Our intrepid Brand Editor, Robert Liljenwall,
shares his Homeric quest for his very own iPhone 5s
Time: 9:22 a.m. PDT – Sept. 19, 2013
Called AT&T and they immediately had a message that if you wished to order an iPhone, “please go to our website, ATT.com.” Which I did. Discovered they had purchase options for every phone except the 5s and really no mention of it … all of their in-store phones were posted. I think they could have had a posting of the 5s with the notation that orders will not be taken until Sept. 20.
Time: 9:30 a.m. PDT – Sept. 19, 2013
Called Apple to find out the best way to order an iPhone 5s. ”Order it over the phone because we will probably run out of inventory Friday in the stores and the insure that you get the best chance of picking up a 5s right away is to order for store pick up. ” OK – that’s my path.
Time: 9:35 a.m. PDT – Sept. 19, 2013
Called Jeff Sandgren, my BTN partner to inform him of the ‘path’ (order on phone) … and then he hit me with – “what time zone are they talking about, New York time?” Hell, I don’t know.
Called them back immediately. ”Sir, it’s Pacific time.”
There you have it.
Time: 1:15 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
When to call? Apple told me it is probably best to call ahead of midnight – long queue and you will probably not get connected right away. I’m slitting my own throat on this recommendation – so please wait until I get my iPhone 5s before you call. I will notify BTN immediately when I have confirmation.
Time: 1:23 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
Talked with Apple again regarding the requirement to have iOS7 on your existing phone to transfer data to your new iPhone 5s or 5c. You don’t need it. I have downloaded it anyway onto my current iPhone 5, and not thrilled with the interface. But that’s my preference – at least I want to be able to read better-reading font that isn’t lightface. Let me know your opinion … Calendar is especially weak.
Time 3:49 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
Been navigating the new iOS7 on my iPhone 5. Clean, slick but of course, you can’t read half of the content because the designer specified a light-face font that is used on all standard Apple applications (calendar, weather, mail, contacts). The trouble with their design, which will annoy anyone who even has 20/20 vision, will be that the type face, when used in a secondary treatment, is converted to color gray, and the font is then apparently screened back to 20 percent, which means, simply, you cannot read it quickly or easily. This is extremely annoying and I consider this a major design flaw that will endanger the acceptance of the new iOS7 interface. The Apple tech rep I just talked with said – “well that’s the way it is. It cannot be changed.” So there you have it. Be prepared to struggle with readability. I am a huge Apple iPhone fan, but this design alteration is going to cause the company problems.
Time: 7:15 p.m., PDT, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
Apple Store – Pasadena. Frustrated with the interface look/feel, I decided to descend upon the Apple store in Pasadena (#2 store to open) … ranted a bit with an employee who had no idea what I was referring to … asked for manager. ”What’s the problem?” I told him gently and calmer this time: ”I find that the interface design on Calendar, Call screen and Address book, along with several other apps, were terrible – type is too light…you can’t read the thin-faced font that is 20 percent gray (like on the phone record for time called; calendar (Saturdays and Sundays).” I show him what I meant … and Steve (the Manager), agreed. He was calm, helpful sympathetic and empathized with me – “I agree with you.” He said he was a part-time app developer and already noticed this deficiency and had notified Apple about the color scheme. He said hopefully they will fix this soon … and I told him I think this is similar to the “map” fiasco … I would shoot the graphic designer responsible for this. There are numerous issues with color, backgrounds and contrasts – but I won’t go into this now. It’s set. Nothing we can do about it tonight. I’m still moving forward in buying the 5s tonight (after midnight), so I am not giving up on Apple. But I wasn’t the only one to complain – seems like there were about 45 other customers in Apple with the same complaint … we’re not alone. See you later … Are you listening Apple?
Time: 12:22 a.m., Friday, Sept. 20
Called Apple at 11:38 p.m. to check on “best time to call” and this lovely miss from Austin, TX . “Best to call around 11:58 … so you’re not held in the queue too long.” So I did. Slammed shut. ” … due to the high call volume …” Well, you know the drill. I even contemplated driving to the Apple store and waiting in line, but my late-in-life maturity kicked in. So, after 35 calls later, I’m in the queue now. Yes … I’m “in” … and I’ve been on this call for 8:05 minutes so far and counting. I’ve gone from depression to elation. (You see, how whip-sawed Apple treats us?) I’m not there yet … but hopeful. Keep you posted.
Time: 12:50 a.m., Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
I am somewhat elated – after 35 calls, holding for 21 minutes, I got through to an Apple rep in Portland who was very helpful. I did get a ‘gold’ 5s because I could … and 32GB … and with Apple Care, which came to $475. However, it is being shipped (as all orders are over the phone according to the Apple rep) … which means I get it in three weeks or so. Not happy about that. I honestly thought I would be jumping into my car and standing in line to get a phone, but the line was long already at 4 p.m. today and I thought it was crazy for me to head down there at midnight and stand there – perhaps if I was 30 again … but I’m more than twice that age now, and that was a deciding factor. I can wait … done it before. The point is: I do have a 5s coming. BTN will be covering the progress/success of iOS7 as well as how the new iPhones are selling. Apple was OK – and frankly, I’m getting use to iOS7 a bit more. As I was waiting to dial tonight, I called my friend Eric Kuhne in London who is also a big Apple fan – and he just raves about the new iOS7 and shares some of my concerns about the color scheme and font treatment. I will say this, the iOS7 is super-fast and I can’t wait to test out the other features when I get up Friday. It’s almost 1 a.m. here in Pasadena … so it will be another Day of Adventure with Apple.
Time: 7:28 p.m., Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
This is the last communique regarding the pursuit of the iPhone 5s. I have it in hand. But it was a circuitous route, filled with intrigue, mystery, discovery, luck, and a couple of good Samaritans along the way. It is a happy ending … but the journey to finally have the iPhone 5s in my possession was also fraught with danger and some chaos.
To cut the 5s chase, I found that I could get “immediate gratification’ at the Pasadena Apple store who had 5s 32GB still in inventory Friday afternoon. I canceled my “midnight order” because it would be shipped in October … what were they thinking? I decided to drive by the Pasadena Apple store and only a relatively small crowd was milling about … were there 5s phones available? Yes, there were! I got in line and after 45 minutes, I was given a personal Apple “support” person to assist my purchase. I canceled my previous order … and the entire transaction for the 5s was completed in just a few minutes. An AT&T rep was there to assist … and I asked if she was busy…”not at all. Apple really has their act together this time around.” I was so impressed with the ease and seamless process. I was ‘in and out’ within 20 minutes. The Apple personnel were incredibly helpful. Yes, I believe the iOS7 system is plagued with design challenges – but I am really impressed with the speed, the intuitive insight they have designed into each program … and I am getting use to the graphics. At the end of this journey, I’m a very happy 5s owner. Powerful, sleek and smart. That’s the 5s. The Apple brand is “safe” for now … stay tuned. – RJL
- The iPhone 5S Fingerprint Scanner Works On Cat Paws (businessinsider.com)
- Best iPhone 5S and iPhone 5 cases – CNET (reviews.cnet.com)
- Apple could sell up to 8M iPhone 5s and 5c units over launch weekend, analyst says [Apple Insider] (apple4ladies.com)
- The Chinese Are Swarming To Reserve The Gold iPhone 5s (cultofmac.com)
- Samsung built A7 processor rocks the new Apple iPhone 5s (phonearena.com)