THERE are murmurings abroad of a new iPhone: the iPhone 5, possibly larger and thinner than the original, probably unveiled on September 12.
Some will be excited by this latest gadget's arrival. I am not one of them. I am one who will watch queues gather outside shops on launch day and quietly weep for a time I wasn't alive to see.
Apple, famed gadgetry hawker, makes its fortune – the largest the world has ever seen – by marketing expensive rectangles to people without common sense then, quick as a whip, upgrading the phone or tablet or computer so the one you're still breaking in is redundant. And people fall for this. People discard old gadgets and buy new ones because of a misplaced sense of need.
This seems to my modest standards as extravagant as studding your bus pass with diamonds or binning your pants instead of washing them.
If I had my way every pigeon in the land would be gainfully employed in couriering dispatches back and forth. We'd relearn the gifts of patience and anticipation as we waited by the local doocot for our feathered messenger to arrive.
Apple products are designed with extreme cunning so that to operate a device one must stroke it. And what else do humans stroke? Pets, lovers, cherished things and so you unwittingly interact with the technology as though it's precious when in reality you're browsing Tesco online.
Those inclined towards Apple are not just keen but evangelical about the products. More than 650,000 apps available and the one they're missing is for iRony.
I bought an iBook because it was recommended to me by someone I respected and who knew more about computers than I do, which is saying nothing, and I replaced it only because it was stolen.
My iPhone is so old now you can't buy accessories for it on the high street. I have to shop in specialist stores. It's the mobile equivalent of being a 6ft 2in woman or having a sexual kink. Were I 6ft 2in or possessed of naughty predilections I would probably find less shame heaped on me than the scorn that is poured by gadget afficionados when you tell them you don't have the latest iPhone or iPod and would have more use for a llama than an iPad.
There's no point trying to keep up. The only way to have any originality is to cling to the oldest version you have and call it vintage.
But people don't care for originality when they are gripped by rampant consumerism. They buy and then find a need for what they've purchased.
What happens to the unused gear, I wonder? I envisage a world heaped with stuff mountains; discarded electronics shed like snakes' skins, the outside edges crumbling like polar ice caps calving. And when we can pile no more, the stuff will have to be shot into space in rockets where it will orbit the earth before crashing down and walloping us all on our greedy, consumerist skulls.
There are murmurings abroad of a new iPhone. You may see a shiny communication device. I see the end of days.
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