Thursday, October 17, 2013
In the 17th Century a tulip bulb was the currency of the day in The Netherlands. It is one of the first examples of the ‘futures market’ as bulbs were sold whilst they were still in the ground and often before they flowered – and seldom physically changed hands. At the peak of Tulip Mania, bulbs sold for as much as 10 times the annual salary of a skilled crafts person or the cost of an Amsterdam mansion.
The tulip obsession
The bulbs originally from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey, Greece and North Africa) often changed hands several times a day – or least the contracts for them did. Everyone wanted a tulip bulb. Tulips also became popular as the artist’s choice and many canvases painted around these times feature tulips. These paintings were often commissioned by rich merchants who couldn’t get their hands on a bulb.
The most sought after bulbs were ones which produced striped or variegated coloured flowers. These bulbs were ones which were infected with a disease which ‘broke their colour’ so that striping occurred.
Tulip bulbs weren’t quick to produce. Grown from seed they took between 7 and 12 years to flower. Seeds weren’t affected by the strain which caused striping either; it is off-sets from existing bulbs that are. Off-sets take about three years to develop so there was no glut on the market which made them even more desirable.
The obsession for tulips in the 17th Century has been likened to the obsession for the latest iPhone. Not specifically the iPhone 5S but any new iPhone as it becomes available. Although this isn’t a future’s market scenario the associated mania does resemble tulip mania.
In fact sales of the 5S outshone previous sales figures almost doubling the predicted 5 million to 9 million. This was also helped by the fact that China was added to the launch list this time; that meant a simultaneous launch in 11 countries.
This amazing scramble for the new version as soon as it hits the shelves has caused some problems. The gold version sold out on the Friday of the first weekend and the grey and silver versions have also experienced some delays.
What do you get for your money?
The 5S looks like its predecessors but adds a fingerprint sensor to the mix and a better camera with a wider aperture and new flash making the differences for 5 owners. The fingerprint sensor is sophisticated and useful for user recognition.
The 5C is slighter thicker and heavier and doesn’t have all this new sophisticated technology. The general consensus of opinion seems to be that it is an entry iPhone for those who’ve never owned one before or still hang on to a very old model.
The 5S is available in gold, silver or ‘space grey’ retails at £549 or more. Its smaller sister the 5C is aimed at the ‘middle market’ and comes in bright colours – blue, green, pink, yellow and white and retails at £469 upwards.
It goes without saying that you need your iPhone insurance with one of these babies. If anything happens to it you certainly won’t want to shell out for a new one again.
By Harry Price
Harry Price is a free-lance writer who enjoys traveling with his wife, son and 2 dogs. Harry is a proud user of all things Apple.