By christopher Roungeris
The iPhone 6s has hit the crisis-troubled Greek shelves just 5 days ago, and has already broken every single record that Apple has previously set on the Greek market. Although official reports have not yet been announced, most of the stores that I have personally asked are already “out of stock”. And I wonder; what does the iPhone have, that Greeks want so much? First, a bit of history; when Steve Jobs announced the first IPhone, he gave the average consumer what he was missing; a simple, powerful device that gave him access to the internet. But, more importantly, through its very high price tag (then starting and a mere 599$), it gave him the ability to show the world that he was “somebody”.
A person who had the ability to spend 599$ on a phone. On a device that would go obsolete in a year. And that, in my humble opinion, is Apple’s biggest breakthrough. That is Apple’s power in the mobile phone industry. It is no longer selling a phone. It is selling a statement.
But what about Greece? Why has Apple “moved” our country up a scale, placing us at the second wave of countries getting the newest IPhone? Greece, a country with now officially bankrupt banks, with an average salary of 1.048 euros, and a debt of around 373 billion euros, is getting the iPhone sooner than other countries. That means, that some people have sat down and agreed that Greeks are more addicted to the iPhone than other people are.
“A device that would go obsolete in a year. And that, in my humble opinion, is Apple’s biggest breakthrough. That is Apple’s power in the mobile phone industry. It is no longer selling a phone. It is selling a statement”
So, what makes the iPhone so special to us Greeks? It’s a phone with not-so-advanced technology, which features you can get in a phone that costs about half the price of an iPhone. It’s got a sleek design and a very stable and beautiful locked firmware. It is also incredibly user friendly. But would an average, underpaid, uninsured Greek citizen spend a whole salary buying just a “stable, user-friendly” phone? Of course.
Over the years, Apple has managed to create a device that has become a “necessary accessory” in a plethora of teenagers. A device that leads to 8-hour lines outside retail stores. A device that makes you “cool and hip” the moment you put it in your pocket, but immediately turns you “poor” the moment the new one hits the shelves. In Greece’s case, we could we add that an expensive thing, whatever that is, is a way of escaping reality, escaping the problems we face every day as a society. So, when a flashy new device, that can make you “cool” arrives, you have to have it. No matter the cost. You have to wait in line for 8 hours. You have to spend a month’s salary on it. Even if it goes obsolete in a year. Even if it bends. Don’t you?