations, which ranged from 6.5 million to the "low teens" of millions of sales.

Why are iPhone 6s so popular? And why did so many people get weak in the knees over the release of iOS8, the mobile operating system that Apple released last week?

As it happens, I'm reading economist Russ Roberts' forthcoming book How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, which argues that Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments (first published in 1759) is a great guide to conducting your life. At one point, Smith wonders why the hell so many people in his day were intriqued by the newest gadgets, even writing:

How many people ruin themselves by laying out money on trinkets of frivolous utility? What pleases these lovers of toys in no so much the utlity, as the aptness of the machines which are fitted to promote it. All their pockets are stuffed with little conveniences. They contrive new pockets, unknown in the clothes of other people, in order to carry a greater number.

So who exactly is buying the iPhone 6? Cool hunters desperate the next new thing or folks stuck with iPhone 4s or clamshell LGs (they still exist!) finally making an upgrade? What is the pleasure of getting something while it's still hot?

And what the hell happens when the new Samsung Galaxy Note Edge comes to market next month? Most impartial observers will note that for all the hoopla surrounding the new iPhone, Apple has basically been sniffing the rear of Samsung in terms of providing larger screens for years now…

Last week in a column for Time, I suggested a more philosphical reason for our obsession over new Apple products: They give us the illusion of control over our lives and the comforting notion that we are running our machines rather than the reverse:

Our gadgets—phones, tablets, PCs, wrist monitors, you name it—are nothing less than the magic that we use to generate the illusion (and sometimes the reality) that we can actually control our lives. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," quipped the science fiction legend Arthur C. Clarke, whose dark vision of a super-computer that bends mankind to its will animated 2001: Space Odyssey. A similar question haunts us, especially whenever our OS fails and we find unexpected, unscheduled, un-busy time on our hands: Are we running our machines or are they running us?

And there's this:

No company, even one as worshiped by its fans as Apple, is ever more than a couple of flops away from being cast into furnace of hell.

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. So who exactly is buying the iPhone 6?

    Don’t pretend you don’t know.

    1. Millennials?

  2. Meh – I like Apple since my first smartphone was a 3GS. Why learn a new OS? I now have a 5S and I’m sticking with it until the contract runs out. I don’t want or need a bigger screen – though my eyes may say otherwise.

  3. Google will sell you an equivalent phone for almost half the price.

    1. But it won’t talk well to your itunes account. There are a lot of people who got locked into the itunes plantation.

      1. Will that iPhone run Google Play Music?

      2. Spotify will ultimately destroy not only the CD market, but also the market for digital music. (Owning your own copy of digital music, that is.)

        1. Meh. I like having a dedicated music library that I own. Spotify is great for some occasions, but I dread ever having to rely on streaming in spotty cell coverage areas.

        2. What Micheal said. No way will wireless internet ever get so perfect that it can replace having the thing on a hard drive.

    2. Google will sell you an equivalent phone for almost half the price.

      Hyundai will sell you a car equivalent to that BMW for almost half the price.

      1. Genesis vs. 100 series.

        Um, yup.

        1. I bought a Genesis. It’s not a bad car.

          1. I didn’t say it was bad, just not “equivalent.”

    3. “Equivalent”: I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

  4. This isn’t hard to figure out. People don’t just value money. They value prestige. People camp out to get the IPhone six because they like being the first guy on the block to have one. That is really all their is to it.

    It is just a variation of fashion. Why do women spend $300 on shoes that are uncomfortable and impractical? Why do men buy sports cars that spend their lives in the garage and are used once a week in nice weather to cruise around town? Same reason. The impulse to both fit into to the larger culture and also distinguish oneself within that culture is innate in human beings.

    1. Being deeply antisocial has its fiscal perks.

    2. Why do women spend $300 on shoes that are uncomfortable and impractical?

      Because it has a fucking red sole. Well, one of the stupid reasons at least.

    3. This is about right, but there is more.

      1) Apple products have a cool factor. My wife bought me the original iPhone many moons ago. Back then it really was the best phone on the market, and she wanted me to have something cool (even though I was really meh on the subject).

      2) Apple products have lots of barriers to exit. Over the last decade, I have accumulated enough software that switching to a new phone would be significantly expensive.

      3) Apple products are integrated. I have a mac at work- I switched a year ago because Apple won’t let companies buy “cheap” developer laptops. You simply must pay for top of the line gear in order to get one. So the Mac was the most powerful laptop at my work. iTunes on PCs is pure garbage, but the integration with MacOS is slick.

      4) Here is the reason most people have pre-ordered: There hasn’t been a significantly new iPhone in almost two years. The 5C phone was not an improvement over the previous iphone, so most people didn’t get one. These 10 million iphones being bought are majority subsidized by phone contracts, because people haven’t been upgrading. Now they finally have something to upgrade to.

      These all add up to the fact that there are a significant number of people locked into apple- mostly by inertia and fashion. They have been waiting for something new in that sphere of purchase.

