Written by By Lianna Brinded, CNN
On the island of Mallorca, one of the world’s top three brand conscious cities, Apple employees queue every day in summer to buy their iPhones. In less attractive conditions, they queue at Apple Stores in cities such as London or Rotterdam.
It’s the kind of reserved vibe you’d expect to find in such a sleepy city.
But who can blame the staff for wanting the ultimate gadget? To get there is to travel, into a sea of iPhones, laptops and iPads.
It’s a city of fan boys, and increasingly people are relishing the experience for tourism purposes.
About one million iPhones are sold in the city every year and Mallorca is more than a market place for tech products, it’s a “shop window” for the lives of people from all over the world.
Americans Andres Roca and Frank Castagna live on the island in the summer, head out into the city for fun and casual work and come back to their easy living routine at the end of the week. But this, what they do is not to be taken lightly. Roca got so used to the sight of people with iPads and iPhones he decided to start making every phone picture special.
“Today I have done 16 holiday portraits,” he says. “I have done eight of those ‘touch screens’ in the last two weeks.”
A brief phone photos by Frank Castagna and Andres Roca Credit: Brandview Dublin
Now, tourists from all over the world have taken the moment they see the “Touch Screen” from the other side and established it as a destination in itself.
“All the tourists try to do it,” Roca laughs. “You learn to count and touch screens.”
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The spark of inspiration
In this magical city, you will bump into a lot of tourists for one reason or another. They are concentrated around the legendary brand, Mallorca-based brands and B&Bs.
“Each one is different. They each bring their own inspiration,” says Roca. “So, for example, someone can have no money but is looking for color, they bring their light boxes, they put bars of Sunnyside chocolate in their bags and in the battery.”
Whether they’re looking for a souvenir or just to spend some time, tourists flock to the house where the classic shots were taken. They can’t wait to get their fix.
“The glasses, the earphones, the ear covers… they’re just amazing. They’re all fantastic,” Roca says.
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For Apple, the image of people with iPhone is the epitome of its brand image. It’s a living concept, pushing the boundaries of what smartphones are. It’s not new, but it’s the most prominent example of the brand’s social commentary.
Just as social commentary for the European Union is building, as local people suffer the consequences of regulatory ambition to level and regulate businesses.
The European Commission is proposing to standardize the type of connector and charging kit used in European smartphones as well as in laptops.
As a first stop, that would mean the set of connector has to be the same across the EU. It’s a move that could make its way to market.
At present, there are over 300 different plugs. The standardization would result in a total of 2000 options.
“It’s like getting from 699 to 819 bicycles,” says Commissioner for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip. “It would be wonderful if this could be done.
He compares the effort to being similar to that of plans that encouraged consumers to purchase more phones when tariffs for the devices fell by 60%.
On the same day Ansip revealed the EU is going down the path of standardization, representatives from around 40 countries, including Apple, Samsung and Huawei, urged the authorities not to implement it.