We got there. Decision made. Decision made, unmade and remade several times, actually.

Margaret was going for the iPhone 13. Not the Pro, not the max and not the mini.

We’d made this decision at iStorm, an Apple reseller, by comparing our X vs the 12, or is it XII? I’ve plumped for the 13 mini, with portability trumping all other considerations. (Plus the fact that I’d already decided that iPad mini was going to be my couch surfing device.)

“Can we buy some phones please?” “You mean pre-order?” “Oh. I guess so. When are they due?” “Ha! If I knew that…” Apparently, stock may arrive next month. Or the month after. But this year, unless it’s next.

I’m forever hearing that Tim Cook is an Ops guy. A logistics man. Yeah right. Cyprus doesn’t warrant an Apple Store. Too small, I imagine. I can understand that. Retail is expensive. The obvious solution is online ordering. Add Cyprus as an international shipping location from an EU hub. I remember that UK orders always used to turn up from Ireland, for example. Perhaps Greece could service this market?

“Apple does not ship internationally.”

What? Every single phone is made in China. Of course Apple ships internationally. Apple forms companies and builds elaborate tax schemes to ship and sell internationally and pay as little tax as possible. It’s a nonsense. The shop told me that he had 5 or 6 thousand phones on pre-order. I’ll bet that every one of those orders would have gladly paid premium shipping.

At least they had the iPad mini in stock. “I’ll have the larger storage option, with cellular please.” “What colour?” “Oh, purple please.” Tap, tap, tap. “Hmmm…no purple.” “OK. Space grey.” “Actually no stock in any colour.” “Fine. Give me one with no cellular.” “Actually…” “Let me guess. No stock?” “We have one with 64 GB.”

I’m amazed Apple made this model, having decided that the minimum for a phone was 128 GB. It is, to me, about as useful as a chocolate teapot right now. As I’d hope to get a few years use from this device (Apple are not expected to upgrade it for several years) 64GB is laughable. “You can order one.” “When will it arrive?” An apologetic shrug. So, here we are. 2021, and the biggest company in the world cannot sell me any of its new flagship lines weeks after launch. If Apple was as inefficient with its tax planning, America could probably have a health service.