iPhone 4S: Why did you buy yours?

October 14, 2011

Another iPhone, another media circus. The launch of Apple’s iPhone 4S conjured up the usual throngs of enthusiastic customers around the globe. But their reasons for buying might be… more bizarre than you’d think.

Unsurprisingly, more than a few had Steve Jobs on their mind — the iconic Apple co-founder died last week after a long battle with cancer.

“I’m an Apple fan and I’m buying it for Steve Jobs, because I think the iPhone 4s is for Steve,” said Tony Yang, 22, in Sydney.

In Tokyo, Otomo, 23, made the move out of sheer tech embarrassment: “I’ve had my phone for four years, and everyone laughs at it for being a dinosaur.”

In London, one buyer raged at Research In Motion for a recent BlackBerry outage. “This is rubbish,” another iPhone buyer at a north London store said, brandishing his Blackberry.

Gaby Wunder-Sambale, 45, had a dog-ate-my-homework excuse:  “I need a new one since my dog destroyed my old 3GS,” he she said, shivering furiously on a chilly Frankfurt street.

The Big Apple was of course not to be outdone. Adam, a budding fashion publicist, is also a jaded BlackBerry user:    “I am going into fashion and (iPhone’s) like the official phone of the industry … Also, I am tired of the Blackberry issues like stuff going down every  six months.”

Duncan Chung, 27, a management consultant wants the better camera in iPhone to take HD video of his wife and his cat:   “I came here because I didn’t want to wait until Monday if I preordered it to my office. I couldn’t wait.”

But in San Francisco, not too far from Apple’s home base, the mood was subdued among a crowd of  a couple of hundred people. Many appeared to have no interest in discussing Steven Jobs and instead their focus was on the new technology.

James Thompson drove from LA to San Fran — typically a six-hour trip — to stand in line with his brother Robert. Both raved about the new voice-command “Siri” technology.

“Siri is pretty amazing. With Android, you have to memorize commands. I don’t understand why (Siri) can’t be on all (Apple) phones,” said James and Robert simply said. “I want to talk to the phone.”

Writing by Sinead Carew. Reporting by Maki Shiraki and Reiji Murai in Tokyo, Michael Perry and Amy Pyett in Sydney, Matt Cowan and Kate Holton in London, Liana  Baker  and Supantha Mukherjee in New York and Poornima Gupta in San Francisco.

Reuters Photo: Man wearing a Steve Jobs mask at an Apple store in Tokyo

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