      1. Your #4 is most important, I think. New Androids are released almost daily, and new flagships monthly, so there’s no pent-up hunger like with Apple.

        Score one for choice.

        It must hurt to be an Apple fanboi, what with them playing catchup in so many areas, and no matter what choices Apple makes, there are dozens if not hundreds of Androids with the same characteristics, and plenty with better.

    4. Not really, John. People who think Apple is successful because of “fashion” or “prestige” or “hype” are missing the core ingredient.Apple products tend to be masterpieces of software and hardware design. They really, really care about that, spend vast amounts researching and testing, and it shows. That’s why numerous tech types, accustomed to fiddling with computers all day, get an iPhone. They don’t want to screw around with antivirus software on a Android.

  5. Apple is a luxury brand. People buy it for status as much as anything else. Note how sales of their products don’t seem to correlate with the quality of those products.

    It’s not that Apple doesn’t produce decent stuff, but the price for it is usually far beyond the value you are receiving. Especially with phones.

    1. Yes it is. I don’t really see why so many people complain about that. They don’t complain about other luxury brands, especially in clothes and accessories. For example, they can make fake diamonds that only a very skilled gemologist can tell are fake. Yet, people still want the real thing. A skilled craftsman can make a fake piece of antique furniture that no one who sees it will know is fake. Yet, people still pay a fortune for actual antiques even though their homes would look the same with fakes. No one complains about DeBeers or antique dealers. Why do they complain so much about Apple?

      1. Probably because complaining about Apple is as much about social signaling as worshipping Apple is.

        1. Yes. See my post below. In my experience owning an Iphone is what unfashionable people like me do. The real “in crowd” all make a point of not owning them.

          1. I thought the really really “in crowd” types have I-phones. They take nude pics of themselves with them, then because you can’t store data on an SD card, they put them on the I-Cloud for everyone to see.

          2. This is the most pretentious, navel-gazing post I’ve ever seen on Reason. Including Tony’s. This need to convince yourself that your owning the trendiest piece of bling makes you an independent thinker and outsider rather than one of the bleating crowd might actually constitute a pathology.

        2. Don’t discount the impact that those “I’m a Mac” commercials had. The whole campaign was centered around making PC users seems stupid, out of touch, blind to their own better interests, and uncool in all areas of life, not just in tech. Apple actively cultivated a smug, self-righteous image. I suspect that turned off a fair number of techies that haven’t given Apple a fair shake since. I’m far from an Apple hater, but those commercials definitely bugged me, especially since I was thinking to myself, “My Linux machine doesn’t have any of those problems, AND the OS is free!”

          1. It wasn’t just cultivation by apple. The original use of Macs was among artists and publishers. They have their own level of smugness.

          2. Couldn’t agree more. I’m a PC user and a tech guy. Macs (all Apple products, frankly) are for people who find using a computer a distasteful, unpleasant necessity and want to get it over with as soon as possible. It’s like the erstwhile market for the Ford Taurus: people who aren’t interested in cars and just need to get to work with as little fuss as possible. Also, Apple seems to gear its products towards people who aren’t very bright. There’s something vaguely patronizing about Apple’s reluctance to provide easily-accessible configuration options in most of its products.

            1. *There’s something vaguely patronizing about Apple’s reluctance to provide easily-accessible configuration options in most of its products.*

              Are you talking about internal hardware? Because Windows is NOT easily-configured. Whenever there’s a problem with a Windows machine, it inevitably requires 3 hours to diagnose and fix.

              I can see kvetching about upgrading internal components. But you don’t have to be bright to build or upgrade a PC–it’s like putting legos together, ffs.

      2. It was really eye-opening to me once I stopped thinking of them as a tech company. They market and treat their customers akin to Cartier or any other luxury brand, with the added bonus that they can rotate product at a much faster clip than most brands (more like apparel, I guess).

        1. Brand is an amazing thing. Consider watch makers. The invention of the quartz watch should have meant bankruptcy for the old school Swiss watch makers. Quartz watches enabled the production of watches that were more accurate than even the best made mechanical watch at a small fraction of the cost. By all rights Rolex and companies like it should have gone the way of buggy manufacturers or at best been reduced to jewelry manufacturers making jewelry with a watch attached.

          Instead, the high end mechanical watch business is better than ever. They are making millions selling watches that are by any objective measure inferior to their quartz and digital competitors. Pretty much every economist and market analyst was predicting the death of the high end watch industry thirty years ago. They were wrong because they didn’t count on or understand the value of brand and cultural signaling. No one wears a Rolex to tell the time. They wear one to signal who they are.

          1. I bought an Omega Seamaster for Dr. Girlfriend a while back. It has a self winding movement and as long as she wears it every couple of days it is accurate to within a couple of seconds per month. Technologically it may be inferior, but technically it is functionally identical to, and *way* cooler in a streamlining, craftsman way than any digital watch short of an auto updating GPS watch. (I’m avoiding discussion of the Google and Apple smart watches and the Garmin navigational watch because they are intended to be well outside the capability of any standard type watch).

