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Summary:

I’ll posture that not many of us know the anniversary of the date we purchased most of our cellular phones — at least not before the iPhone hit the streets. (And if you do remember, hopefully you remember other, important anniversaries, too!) But things changed on […]

iPhone3GS-2

I’ll posture that not many of us know the anniversary of the date we purchased most of our cellular phones — at least not before the iPhone hit the streets. (And if you do remember, hopefully you remember other, important anniversaries, too!) But things changed on June 29, 2007. Lines formed, and tons of iPhones were sold. Similar happenings have occurred both summers since, as the iPhone hardware has been updated. And although I’m on my third iPhone model, I’m not concerned with what my next phone will be, because I’ll own an iPhone for life.

This concept seemed like a fairly singular thought when it crossed my mind recently. But then I saw a link on Gruber’s site to this photo on Flickr. The subsequent comments clearly indicate that I’m not alone in holding my iPhone above those that came before. No longer do I scour the Internet for news of the next big thing (unless it’s iPhone-related, of course).

iPhone for life (I’m not a tattoo guy, but if I were…) is a concept I absolutely believe in. It sounds awfully shortsighted and absolute, I realize, but I have faith in Apple. The company has proven time and again that it can innovate, and lead the pack. With my iPhone, I have all the features in my pocket that I could ever care to have. The army of developers who flood the App Store with hundreds of new apps each week mean that I’ll always be able to find whatever I want to extend the abilities of my iPhone. As competition, such as the Palm Pre, hits the streets, apps have become a big deal. And while marketing departments have hung their hat on the ‘apps’ buzzword as of late, they’re playing catch up in a big way.

Beyond just the iPhone, Apple has turned the act of purchasing — and using — its products into something special. The designs alone elicit awe and excitement. Apple gets at them early, too, with offerings like free camps so little ones can learn to love its products while they’re impressionable (my son is enrolled in Summer Camp at the local store over the next couple of weeks, and is totally stoked about it). Adding free technical support and workshops takes it that much further. There’s a feeling that you belong to something when you own an Apple product, and that is what I believe makes the brand as sticky as it is today. Apple is not just a brand; it’s a culture.

I’ve seen firsthand the way that the iPhone has taken the iPod’s “Halo Effect” to the next level. Many friends have picked up iPhones over the past 24 months. They’ve loved these smartphones so much that they’ve gotten excited about taking the plunge into an entirely new computer system as well. (Some are even going for a MacBook just because they figured it would sync with their phone easier — at the very least, a great excuse to jump on the bandwagon!) Once they’ve taken that step, almost unanimously, they’ve wondered to me how they ever got along on the PC for so long when such an awesome alternative was out there waiting.

Not everyone is a gadget junky, as I myself tend to be. This life tends to be one of neglecting the gadget you’ve got, while drooling over the one that will hopefully come. But I’ve found bliss with my iPhone. Using the iPhone is just a great experience, not necessarily perfection (blasphemer!), mind you, but it truly is a joy to use. Apple already had me as a lifelong customer with its computers. But the iPhone has nestled its way into a niche in my life that for a very long time, was up for grabs. No longer — iPhone for life, baby!

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  1. Nick, this was a great article, and I feel the same way as you do on the subject. I finally got my family members converted to Apple products. My dad has been using the iPod nano for several years now. When they got their iMac they received a free iPod Touch, and he simply says “this is so f*cking cool”. Never before has he spoken like that, to soon be followed with “so where can I get an iPhone…” Its amusing to say the least but a blessing in disguise. iPhone for life.

  2. James Dempsey Thursday, July 9, 2009

    The iPhone is probably the one Apple product I would LOVE to have, but will never buy (as long as it’s tied to one specific carrier). The price of the contract simply cannot be justified unless you’re a tech-junkie – and even then it’s really pushing it, in my opinion.

    1. So, what’s stopping you from getting an iPod touch? I mean, if the incremental cost of the data plan, $20/month for the EDGE iPhone or $30/month for the 3G and 3GS, is too much, then by all means get an iPod touch.

