Techno Punks / The Apple Empire Strikes Back

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"Did you hear?"

"What? Did I hear what?"

"It's finally happened. The news embargo was lifted!”

“What are they announcing this time? They decide when to bomb Iran? Syria anointed Assad? Israel finally has a constitution?"

"Um, no."

"Okay, they've discovered there really are little green men being held at Area 51?"

"Dude. No."

"Well, just tell me already, I'm getting worked up. It's bad for my blood pressure. This embargo has kept me awake at night. I hear the drums of war and it shakes me up, man!"

“This time it really is something that will actually change humanity!"

"Change humanity?"

"Yeah, man! On September 12, with a little help from the great Dungeon Master above, they will announce the launch of the new iPhone!"

“Holy Dungeons and Dragons! The new iPhone that really is exciting. And September 12? That's this week – that's tomorrow!"

"I know, dude! What do you think they will have at the launch?"

“Will the king ride into the city square? With trumpets? Local nobles gathered together? Banners waving in the breeze? Apples dipped in honey, passed to the plebeian masses? Or maybe five hot models with the number five tattooed on their exposed flesh?”

"Yes, yes, knights and kings and banners, oh my! But most important of all, the new flagship device of the Apple empire!"

"Tell me more, bro."

"The imperial realm endured a harsh year of strife along its border, absorbing the blows from its competitors from the east who took advantage of the recent death of the good King Steven."

"Ah, King Steven, leader of the Jobsian dominion. Yitkadal v'yitkadash. May he rest in peace, King Steven."

"They threw down the gauntlet, the S-3, at the late king's heirs. It was war. But after the victory in the halls of justice, the patent thieves continued their assault, encroaching on the patent of the pinch-to-zoom. The bitten Apple has now been remade whole with its new phone and it will be amazing sight to behold.”

“For sure. Amazing! The common folk have waited for this day. The future is now. This calls for a celebration. After so much rumor and innuendo in techdom, the mobile device we longed for is here. The say that it will have a new, sturdier screen that is larger and processes information faster. It is said to measure at least four inches and have a 16:9 aspect ratio."

“And the revolution will not be televised – it will be Appleized. The iPhone5 will have a whole new row of app icons. This is revolutionary!"

"How long will it take for the common folk to adjust to this new technology?"

"Only time will tell, my friend. But I know this: It will be thinner and longer, convex, and made from innovative liquid metal alloy. It will have microchips that are out of this world and will come with new headphones so you can hear never-before-heard sounds. There will be a home button that is more elliptical than round and a new casing prepared meticulously by thousands of dubiously-employed Asian children.”

“The question, then, that begs to be answered, is the name."

"Ah, yes, the name."

"Will it be the iPhone5? Or will it be named in honor of its predecessor and dubbed the iPhone 4SS?"

"Dungeon Master have mercy, do you think they might call it the new iPhone 4S?"

“It doesn't matter one way or the other. We in the Kingdom of the Jews will accept it as our own and convert it according to our traditions. Just like God took the ancient people of Israel out of Egypt with an outstretched hand, we too will break the iPhone 5 out of the jail of oppression and bring it to the Holy Land of milk and honey and unlimited apps."

“I wonder: Will this phone come with a built-in Hebrew option, or, like so many phones that came before, will we have to make a pilgrimage to the pirate rabbi to install an extra keypad?"

“Many self-important commentators declared the dead king the son of an enemy land that didn't properly account for Jewish purchasing power. Woe to us all should his heirs follow in his steps. They might have decided in a moment of daftness that the new power adapter will have 19 pins instead of 30, and they might have created a SIM card holder that is nano-sized instead of just microscopic. Maybe they designed a new headphones plug that is shaped differently than the last one. Holy dungeons and dragons! Such madness could transform our lives into a consumer hell.”

“You know, these are the moments that take me back. I just flashbacked to the launch announcement for the iPhone 4. You know, the one that included the front-facing camera. That moment was more exciting for me than the birth of my first-born son. After the announcement, we all went out and danced in the streets."

“Exciting? Uh, yeah! That day pulled me out of temptation. I had almost resigned myself to joining the thieves, and their army of Androids, the ones who stole the royal patent. But the bitten Apple saved me and redeemed me. The new front-end camera convinced me that there was hope for a better future. In our locked enclosed garden, the benevolent iCloud showers us with goodies at the times of its own choosing."

“Wait a minute. When did you say the launch is?"

“It's September 12.”

“In the evening?”


“Drat. I'll need to cancel a prior commitment. I already promised Mrs. Techno punk that I'd go hear a concert with her at the community center. They're performing to mark the anniversary of the 1910 premiere of Mahler's Eighth Symphony.”

“Really? I much prefer the Ninth.”

“Mahler's Ninth Symphony?”

“No, no, of course not. I mean the old Ludwig Van. You know, 'Ode to Joy.'"

“Well, either way, cancel your plans. I think we can both agree that announcement of Apple's new iPhone 5 is nothing short of the blast of the shofar announcing the Messiah's coming.”

On September 12, with a little help from the great Dungeon Master above, the iPhone 4 (shown here) was replaced by the iPhone 5!Credit: Bloomberg