            1. I love mechanical watches. If I had the money I would own them by the dozen. I would love to have an old ship chronometer. I don’t pretend, however, that I want such things for anything but emotional reasons. I just think they are cool. If I were homo economicus like the economists think I am, I wouldn’t want any of them and would be happy with a cheap and reliable Timex. But I am not.

              1. I never spend more than $150 for a watch, because, inevitably, I forget to take it off one time when I’m working on the car/boat/bike and HULK SMASH!

                Swear by Seiko, although my wife bought me a Citizens Indiglo that is my daily one…I like that I can light it up in the dark to see the time.

                /old man

                1. Sorry – TIMEX Indiglo?

                2. Yeah, but the crystal on a Seamaster is pure sapphire, so pretty difficult to smash.

              2. I like mechanical devices, too. For instance, I crave a working Antikythera mechanism.

                1. Someone’s been watching HIstory Channel again….

                  1. Who, me? Nah, I’ve been interested in that for years. There was a recent NOVA on it.

                2. I want to 3d print one of those.

              3. Speaking of awesome mechanical devices, there is a 6-in refracting telescope built in the 1880s. Still has the original brass casing and lens. But what makes it by far the most beautiful telescope I have ever used is the drive. A weight falls several feet through the ground to drive the telescope at the sidereal rate. You have to crank it back up every hour or so, but it tracks amazingly well. There is a 26-in built at the same time as well, but alas, an electronic motor was installed years ago.

        2. Hermes and Louis Vuitton – though overpriced – are very nice products. I’ll give them that.

          About the only thing I buy my wife for Xmas are upscale luxury products – scarves and bags. She loves ’em.

          1. Having your wife tie you with scarves and punch you in the bag…Priceless.

            For everything else…

      3. They don’t complain about other luxury brands, especially in clothes and accessories.

        I’d say Apple is different in two ways. First, there is probably less separating Apple from the rest of the pack that there is separating other luxury brands from the rest of their competitors. Apple makes really gorgeous devices, but I think the rest of the market has caught up, especially in phones (maybe less so in laptops and tablets). That makes it even more obvious that a lot of people choose Apple for reasons other than quality.

        The second difference is that Apple is way more common than other “luxury” brands. The premium you pay for an Apple product isn’t enough to put it out of reach for a lot of people. That visibility makes it harder to hate on Apple.

        Having said that, it is a really small minority that feels strongly enough about their phone brand to get into a flame war over it, either way.

      4. Thank you for giving me new things to complain about.

    2. My mother in law gave a mac book pro when I passed the bar exam. This was after I told her I didn’t need a new laptop but that if she insisted on getting me one I didn’t need or want another mac. She gave me one anyway. So now she get’s to tell everyone that bought me a mac.

      1. I was considering a MBP a few years ago until I went to the store and was playing around with one and realized that Excel used an entirely different set of keyboard shortcuts. The salesman told me I would “have to learn to do it the Apple way.” No thanks.

        1. I agree, but MS ducked everyone up when they changed the keyboard shortcuts in conjunction with the introduction of the Fucking Ribbon.

        2. Excel is Mac’s biggest weakness. When my company switches over to apple in the next year, only finance gets to keep their PCs specifically due to this reason.

          As I noted above, I moved over to the Mac a year or so back only because it is a more performant computer (higher end components) than a “comparable” pc that companies can buy. However, I hate not having a good version of excel- or even outlook (Mac outlook can’t even support tables!!).

          Making the switch was a pain in the ass. Like working at your company’s foreign office. Everyone is doing stuff you sort of recognize and expect, but they speak a different language.

          1. The problem is when you try and run a heterogeneous network environment, without the budget or staffing to do it correctly.

            I had one department who insisted on running Macs, even though there was no business case for doing so. It’s what they had always run, when they were in a remote location off of our network, and what the dept VP wanted.

            I could buy and support several departments of Dell Opitplex PCs for the same cost as that single department, and support them much more easily with centralized administration. Additionally, the labor market for qualified Windows support techs and staff is much, much larger and deeper than for Macs.

            And if you ever have a problem with the hardware, have fun schlepping your Mac to the mall. Dell would be out the next day with the part and a technician to install it. It was rare when I needed that with the Dells, but I was glad to have it when I did.

            1. This has changed a huge amount over the past 5 years.

              Apple is still a pretty terrible enterprise company. However, Microsoft has done wonders to integrate with Macs. I had a friend who was a die-hard Apple Zealot: grand high priest. He now is a technology evangelist for MSFT after spending years trying to deal with both companies.

              Additionally, there have been many opensource improvements that integrate Macs into the enterprise. I agree that it is difficult to find people nationwide who have the skills to do this in an IT organization. But in silicon valley that isn’t a problem.

              1. Oh, integrating Macs into a Windows network can be done easily, but that still doesn’t erase all of the other additional costs and inefficiencies of trying to administer and maintain Macs in an enterprise environment.

