David Gately

iPhone, Therefore I Am

In Apple, AT&T, CNN/Money, David Gately, iPhone, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, Seth Weintraub, Tethering on June 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm
The iPhone
Game-changer

Feels like I’ve arrived. I just bought an iPhone and it’s a game-changer. Now I too can seemingly ignore friends and colleagues – fellow iPhone users that is – as we dine, watch a movie, or simply stand still, while I tap, tap, tap (head down, intensely focused) on the über-iconic smartphone display screen that has remarkably changed the way we socialize in just three short years.

Seems everywhere you look since 2008, when Apple released the first generation of its Internet- and multimedia-enabled smartphone, people have been furiously drumming their iPhones: answering emails, reading news, getting directions, ordering pizza – even scouting for friends-with-benefits. Ignoring me is what they’ve also been doing. This nuevo social convention quickly became annoying, simultaneously pissing me off and sucking me in.

Globally, Apples claims to have sold 100 million iPhones since. Though smartphones represent only a small portion of the worldwide number of mobile phones owners – about 5 billion of the world’s 7 billion people in 2010, according to the U.N. telecommunications agency – and the iPhone represents only 16.8 percent of the global smartphone market (Google’s Android commands 36 percent; Nokia’s Symbian, 27.4 percent) – the iPhone and its imitators are here to stay.

“The future certainly looks to be mobile with the majority of the world’s population going to the web from their smartphone rather than the PC,” said Seth Weintraub of CNN/Money in February. The same report showed that smartphones surpassed global sales of PCs during the first quarter of 2011, “for the first time in history.”

From the get-go, I’ve painstakingly coveted the iPhone. It seemed to be designed and marketed for everyone. Except, that was, for me. I couldn’t indulge. The price was out of my budget. Besides, I had a good, less-expensive mobile phone, a perfectly decent smartphone from Samsung. But, remarkably, that phone faithfully never failed to be…mmm…oh so boring. It never enticed me, like an intoxicating serpentine forbidder, the way the iPhone evidently did for those I knew. Everywhere I went, people seemed to be suffering from the same new-fangled communal addiction: iPhone tethering.

I always knew the iPhone was damn good technology. I bought my first Apple laptop in 2004, the Powerbook G4, and became an instant Apple convert. But I sat back and  jealously watched from the sidelines as the world became inflicted with iPhone dependency. Until this week, serendipitously, when reviewing my AT&T phone plan and discovering it allowed an iPhone upgrade at a price I couldn’t resist: just $49.

Ok, so my iPhone happens to be the previous generation, the 3GS, and not the iPhone 4 or the much-ballyhooed iPhone 5 (maybe iPhone 4GS, as some are calling it), expected to drop in September. But it’s a fantastic phone nonetheless.

I could have chosen not to upgrade or selected any number of similarly price, technologically great devices on the highly competitive smartphone market today. But like a nipple to a baby, I craved the original seducer. Now I’m one with my iPhone. Gleefully tethered, the anesthetized dripping has begun. Apathy and compulsion are taking over. And its payback time.

Sorry, my friend, did you say something?

Tap, tap, tap.

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