So close, so far away

Apple is a great company. It’s no secret that I’m completely addicted to my iPhone, which is now the sleek new iPhone 5. Yes, it was politely waiting for me on the front doorstep Tuesday afternoon, along with a white one for Gail–she’s very happy that her phone is better looking than mine.

Apple makes one hell of a good product, with Rolls Royce level fit and finish, incredible attention to detail in every part of the unit and the packaging. This new one is so much faster than the old it’s stunning. It is thinner and much, much lighter. I’m a happy man.

But there is a downside to everything. The new design includes a new port on the bottom to charge or sync the phone, which means new cables and new car chargers. Apple will probably only make $100 million or so from all the accessories, enough to pay their leader for 10, maybe 11 months of his services. Good CEO’s don’t come cheap.

So today, I toddled off to the Apple store to pick up the necessary accessories.  The store had a sign in front announcing that they had no supply of the new phones, so there was no crowd.

With a little help from the staff, I found the cord I needed:


Just what I need–a little piece of wire with a plug on one end and a different plug on the other.


Notice the perfectly formed box, the exact color of the wire and its fittings.  The perfect clear tab which both seals the box and holds it to the display rod.  Everything they do is perfect.

A cute little diagram to show you how to use your cable, in case you can’t figure it out.


Notice also the perfect little price NINETEEN DOLLARS.  The box costs more to make than the wire inside, and they have the damned nerve to charge NINETEEN DOLLARS  for it.

Okay, so they’ve got me.  In a couple of months I’ll be able to buy this for three bucks on eBay or Amazon, shipping included, from dozens of knock-off manufactures.  But I need it today, and the only place to buy it today is Apple, and that’s the price.  Bastards.

The misery wasn’t quite over, though.  If you go to the Apple store, you don’t just go up to the cashier, you check yourself out with the “Apple Store” app on your iPhone.  I guess there must be somebody who can do it for you, but that would be seriously de trop.  All the cool guys use their phones.

The sales drone stayed right there to walk me through–this process doesn’t seem to actually reduce the staffing requirement.  Open the app, use the camera to scan the bar code, you’re in good shape.  Except that I had to buy 2 of the cords.  Can you just tell it 2?  No.  Can you loop back, scan the thing again and then check out once?  No.  Apple, in its infinite, majestic solipsism, has decided that you can only buy one item at a time with their app, and if you buy two then you can just jolly well use the app twice.  They don’t care.  They’re Apple, they don’t have to care.

And, of course, they are right.  Apple will soon be have a market value of more than one trillion dollars, people will still line up for days to buy their products and I’ll still pay the damned $19 each for two of their stupid cables.  Being nice to the customer won’t bring them another dollar in sales, and they know it.

If only the phone didn’t make my life so easy………………



One thought on “So close, so far away

  1. Gee…my Android phone uses a standard micro-USB plug, so I can use any old USB power source and any of a dozen cables that I have stashed…in my car, at my desk, by the kitchen, in my carry-on. And I don’t think a one cost over $3.

    But, as you say….you got a cool looking box!!

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