                At my last job, I was tasked with finding a desktop management solution for a ~700 client environment. Because there were exactly 3 Macs on the network, 3, and we had to have a solution to support them, we ended up paying $45,000 more for a system than we would have otherwise. It would have been cheaper and easier to maintain them by hand.

                Pick one platform or the the other, but don’t try mixing them. That will only end in very expensive tears.

          2. “I moved over to the Mac a year or so back only because it is a more performant computer (higher end components) than a “comparable” pc that companies can buy. ”

            you’re out of your mind, this is sheer stupidity

            1. you’re out of your mind, this is sheer stupidity

              Nope.

              Go look at developer-class laptops. There are one or two available from Apple. There are hundreds from other distributors. Our company had a deal with HP, so we used them. The laptops from HP are cheaper- because they use much cheaper components. Apple doesn’t offer developer level laptops with Non-ECC RAM, or with lower cache processors. So when given a choice between a PC running windows that had cheap components and the “comparable” Apple, it was a no brainer. (Especially since, at the time, I could only get Macs with an SSD).

              When I had a PC running an android simulator, it rendered a demo completely undoable because the PC couldn’t go off the power without the (cheaper) batteries running down so quick that I had to throttle the processor or not make it through an hour long meeting. A colleague ran it on his Mac and saved the day. That was when I switched.

              1. Any Dell Precision laptop will meet your requirements.

                I always found the 1-to-1 comparisons between the closed loop of Apple to the wild and wooly PC market to be disingenuous at best.

                Can you buy a Macbook that doesn’t meet your requirements? Absolutely. That doesn’t invalidate your theory; it’s only another data point.

                Any fool can buy and configure the completely wrong tool for the job. You gets what you pays for. That said, you use whatever tool works best for you.

                1. I always found the 1-to-1 comparisons between the closed loop of Apple to the wild and wooly PC market to be disingenuous at best.

                  This is why I don’t want anything to do with Apple. MS gets beat up for being monopolistic, but Apple’s closed loop, proprietary system of doing things is much worse. They’ve gotten themselves in trouble a couple of times in the past over their business model, to the point where their market share really started to tank. Each time, they went to being more open to other companies and systems and pulled it back.

                  But they always seem to slide back to ‘you have to buy Apple to fix that problem’.

                  ~23 yrs ago, I worked at a place that used Macs, when the 386 was the go to PC chip.

                  The mouse went bad on my Mac, and while I could buy multiple mice (mouses?) from a variety of vendors for $15, because Mac, I could only buy the MAC Mouse for $90.

                  I-tunes doesn’t work well with others, because that’s how they want it. Fuck them.

                2. I always found the 1-to-1 comparisons between the closed loop of Apple to the wild and wooly PC market to be disingenuous at best.

                  Bullshit.

                  As a developer, I can get all the tools I need to do my job on either PC or Mac platform. It helps that under the hood Mac OS is much more Linux friendly- my company is a linux shop. But I could work around that as a PC user.

                  Nothing about Apple’s “Closed loop” prevents me from installing Eclipse or the android simulator, git client, or any of the myriad other tools I use day-to-day.

                  So in the world where 90% of tools can be installed to Mac or PC, the closed loop of Apple carries many advantages- just as consoles can have many advantages over PCs for gaming. There are few revs of hardware so driver problems and other hardware conflicts are less common.

                  1. You’re talking past me.

                    I made the point that a high-end Lexus is better made and equipped than a budget Ford/GM/Fiat/Hyundai, and to compare the 2 isn’t a useful comparison. I stand by that assessment.

                    Can you get a Windows laptop that specs and build quality as you need it? Sure. But it’s the exception and not the rule in a market that has hundreds of options, not 4. And you are correct in that there is little difference between the 2 platforms any longer, other than specialized applications and operational preference.

                    Again, use the tool that works best for you.

          3. Excel is Mac’s biggest weakness.

            Excel is a weakness on Mac and Windows, both. It’s an appalling train wreck of a UI.

            When I have spreadsheet work to do, I use Numbers, or I fire up my NeXT computer and use Lotus Improv.

            -jcr

    3. People buy it for status as much as anything else.

      Not entirely true. See my post above.

      Note how sales of their products don’t seem to correlate with the quality of those products.

      Are you kidding? Nobody thinks Apple products are low quality. As for their cost, the difference is not that great at first, and often lower once you consider the total cost of ownership over time. Spec out the Dell or Lenovo equivalent to a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air (if you can find such a thing!) and you’ll see Apples aren’t really more expensive, and will generally last far longer.

      1. And they have a higher resale value. There’s a reason for that.

  6. Status. Most iPhone fanatics can’t tell you what the latest version does or, even more significantly, what the competition cannot do, but they love being seen with the latest and greatest and talking about it at cocktail parties.

    1. It is funny though, hasn’t being an Apple hater become the more fashionable thing? It seems like Iphones are things technologically uncool people like me own. The real technorati all seem to make a point of not owning Iphones.

