By FOX KAHN
(CHENGDU) China Daily Show – A wealthy Sichuanese youth has signaled his absolute determination to purchase the latest, as-yet unreleased, Apple product, regardless of its actual form of function.
“I wish to buy 50 of whatever,” Ho Bai, 19, told reporters. “Two for me, one for each of my girlfriends.”
Ho (pictured, right) says he is not bothered or informed by any of the rumors surrounding the upcoming September 12 launch of the latest Apple iPhone 5.
“I don’t care if it has dial-up Internet and no text-message function,” Ho declared. “I’m going to be flaunting my new Apple thing in Starbucks on launch day by lunchtime at the latest.”
The new gadgets will take up a fraction of Ho’s September shopping budget of $200,000, all to be spent on meaninglessly extravagant purchases.
These include riding lessons for Terminator – Ho’s Tibetan mastiff – commissioning a pair of bespoke, alligator-hide cowboy boots that will sit boxed and unused in a closet for years, and the impulse acquisition of a second Maserati in which Ho will ultimately meet his fiery death six months’ hence.
Outside Apple’s factory headquarters in Shenzhen, meanwhile, security seemed significantly heightened.
Rows of shaven-headed workers could be glimpsed through the Foxconn factory gates – beneath the slogan “Work will set you free” – filing sorrowfully past a waxwork model of the company’s late founder, Steve Jobs, arranged in the exact manner of his death: sat up in a queen-sized hospital bed, wearing a black turtleneck sweater and angrily clutching a Samsung Galaxy S3 prototype.
Working conditions at the factory in China are the subject of much controversy – none of which bothers Ho.
“The new operating system could be powered by a Vietnamese kid on an exercise bike, for all I care,” he admitted. “Just so long as it’s overpriced and over here.”
As ever, though, secrecy surrounds the actual nature of the company’s new phone.
But the latest rumor suggests that the iPhone 5’s voice-activated personal assistant service, Siri, will come with the new option of four different Mandarin personalities for China: Passive-Aggressive Friend, Scheming Co-Worker, Alcoholic Boss and Oddly Flirtatious Cousin.
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