Apple loyalists ready for iPhone 5
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – It’s sleek, fast and more importantly, it’s new.Apple unveiled the iPhone 5 Wednesday, announcing that consumers will be able to order it online beginning Friday. The phone will be available in Apple retail stores beginning Sept. 21.”iPhone 5 is the most beautiful consumer device that we’ve ever created,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, in a statement released Wednesday. “We’ve packed an amazing amount of innovation and advanced technology into a thin and light, jewel-like device with a stunning 4-inch Retina display, blazing fast A6 chip, ultrafast wireless, even longer battery life; and we think customers are going to love it.” The iPhone 5 is about more that just upgraded features for technology savvy consumers who waited in anticipation of the announcement.For Rich Staats, who runs the Vail-based web strategy business Secret Stache Media, the iPhone 5 is about timing. He needs an upgrade because he passed on upgrades to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, meaning he still uses an iPhone 3GS.”I’m just ready,” Staats said. “I’ll definitely be getting one.”Like Staats, Vail Valley Partnership Executive Director Chris Romer wants an upgrade, and his reasoning is also relatively simple.”Anyone who is an Apple geek is an Apple geek,” Romer said. “And they could tell you they want it because it’s 4G, has a faster processing chip, bigger screen, it’s lighter and this and that. And all those things are true, but the reason people do it is because it’s the new thing and they want to be the cool kid. I’m not afraid to admit that.”Romer is a loyal Apple consumer. He also uses an iPad and has a MacBook Pro, but still uses a – ahem – iPhone 4. (He doesn’t even have the 4S.)”Sure, my phone is a little bit older but it still works. At the end of the day, (wanting the iPhone 5) it’s an emotional thing,” Romer said. “It’s not a need, it’s a want, and I’m a geek. … Everyone wants the newest, greatest, best thing.”The iPhone is certainly Apple’s latest and greatest, although investors were initially underwhelmed by the announcement Wednesday. Apple’s stock (AAPL) closed at $669.79 Wednesday, up 1.4 percent from Tuesday’s close. Many analysts attributed the modest gains to the fact that the build-up to the announcement was already accounted for in the stock of the most valuable company in the world.Romer and Staats will both be waking up early Friday to get online. Consumers around the valley will also be able to purchase the phone from approved retailers, such as AT&T retailer Mountain Communications in Eagle-Vail.Linda Thompson, of Mountain Communications, said the store has a scheduled conference call with AT&T Thursday, after which she’ll have more information about how many new phones the store will get and when. The store is accepting names for a waiting list already, though.The way it works is that Apples allocates phones to AT&T, which then allocates phones to retailers like Mountain Communications. There’s no guarantee on how many phones the retailer will be able to sell, though.Shipping to Eagle County?When ordering the phone, valley residents should be aware that Apple will only ship to physical addresses (no P.O. Boxes), and the address must match the billing address on file with your cell phone carrier. During an online chat with an apple customer service representative Wednesday, she suggested those who have separate billing and shipping addresses to temporarily change the billing address on file so an order can be placed, and then change the address back once the order is in.Assistant Managing Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or email@example.com.