      1. We have both Androids and iPhones in my house. I honestly prefer the Android. It’s not Apple animus–I like, for instance, my iPad 2.

        1. In general, I’m cheap. So I have a Pantech. I’ve been quite happy with it.

        2. I have both as well. An iPhone 4s for work and androids for my personal stuff. I have tried all the Apple products from the laptops to the tablets to the phones, and I find the interfaces lacking, the products over priced, and the performance inferior. Sure, generally the iOS devices, When brand new, often have a performance advantage, but give them 4 months or so and they are behind the Android curve–and cost more.

      2. There are technologically cool people, and there are lots of people who only think they are technologically cool. Apple brilliantly markets to the latter.

        1. Apple brilliantly markets to the latter.

          I’m not saying that that’s all that it does or that Apple doesn’t produce good products. But Apple does depend on people who only think that they are technologically cool. I remember seeing reading sales literature describing the first iPhone’s “revolutionary” features and thinking, “But my Treo already does that.”

          1. I think pretty much every sales literature ever written describes their product as revolutionary.

            1. Apple follows through more than others. NFC payments have been around for years, and nobody has cared. Apple Payments, on the other hand, seems to be an inevitable success, because Apple made sure to set up the infrastructure before introducing it.

              1. Apple follows through more than others.

                I think a lot of people overlook this. When the iPod came out, digital music devices had been around for years. But the ipod did it in a way that made everything seamless. People bought it because it turned an experience that required knowledge about mounting USB devices, syncing, etc into a very compact experience.

                Same thing with the iPhone. I owned and loved Treo for years. But Apple took what was a power-user device and unlocked its functionality for general people. The swiping, simple interface and wide format screen were awesome. And so they excelled despite lacking a real keyboard or cut and paste.

                Today everyone discounts these revolutions in integration of the customer experience, and assume that everything happened just because of people hoodwinked by marketers. In my experience, it is rarely that simple.

                1. I can remember Microsoft promoting touch PCs and tablets years ago, and they never, ever, seemed to develop beyond the trade-show demo. I give Apple a lot of credit for the design, UI, and integration of their devices.

                  1. Apple follows through more than others.

                    Precisely. There’s a lot of silly criticism of Apple, one type of which is: “Well, [forgotten product X] had that feature first!” Yeah, so what? The Model T wasn’t the first car. The 707 wasn’t the first jet airliner.

      3. It is funny though, hasn’t being an Apple hater become the more fashionable thing?

        I was an Apple hater long before it was cool. You can thank their droolingly reflexive and nasty iZealots for that.

        Now, download an app to get off my lawn.

        1. I used to be befuddled about the people who insisted on buying Apple computers at a serious premium, long after competing brands could do the same and more for substantially less. Now I understand.

          1. That and to stick your finger in they eye of the “enemy,” Microsoft.

            A lot of the iZealots I encountered were old school, back from when Windows was still breaking into the market. What a nasty, smug bunch of snobs. More recently, it was the vapid and sneering herds whose self-worth was wrapped up in the signalling of being part of the Apple mobile ecosystem.

            But, the fact that people can circle the wagons around a tool is just plain weird. I do love the Samsung commercial mocking that culture.

            1. Rebels use Linux. Real rebels use machine language.

          2. I used to be befuddled about the people who insisted on buying Apple computers at a serious premium, long after competing brands could do the same and more for substantially less.

            There are a lot of studies that show this isn’t the case. When you break down the Macs into its core components, you generally find that they are competitive or cheaper than PC models with the same components.

            This is why, despite hating the Temple of Apple, I moved over to the Mac a year or so ago. I looked at the “Developer” laptops my company offered, and in all ways the performance of the Mac was superior. It is too easy for an IT person to try and save a few bucks by getting a laptop with substandard RAM, cheaper processors and shitty video processors. Apple doesn’t offer that option, so the comparable Mac was about $800 more expensive, but provided faster compile times and mobile emulation than the “comparable” PC.

            Note: I am not saying that there shouldn’t be a market for cheaper PCs. I’m just saying that when you buy a Mac you aren’t paying more for less. You are actually getting higher performance components. Whether your needs justify the higher end components is one of those eye of the beholder things.

            1. It’s a moving target, but when I’ve been researching the best options, I’ve not been impressed with the value of the Apple product. Talking about PCs mostly. When I got the iPad 2, Apple was still the market leader.

            2. Your argument seems to boil down to ‘Apple has only one product, so my buying department can’t choose to purchase significantly cheaper PCs that still meet my user’s stated requirements’.

              A PC with the same level of components is still significantly cheaper than a MAC.

              1. Bobarian, please point out a laptop equivalent to a MacBook Air that’s cheaper. And by “equivalent,” I mean in size, too.

            3. Thank you, Overt. Too many people just point to cheaper hardware and say “See? It’s cheaper.”

      4. The real technorati all seem to make a point of not owning Iphones.

        I think this depends on the luxury/tech clique.

