Benjamin Reeves | February 26 2013 10:47 EST
The Samsung Galaxy S4 release date has been revealed for all of those salivating smart phone obsessives. Yes, the new Galaxy S4 will be officially announced on March 14, according to Hardwarecanucks.com, and the big event will be held in New York City. But who really cares about the release date? Why do so many people want to know minor details about not-yet-released hardware?
It's not like the people most excited about the new phone don't already have phones. Many of the biggest Samsung fans who will be most excited for the Galaxy S4 probably already have the previous generation of phone. It's not as if there are thousands of phoneless zombies wandering around the streets of America. Obviously, there is a certain amount of excitement over the chance to see a new toy and finally experience all of its technological wonder and grace. But it's still just a phone.
Puffing up and building up release dates has become bread and butter for tech journalism and tech companies. By teasing release events, leaking tiny details about hardware and allowing grainy photographs to float softly onto the waves of the internet, tech companies ensure that the hype for their product begins to build even before it's available, and they're able to get their press for free. If you can get people excited about a release date, just imagine how excited they'll be about the actual release event!
Tech blogs, for their part, love to cover exciting, informative subjects like release dates, release events, grainy pictures, etc., etc., etc. because they're relatively easy to write about, take almost zero research, and are guaranteed to bring the masses to their sites for a brief millisecond. Why, though, do so many thousands of people want to know the release date of a new phone? That still remains a question. The motives of the tech companies and publications are clear, but what of the consumers of all of this essentially pointless information?
Perhaps it comes from a desire to be "in the know" about something. It is a simple equation. If you know the date when the new phone comes out and no one else does, then when you're sitting at lunch with your boring coworkers, you can show of your super secret knowledge and be a superstar for a second. Conversely, if you need something to talk about at lunch with your coworkers you only vaguely know, what's better than cell phones? After all, everyone already has one. If you mention that you read that "the Samsung Galaxy S4, you know, the new Galaxy phone, is coming out on March 14," then you are now able to engage in a long and winding conversation about smart phones, which is the best, why you own what you.
In essence, the little tidbits of information provide the building blocks of small-talk, and during February, after the football season has ended and the Oscars have taken place and before March madness has begun, there is a deficit of topics for office small talk. People care about the release dates of phones and the possible specifications of new tablets not because it's really important to know those things before you can buy the hardware, but because it's something to talk about. Ultimately, cell phone release dates feed the water-cooler effect, which builds hype for products and traffic for blogs. Tech is all cyclical.
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.