With signs that the “budget” iPhone 5C is not going to do so well, Apple is pinning its hopes on the “flagship” 5S launch. Sure, Apple has managed to get a queue started outside some of its stores for the 5S, but it is being populated by the usual hardcore Apple nutjobs who would queue for the opening of an envelope if it had an Apple stamp on it.
A source at a US wireless carrier told Reuters that the level of inventory Apple has said it would provide for the 5S and 5C on launch day and in the week after launch is very disappointing. The idea is that Apple is hoping to create the impression of a sell-out by only sending out fewer phones. The Reuters source said pre-orders are "not overwhelming" either.
Part of the problem is that there is no compelling reason to pay over the odds for either of the phones. The 5S has a fingerprint reader on board as its “killer app” but this has been lampooned as pointless and actually a pretty bad idea for keeping biometric data private.
Faced with this disaster in the making, the NY Times' David Pogue has defend Apple's latest gadget.
Pogue wrote, speaking about the fingerprint reader: the “best part is that it actually works - every single time, in my tests. It's nothing like the balky, infuriating fingerprint-reader efforts of earlier cellphones. It's genuinely awesome; the haters can go jump off a pier".
So in his expert technical opinion the finger printer reader works, which is encouraging, and if you don’t like it you can kill yourself.
“It’s a terrific phone. The price is right. It will sell like hot cakes; the new iPhones go on sale Friday,” he said.
He wrote that while competitors include phones that are equally beautiful and can take spoken commands without your having to press a button, that doesn’t mean the iPhones have been overtaken.
“The iPhone’s ecosystem is a deal-sweetening perk — the best apps; the best-stocked online stores for music and movies; smooth synchronizing of your calendars, addresses and even photos among Apple phones, tablets and Macs; and enough cases and accessories to reach from the landfill to the moon,” Pogue wrote.
All this contrasts nicely with the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg. Mossberg wrote a generally favourable review calling the fingerprint reader simple and reliable. But he noted that the gadget would inexplicably prompt him for a password when swiping a finger to make purchases, which he blamed on a bug. Clearly this was not a bug seen by Pogue, who would presumably tell Mossberg to kill himself over that remark.
Mossberg reminded Apple fanboys that if they owned the iPhone 5 they had absolutely no reason to buy the iPhone 5S unless they specifically wanted the fingerprint reader. Who, other than David Pogue, would want that?