        The newest Samsung phone over an iPhone sends a different message than does my Motorola Droid RAZR M.

        I don’t hate Apple, I hate the people who are obsessively in love with Apple. Additionally, I would say there is, in my personal universe a “Apple love/Microsoft hate” parallel to “Obama love/Bush hate”.

        IMO, it’s a phone/text/email device and I got the one that came free with my plan.

        1. I have a Casio Gz’one because it is shockproof, water-resistant and difficult to scratch or crack the screen despite dropping it repeatedly. But it is time to put it out to pasture and get something whose battery actually lasts all day. Wasn’t that the M’s selling point? Does it actually do that?

  7. Cool hunters desperate the next new thing or folks stuck with iPhone 4s or clamshell LGs (they still exist!) finally making an upgrade?

    Mostly the former if my experience with my company is at all representative. This is the first model where people are willing to forgo their unlimited data plans for a phone upgrade, probably because there’s such an obvious difference between the new models and their current ones.

    I do like all the design cues Apple took from Samsung on this one. The standard 6 is the spitting image of my wife’s GS4. Time for a new round of patent trolling.

    1. Err, the middle one: mostly people with iPhone 4s’s.

  8. I’m more confused about why people like the really big screens. I just got rid of my flip phone and absolutely did not want a huge screen. I ended up getting a Droid Mini, which is a good size but still a little uncomfortable in the pocket. A woman carrying a purse might be able to manage a larger phone, but how do guys fit those things in their pockets? Especially if they are wearing (shudder) skinny jeans?

    1. People seem to want to take their tablet and add the ability to place calls.

      1. What we need are wearables with virtual screens and motion sensors. Then we’ll all be walking around, waving our arms like maniacs. Which will have the unintended effect of reducing “obesity.”

        1. Remember when blue tooth headsets first started popping up?

          There were a lot of encounters with people waving their hands and ranting in the street. Only to discover they were on a headset.

          As someone who talks to myself a lot, I sort of liked fitting in for a while. I look forward to our new wearable overlords.

        2. When everyone is wearing a display all the time, we will only see others as their digital avatars, which will be uniformly svelte and attractive. Actual obesity will skyrocket.

          1. Just wait until it’s perpetual full immersion VR with haptic interfaces–then everyone will be on IVs and be thin.

            1. Unless the iPhone 90 can make standard nutrition wafers indistinguishable from creme brulee, I doubt it.

    2. The 5″ screen is the sweet spot for me. Not too small to display the information that I need at a legible resolution and not too large to look absurd.

    3. Yeah, I don’t want a bigger smart phone with a big screen, because it’s a phone and I carry the damn thing in my pocket!

      1. Maybe bib overalls will make a comeback, with that big iPad pocket on the front…

      2. I like the larger format iphone. My case will be big enough to hold credit cards and some bills- whioch was the weakness of the combo iphone-wallet. I’m looking forward to it.

        As it is, I find that the large format phones fit ok in the front pocket of most slacks and non-skinny jeans. Since that and cargo shorts is my typical apparel, it isn’t a big deal.

  9. A good comparison of Apple vs. Samsung:

    http://www.theonion.com/articl…..-s5,36969/

    1. That is funny.

  10. nd why did so many people get weak in the knees over the release of iOS8, the mobile operating system that Apple released last week?

    Our love for Glorious Leader demands that we do. Do you not love Glorious Leader? Do you want to bear the terrible wrath of his disappointment?

  11. Yeah, I think I finally get in the iPhone game with my next trade-in. Still have my wife’s old, old phone. I use it to….make/take phone calls. That’s it.

    I’ve debated whether to finally dive in to “have it all in one place” and think I’m finally ready. Up to now, I just haven’t needed/wanted it….so I never bothered. Saved a lot of money with my funny old cheap phones.

    Think I’m ready to take the plunge to Smart Phone. However, I could not possible care less whether it’s Apple, Samsumg, Joe’s Digital….don’t care about brand.

    So I’m not Apple’s target customer…

    1. I’m actually considering the Nokia Windows phone with the giant camera for my next phone. I have yet to be impressed by a digital (non-SLR) camera. Maybe that will do it for me.

      1. App coverage is spotty. The Instagram app is still in Beta.

        1. Instagram? Could not care less.

          Angry Birds, the Good App, and Maps are the extent of my app usage.

      2. Wait. The replacement for the 1020 is coming.

        The 20 MB camera on the Lumia 1520 is considered to be amazing, without the lag associated processing with the 41 MB camera. If it weren’t for the 6″ screen, I’d snap one up.

      3. You haven’t been impressed by any digital non-SLR, or just one attached to a phone? I paid out the ass for my Sony RX100 (well, someone else did, as it was a Christmas present, and a Birthday present), but it takes amazing pictures. It compares favorably with, if not better than, my entry-level Nikon D40x in most situations, and is pocket-sized.

      4. I was actually quite impressed with the camera on my wife’s iPhone. Now, I’m not photographer…but the thing takes beautiful shots, WAY better than my ancient Kodak digital camera.

