Has iPhone mania gone too far? Scams and speculation rife

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andy-merrett.jpgAndy Merrett writes…

I’m looking forward to the imminent release of the iPhone, even if it is taking place thousands of miles away from the UK, but it seems that every day someone has a new theory as to exactly when the iPhone will start being sold, and an utterly convincing reason for why they’re right.

The latest date is June 29th, and that’s true because a local manager in one of the AT&T mobile phone stores saw an email telling her. Apparently, they’ll all arrive in the dead of night (or maybe, mid afternoon) on June 28th, ready for packs of hungry iPhone fans (and not the occasional eBay scammer) to swoop in and sign up.

That doesn’t necessarily negate the “official letter” from AT&T telling staff that annual leave during this period would be discouraged.

Mind you, when they were still trading as Cingular, Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference on 11th June was the day of arrival.

All this speculation isn’t great for the weary Apple fan who just wants to get hold of the blessed (slippery?) case (we’re not all Madonna) but it is great for all those who thrive on hype.

A thong – sorry, a throng of scammers have starting appearing on eBay, promising the iPhone to anyone gullible enough to believe them.

Oh no, they’re not scammers are they? Nooo, they’re totally legitimate vendors.

How about the idiot who promised 10 “Ready to Ship” iPhones for $3,600? Or the solid gold iPhone for $10,000, because we all know that someone managed to get hold of an iPhone over a month early and have it encased in 14 karat gold.

Of course, there are the “genuine mistakes”, like the store who announced the iPhone four months early.

Then there are all the products that do exist, or will soon exist, launched purely on iPhone hype. In early March, just two months after Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, analysts HammerTap suggested that the average price for something iPhone-related was $35, and that sales of iPhone paraphernalia to date had totalled a whopping $18,000.

I dread to think what it’s worth now.

Or what Apple think of these illegitimate products.

Less dodgy, but way up on the hyped scale, are the books that haven’t even have been written yet. Hats of to David Pogue, a very clever man who is writing “iPhone: The Missing Manual” that, Incredibly, is due for release ten days before the iPhone.

Then there are widgets, software and accessories, all using the iPhone name.

There’s even an “amazing” offer that means even UK fans could get an iPhone this summer – though check the small print.

You know, at least when the iPhone was just a rumour, the hype came without the risk of being ripped off with fake or non-existent products. Now, everyone wants a piece of the iPhone. Even if they don’t like it, they’ll talk about it (well, except Ed Zander, that is). Ballmer shouts and sweats about it because he knows it gets him more attention than anything Microsoft can produce as a counterstrike.

Heck, I even read a press release the other day comparing the iPhone to a range of environmentally-friendly cleaning products. How does that work?

Come on, Steve, please put us out of our misery. eBay can only shut so many fake accounts down every day, and I’m tired of seeing novelty clothing items adorned with that hand holding that phone.

Then those that so desperately want an iPhone can throw their money at AT&T, and actually get a genuine piece of Apple shininess instead of an empty cardboard box.

Andy Merrett

3 comments

  • for WHAT EVER THE REASONS MAY BE THE INDUSTRY HAS TAKEN BY IPHONE EVEN THE RELEASE NEWS IS ALWAYS POSTED WITHIN TOP BLOGS. i FEEL IT WOULD BE THE BIGGEST HITS OF THE YEAR BUT ONE THING I AM NOT SURE IS THERE ANY APPLICATION AVAILABLE ON http://WWW.YOUPARK.COM FOR IT

  • Personally, I think iphone mania has gone too far. I am getting fed up with these new theories and I think Apple is playing games with us to get the hype up. Yes, I want an iphone but my patience is starting to wan. I am starting to think Apple is behind a lot of these rumors that surface on a daily basis. I used to be excited about the iphone, checking the web on a daily basis, but now I am a frustrated consumer sick of hearing about the iphone. APPLE: If you are reading this…

    Release the phone and stop playing the media games. By now people know if they want your phone. Stop undermining the public’s intelligence.

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