The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Unique features, shipping concerns compel locals to snag new iPhones on launch day

Patrick O’Neal
Customers line up outside the Apple store at 815 Boylston St. This year’s iPhone launch included the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

Dedicated Bostonians swarmed the Apple Store on Boylston Street Sept. 22, forming a lengthy line that wrapped around the building’s pristine exterior in the hopes of securing the latest iPhone on the day of its release.

Unveiled Sept. 12, Apple’s 2023 phone lineup — consisting of the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max — sports a plethora of unique features, though the most impressive ones, such as a titanium finish and an action button, are only available on the higher-end models. One trait possessed by every variant, however, is an enticing one: USB-C connectivity.

“I like the consistency with having USB-C,” said Joe Maple, a second-year business administration and communication studies combined major at Northeastern University. “Right now, I have a Mac and an iPad, which also take USB-C, so having one charger that can be universal will be nice.”

This reality, one celebrated by average consumers and tech nerds alike, was not always guaranteed, however. Had it not been for the European Union’s mandate that all devices sold in the region be USB-C compatible by 2024’s end, the inferior Apple-created Lightning cable may have been included in the box of every new iPhone worldwide.

Customers wait in line for the new Apple iPhone 15. Apple announced the decision to switch their chargers from Lightning to USB-C Sept. 12. (Patrick O’Neal)

USB-C, however, is not the only innovation turning heads. The improved camera systems — featuring better low-light capabilities, next-generation portrait photography, superior video quality and (on the iPhone 15 Pro Max) five-times optical zoom, amongst other features — further enticed people to upgrade.

“I really like the camera on [the iPhone 15 Pro Max],” Maple said. “The cinematic mode for video is something I’m really interested in. I do social media for one of my clubs, and having a high-quality device to do that with will be great.”

Beyond the new capabilities of the iPhone 15 Pro Max and its brethren, unruly shipping times practically forced some shoppers to purchase a device in person rather than online. Matheus Santos, a 28-year-old native of South America, endured the chilly morning weather with his girlfriend for this very reason.

“We tried to get one on the website, but my girlfriend couldn’t buy the model because it was estimated to be delivered in October,” Santos said. “We are leaving for Brazil at the end of September, so we are trying to get one for her.”

Stuck in a similar predicament was Anicia Radhakrishnan, a Boston University freshman studying cell biology, molecular biology and genetics specialization. Radhakrishnan arrived bright and early at the Apple Store, getting situated in line nearly 90 minutes before the shop was set to open at 8 a.m. — all because of an absurdly late delivery date.

“I tried preordering it, actually, but it said I would receive it in mid-November, and that’s way too late,” Radhakrishnan said. “So, I’m just like, ‘I’ll come here and try my luck.’”

In addition to delayed delivery dates, multiple consumers expressed discomfort in shipping such a pricey product, fearing that it may be lost or stolen. This is especially true for college students who often rely on finicky campus mail services. Maple, for instance, expressed discomfort at the prospect of shipping such an expensive device through Northeastern’s Residential Mail Services.

Evidently, for a multitude of customers, a vast array of new attributes and abysmal shipping times were the driving force behind the decision to race to the Apple Store in pursuit of a new phone. For others, though, these factors played a much smaller role as, in actuality, it was simply time for a change.

“Honestly, I’ve been using this phone for the past six years — it’s an iPhone 7,” Radhakrishnan said. “So, I’ve just been trying to upgrade and I guess that [the iPhone 15 Pro Max] was the best model.”

About the Contributor
Jake Guldin
Jake Guldin, Audiovisual Editor
Jake Guldin is a third-year media and screen studies and journalism major with a film production minor. He currently serves as the lifestyle editor of The News and, previously, was one of two deputy lifestyle editors and a staff writer. Moreover, he was most recently on co-op with TheStreet's Retirement Daily, writing and editing articles about personal finance. You can follow him @jakeguldin on Twitter — not "X," "Twitter."
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