        AND it’s her phone…and internet….

        It was actually the camera that tipped me over to “I think I just want to give in to the Smart Phone…”

        But, as noted….I’m no photographer, although I like to take pics of our trips and stuff.

      5. The iPhone 6 has an excellent camera. Check out the reviews.

  12. I bought an iPhone because my Windows phone has no apps, I’ve used Android enough not to be all that impressed, I like my iPad, and Apple had to be hacked to spread customer data around – that’s Google’s business model. I’m de-Googling my life (to the point of using Bing) as best I can. Google buying Nest right after I bought one didn’t help.

    1. It must be generational, because I rarely find myself wanting for more than what’s offered on WP8; I use about the same half-dozen apps regularly. The rest are used sparingly, if ever. There are a few small niche apps that I wouldn’t mind having, but it’s not the end of the world.

      1. Not really – I ain’t particularly young. Instagram is half an implementation, no Meetup app. FB app sucks – uploading photos over wifi takes forever, to the point where it times out, and I frequently get “could not retrieve data” when I refresh it.

        1. What is a “meetup app?” Hangouts? I encountered the FB upload problem myself, but that was about 3 years ago. Not since.

    2. Yeah, I’ve been using Bing for months now.

      I intentionally have been saying, “Bing it” instead of “Google it” because fuck Google.

    3. This is one of the reasons why I’m switching, not the main reason but one nonetheless.

      I don’t trust any company, but Google is the absolute worst with data and privacy. Small point, Apple includes DuckDuckGo as a default search engine. I was looking at home automation but I won’t be buying any Nest products because of Google.

  13. No company, even one as worshiped by its fans as Apple, is ever more than a couple of flops away from being cast into furnace of hell.

    Poor copy editing when it came out, poor copy editing *still*.

    1. STEVE SMITH NOT CAST ANYONE INTO FURNACE OF HELL.

  14. So what were these doodads that Scottish gentleman of Adam Smith’s time blew their money on? They didn’t have fancy electronic devices.

    Toothpicks. Really expensive, elaborate toothpicks.

    1. Ivory combs? Silver snuff boxes? Monocles?

    2. Sneer all you want, but in 300 years the cyborgs of the future will be asking themselves the same questions about your silky little trinkets as well.

  15. I still get by with my simple flip phone. How long, techies, before a device comes out where I can hit the “on” button and say “Directions to nearest gas station” or “Call Joe Smith” or “Display e-mails” without knowing shit about apps, scrolling, menus, or other stuff?

    1. Not until 2012.

    2. This exists today. All of the requests above are supported to some extent by apple’s Siri (and I assume Google Voice and MSFT’d Cortana) today. I hold down the button, and siri beeps. Then I say “Take me to ” and I never even have to unlock my phone.

      On my new SUV, I rarely even use my navigation system. I hit the voice-activation button, and drop right into Siri and ask her for directions. I use the nav map to see where I am and the upcoming streets, but don’t actually put in the address into the car.

    3. This exists today. All of the requests above are supported to some extent by apple’s Siri (and I assume Google Voice and MSFT’d Cortana) today. I hold down the button, and siri beeps. Then I say “Take me to ” and I never even have to unlock my phone.

      On my new SUV, I rarely even use my navigation system. I hit the voice-activation button, and drop right into Siri and ask her for directions. I use the nav map to see where I am and the upcoming streets, but don’t actually put in the address into the car.

      1. Yep, Google Now. Get directions, ask a question, compose a text, make a call, etc. I assume Siri does all that, too. With the voice activation in Google Now I don’t even have to take it out of my pocket. I’d say it gets it right 90-95% of the time.

        Motorola Assist will even automatically detect when I’m driving and switch into a hands-free mode for calls and text. It reads a text or caller ID and let’s me respond completely with voice commands. Not sure if something similar is available for iPhone, but I assume so.

        I’ve only had a smartphone for about a month now, but it is definitely convenient.

  16. If I were a libertarian, I would say that the fact that a person bought a new iPhone proves that it was worth it to them, because the value of a product is determined by the market for it. Nick seems to be clinging to the Aristotlelian notion that a product has some sort of intrinsic value that may be greater or less than the market value. Adam Smith seemed to have the same problem. But how much is it worth to feel cool? The fact that people spend “ridiculous” amounts of money on whatever is cool proves that, in fact, it isn’t ridiculous, unless you believe that everyone somehow “ought” to have the sensibility of Nick Gillespie, which, to me, sounds a bit, well, you know.

  17. Lots and lots of people just don’t “get” Apple. The central difference is that they really care about user experience and design. At the core of good design is saying no (leaving things out), so they don’t rush to be the first with any particular feature, or strive to hit every checkbox on a feature list. They don’t pay a lot of attention to what the marketing people ask for, or what the bean counters say is cheapest. They just want to make excellent products, and they do.

    From all that, comes popularity and “fashion,” not from “hype” or “mass hysteria” or “status” or whatever. Apple products are status symbols and sell well because they are fine products.

