Waiting to Buy an iPhone

On this exact date six years ago (also a Friday), Apple started selling Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 7, and 7 Plus. Available as of today: timepiece Series 8 and Ultra; iPhone 14 and 14 Plus; iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Starting price for new iPhones in 2016: $649. In 2022: $799 (14) or $999 (14 Pro). A maxed-out Max model, with 1TB storage, sets back buyers $1,599. Does anyone remember when a cheap laptop cost as much?

I used iPhone 6s Plus to capture the Featured Image on Sept. 16, 2016. People wait outside Apple Store Fashion Valley, San Diego, to buy the then newest gadgets. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/60 sec, 29mm; 7:51 a.m. PDT.

I skipped shooting the waiting line—if there even was one this morning. Nothing normal is the state of retail and will continue to be as long as SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 post-pandemic paranoia persists; perhaps longer. I have no patience for masks or mandates.

So we look back seventy-two months to simpler times: When new Apple gear generated lingering marketing mayhem; Barack Obama was US President; Game of Thrones was still thrilling storytelling; inflation was a mere 0.12 percent (currently 8.3 percent); Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, hosted the Summer Olympic Games; and the United Kingdom chose to Brexit. Oh, and Queen Elizabeth II still reigned (she passed away last week).