By FOX KAHN
BEIJING (China Daily Show) — His entrepreneurial gifts and relentless spirit of innovation earned him the adulation of millions of Chinese.
Now Steve Jobs’ Middle Kingdom fans plan to show their respect for the late Apple guru by not buying his company’s new phone.
“Steve showed his own opinion of the 4S by dying immediately after it was announced,” one passerby, outside the company’s flagship Beijing store, said. “A slightly faster processor and voice activation? Please.”
Fans had waited months to view the latest incarnation of the bestselling smartphone, only to discover there wasn’t really one.
“How would complete strangers know I’d splurged three months’ salary for the new one?” asked one furious businessman.
“Steve would have wanted us to have a completely new kind of phone, one that might help bring about democratic reform,” was the opinion of another fan, too grief-stricken to give her name. “I won’t besmirch his memory by wasting money on an expensive gadget that looks just like the last expensive gadget I wasted my money on.”
Throughout the crowd gathering to lay flowers for Jobs — who died of pancreatic cancer Thursday — opinion was nearly unanimous: the former Apple CEO was a creative genius but his new phone was not.
“They could have made it bigger, smaller, blacker, whiter — anything,” said Gai Bian, a 29-year-old IT worker.
The iPhone 4S Siri voice-activation service has been greeted cautiously by the market, with Apple shares taking a slight dip following the announcement last week.
But charity groups for the mentally ill have welcomed the software, saying it will help remove the stigma for those crazy people who already mutter incessantly to themselves in public.
Superstitious numerologists are meanwhile warning customers against purchasing the ominous “S phone,” given that its model number, four, is a Chinese symbol of death.
“What does 4S mean? It means ‘Die, Steve,’” wrote expert blogger Shu Tiao. “Thanks, Apple!”
Many said they would instead be putting their faith in finding a Chinese equivalent of the global Apple brand.
“Keep your eye on Lenovo,” said tech analyst Mo Leng. “They’re bringing out their own LePhone 5, except it’s got a dual-band TV, stylus, free ringtones and a working lighter. Now that’s innovation.”
Follow this and other breaking China news at @chinadailyshow