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!