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iPhone 5 in Silicon Valley Faces a Hard-to-Wow Crowd, Even Among the 12-Year-Olds

The faster, lighter, thinner iPhone 5 may well be, but it's no thrilla', many say, on the day Apple announced the new product, two years in the making.

 

It’s beautiful, as usual.

But here in Silicon Valley, where even 11-year-olds are toting iPhones in their pockets, the crowd can be tough. And after two years in the making, reaction to Apple's sleeker, faster, thinner iPhone’s unveiling—from the sidewalk tables of a tapioca tea house, to downtown San Jose, to a craft beer store—was, well, muted. 

"I have the iPhone 4, but I don't think I will be switching because I don't see the benefit," said Krishna Pradhan of Campbell, who was in San Jose Wednesday with his co-worker Bharath Krishna, of Pleasanton.

Christy Kondo, of Sunnyvale, had a shorter answer.

“It’s a meh,” she said, while working the counter of a beer store in downtown Mountain View.

“I read a piece in the BBC about how the iPhone used to be like a top-of-the-line BMW, and now it’s more like a Toyota Camry,” she said, referring to an opinion article by Newsweek technology editor Dan Lyons in BBC News.

“My mom has an iPhone.”

Ouch.

Is anyone running out and buying one?

“My brother-in-law,” said Bertha Miranda, a clerk at Oakmont Produce in Mountain View. “When the iPad came out he went and waited and was one of the first in line to get one.” She, her 12-year-old son, and her husband had just gotten three iPhones this past year, after the boy saved up all his money.

“If it parked my car, then maybe,” said Kristine Woldegiorgis, 23, a San Jose State student who already has an iPhone 4.

Jason Shao, 13, was not impressed. “I used to have an iPhone 4 and I’m ordering another kind of phone," the Graham Middle School student from Mountain View said. "iPhones are getting boring. It’s not really different."

Michael Carter, sitting outside a tapioca tea restaurant on Dana Street in Mountain View wasn’t about to buy one either. He has an Android phone. But, he said, “It’s always exciting when Apple  announces a new product.

“I’m vaguely excited, because of the new ratio,” he said, referring to the screen size. “It will be easier to build cross-platform applications,” he said, which is what he does.

Fernando Ortigoza, 11, was quietly jazzed, though.

He had already cracked the screen of his iPhone 4S that he got for his birthday in April. He’d ask for a iPhone 5. Oh, yeah.

His friend, Daniel Bautista,12, thought it was time to make an iPhone in a different shape. Not just 1-inch wider and longer. Different.

“Like a pear, or something else.” He was referring to Nickelodeon network’s fictional “pear phone.”  

So maybe not so different.

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