I’m sitting outside the Telstra store, enjoying my ritual medium cappuccino and berry muffin. It isn’t very diet friendly, but, you know, who cares.
There is an enormous queue coming out of the store. Pink and silver balloons adorn the door in a come hither welcome arch. The door is closed, allowing only a certain number of people in at a time. I have been here for about an hour and the queue has been constant. This is a small centre, compared to one of the bigs ones, like Fountain Gate or Chadstone. I shudder to think what their queues might be like.
I totally bought into the hype. But I couldn’t queue. I look at it now and I realise I should have queued. I’d have the phone by now. But, even though I am of British descent (us Brits are born queuing), I cannot queue. Instead I ordered mine online and can expect it in 3-4 weeks. I’m totally okay with that.
People are leaving the store all gleeful and happy. Some have already removed the phones from their packaging by the time they emerge from the store, clinging onto their new purchase as if it is a rare diamond just pulled out of the earth.
Apple and Telstra are doing their own dance of joy right now.
Optus is next door to Telstra. There is no queue outside Optus. This is a perfect example of the David and Goliath story, except in this story Goliath is winning. There is a sign outside of Optus saying that they have no stock. Telstra clearly has an unlimited supply. I wonder how the Apple store is doing?
I saunter into Optus. They have the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on display. No-one is in the store because they have no phones available to sell.
I hold the iPhone 6 in my hands. It is slim, light and quite beautiful in design. Larger than my current iPhone 4. It feels very good in my hands. The iPhone 6 Plus is huge by comparison. Having had a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 before I knew I did not want another unwieldy phone. Despite its obvious beauty, the iPhone 6 Plus is, to me, unwieldy. My heart quickens to think I will have one of these babies in my hands very soon.
I ask the man at the counter if he thinks the iPhone 6 Plus will affect sales of the iPad Mini. He says that he does think it will affect it, although perhaps not. Not a fence sitter at all then.
I worry about our consumerism. All the waste that is created in the world. I worry that each year a new phone comes out and millions of us rush to buy it because we believe our lives will be so much better, more functional, more organised with it. I think how much better it would be if all those old phones could be harvested, refurbished and given to those in less developed countries. The implications could be far reaching. Wouldn’t it be good if there was some social enterprise that supplied the technology so that people in remote areas would have access to information, education, online health help. I wonder about the components of the phone and how a recycle scheme would be so good for our planet. As I look at the Telstra store, I imagine a bin outside where you could drop your phone, where a recycle scheme could be put in place, not for profit, but for the good of the planet.
I am torn between my obsessive love for technology and the world that suffers for it. I am, it is true, a hypocrite.
I wonder if the person that developed gun powder imagined all the good that could come of it. How it might be used to move mountains, to connect communities, to enable a better quality of life. I wonder if he realised the implications of a product that has the very real potential of bringing down the world. I wonder if he imagined it being used for death and destruction where the only winners are the people that make the ammunition.
It is the same with phones. Technology is exponential. Demand for newer, better, faster unrelenting. The world is heaving under a weight of discarded technology. I am a part of that. I don’t have to be, I have have a choice. I choose to be a part of it. But my own choice comes with guilt and some awareness.
I watch the queue of people stream into the store and wonder how aware they are, how much of a conscious choice they are making, or if, indeed they are just following the carefully crafted marketing that says your life will be meaningless without one.
Have to go now, got to get home just in case the post man has a parcel for me…
Have you got the new iPhone 6, are you planning to get one? Leave a comment or visit my Facebook page to give your thoughts?
Until next time,