    Can you find cheaper? Sure. You can always find cheaper. Can you find “just as good at the same price”? Mmm, maybe. It depends on how you measure “just as good.” But when you look at build quality, total cost of ownership, resale value, ease of use, and many other things, it’s often really difficult to equal Apple products. Find me an “Ultrabook” that’s as good as my MacBook Air, for less money. You can’t.

    1. I’m sorry but I’m going to have to respectfully disagree. They don’t care about the user experience and design, your kidding yourself if you think they do.

      Just a few examples – why can’t I change a battery myself on an Iphone? People have found ways of course. In fact if you buy a kit and change it, than take it to the store for something else, they change the screws out so you can’t do it again. How is this helping a customer experience when batteries fail all the time?
      (let’s not discuss memory or even universal charging)

      How about just the Iphone 5 – changing the cable so it wouldn’t work with all of your old toys? They had to change it back on Iphone 6 because of the outrage.

      How come said cables are 20 bucks for an Apple brand (Knock-offs are cheaper)?

      They was a big crap storm years ago about Apple tracking your moments (Yes like Google).

      It’s a money play. Pure and simple. They are a business and people love them for it.

      1. Wow there is a limit on characters

        I won’t argue that with Steve Jobs Apple they take what was already existing (MP3s, Xerox user interface, etc) and make it shiney for the person. But they don’t care about the user, in fact they think the user is dumb (and that’s who they market it too.)

        As for bean counters – really? All the cheap labor that Apple uses in Foxconn and want to bring bean counters into it.

        Look Apple has people locked in an environment and it makes it harder to change. Don’t get me wrong, they were ahead of Android in the beginning. That helped them get the huge lead. That lead is gone. People can’t admit after they invested so much time and money into they ‘stuff’ that they chose the wrong side. So they have to be fan boys.

        Each their own – I had a blackberry that I could have drove a car over (Designed much better than the Iphone but no apps), HTC One, Ipod 3 (music and some shows) and now a Galaxy 4. I have no complaints about the Galaxy 4.

        Apple Fan boys 2012 – big screens horrible! No-one would want that. IPhone is perfect.

        Apple fan boy today – big screens are awesome!

        So it took Apple over 2 years for it to get to the design and user experience of big screens?

        Lol, like I said I disagree 🙂

        Enjoy your Iphone though!

      2. They don’t care about the user experience and design, your kidding yourself if you think they do.

        I’ve worked there, and you’re full of shit. User Experience is the top consideration of any Apple development group.

        why can’t I change a battery myself on an Iphone?

        Because most people care more about the size and weight of the product than bulking it up with a removable battery door.

        changing the cable so it wouldn’t work with all of your old toys?

        No, they changed the cable so that the connector could be reversible and smaller. The new design is superior.

        They had to change it back on Iphone 6 because of the outrage.

        Who told you that? The iPhone 6 has a Lightning connector just like the iPhone 5.

        -jcr

        1. No, they changed the cable so that the connector could be reversible and smaller. The new design is superior.

          This. And it wasn’t as if they broke backwards compatibility and told their existing customers to go piss up a rope: the same day that they released products with Lightning connectors, they also released inexpensive 30-pin to Lightning adapters.

        2. LOL, jcr: I wrote my response, and only then saw yours, which tracks mine almost precisely. I’d get a “Redundant” mod on Slashdot, where I also see you. I should “Friend” you there!

      3. They don’t care about the user experience and design, your kidding yourself if you think they do.

        I don’t think you know the history of Apple. I do, including 30 years of paying attention and knowing a guy whose name is on the inside of the first Mac.

        why can’t I change a battery myself on an iPhone?

        Because design is about compromise. A removable battery means a bigger, heavier phone. They decided built-in was better for most people. I think most people are fine with that, and the rest can buy an external pack if they want. My iPhone 3Gs is five years old and still using the original battery (though it doesn’t last long these days).

        How about just the Iphone 5 – changing the cable so it wouldn’t work with all of your old toys? They had to change it back on Iphone 6 because of the outrage.

        They didn’t invent the Lightning cable “so it wouldn’t work with all of your old toys.” They did because it’s a better cable, in several ways (including being reversible). And it’s the same on the iPhone 6. Oh, and that standard micro-USB on Android phones? Yeah, cables are cheaper, but the connector on the phone is far less durable, and more likely to break.

        How come said cables are 20 bucks for an Apple brand (Knock-offs are cheaper)?

        Because Apple is a business. One comes free with the phone, so this is not a problem for most people.

  18. I don’t know about anybody else — I’m sure there are plenty of status-seekers among iPhone 6 customers — but I bought one because the charging connector on my old iPhone 5 had gotten flaky, and because between the subsidized upgrade and selling my old phone to Gazelle, it’s only costing me about $160.

  19. This is crazy… I am using 2,5 years old phone and it works like a charm. I don’t understand this urge to get latest phone model, if your current phone works just fine 😕

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