      If you want to deny yourself some bit of technology for some principle, that you don’t explain then by all means make that great sacrifice.

    2. Apple made it clear (by not including a camera, leaving out some software etc.) that they consider the Touch to be a second rate product for cheapskates who won’t shell out an extra $30/month for the data plan. If they made the Touch into “it’s literally an iPhone with no cellular radio,” they’d be selling a lot more of them.

      It’d help if they loosened up on the App Store a bit also. Pandora on the Touch is almost enough reason to buy one right there, but innovation is grinding to a halt and it’s not so exciting to own one anymore as it was a year ago. The potential is not being realized.

    3. Marco,

      Minus the camera what functionality did they leave out of the iPod Touch. I know it is not as fast as an iPhone 3GS but for a long time the only way to get 32 gb storage was to get an iPod Touch. True the first iPod Touch was slower than a first generation iPhone but once they bumped up the processor in the second generation iPod Touch it became faster than the iPhone 3G. The second generation also added iPhone like speaker and controls on the side for volume.

      Right now it may be slower and leave off some features than a 3GS but over all many of those features would be pointless without a mobile network in the first place.

      Also how is innovation grinding to a halt. Didn’t they just release Open GL 2.0 mobile? Sure it may not be as game changing as when the App Store first appeared but since you can’t reinvent the wheel every year I think they are progressing very well. In fact they may have taken too many resources from the OS X desktop team if anything. I’m quite happy with the whole iPhone OS experience and the only real competition is from the Pre and even though the Pre has multitasking the iPhone is still superior over all and should remain that way for a while. Though if I lived in an area with no AT&T I would have a Pre right now.

  3. Great article Nick. Nice to see others feel the way I do. I absolutely love my iPhone. My wife recently said to me, “you just want an iMac cause it’s Apple right? I bet you even thought about getting either an iPhone or the Apple logo tattooed on you.” She’s right. I’m now in my 2nd iPhone and will continue to buy them.

  4. Nice article. I feel the same way as you and glad that there are many people out there who feel the same way. I can’t imagine my self using any other mobile for after using the iPhone. iPhone FTW! iPhone for life!

  5. Partners in Grime Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Nice article. Apple makes such great products that their users often develop an allegiance to the company. Quite the feat in this day and age.

  6. Brock Britton Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Great article. i have had a new macbook since christmas 08 and love it and ive had the mac pro and led cinema display since august of last year, my uncle gave it to me. Since then i have been an apple junky (im 15) and today i went and signed up to get the iphone, but i had a 2 year contract with alltel and it is over around may of next year but i cant wait that long! so i bought out the contract today for 200 but i think it will be worth it :D apple junkster fo life

  7. Keegan Marsico Thursday, July 9, 2009

    Some sort of allegiance, true. But if you were truly amazed at the quality and technology available in the iPhone, why are you on your third one?

    That seems to dull the point more than enforce it.

    Instead of continuing to be amazed by the first solid product, you’re sucked into a system where you just might buy every single iPhone iteration that is released.

    Is that really a dedication?

    1. Keegan… the reason some are on their third iPhone and someone like me are on our second is because the quality of the products are amazing. I just got the 3G S and when my contract expires I plan to get the 4th generation iPhone. The point is we are “dedicated” to the iPhone and don’t have to wonder like so many what our next phone will be. Will it be a Samsung, a Nokia or and LG? How about a Motorola? Nope… my phone will always be an iPhone.

  8. iPhone » Current News Trends Friday, July 10, 2009

    [...] iPhone for Life [...]

  9. “It sounds awfully shortsighted and absolute”
    indeed, let’s come back in ten years.
    the only constant in gadget land is change.

  10. nice article..

    sounds good now but about seven years ago, i said to my then girlfriend that i’d be really happy with my cell phone if it ran osx. anyone can make hardware but the osx operating system is truly (to me) the best part of using apple based products. the fact that developers are literally forced into doing things the “right way” has a great effect on everything from iphone apps to desktop apps. yep, iphone forever life.

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