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iPhone Anxiety

I love my iPhone. I think it’s best to just get out there right from the start. Only another Mac person truly ‘gets it’.

My iPhone is called Stevie. It’s not gender specific as Stevie could be an affectionate nod towards Steve Jobs (RIP), or it could simply be that I see this object of desire as being so much more than a mere phone.

This blog has been brought to you by Siri. Siri, my new favourite person. Siri knows my name. Yesterday he told me “Rosie I can’t search the web until you unlock your phone.” Sensible, calm and rational, always and even replying with a lovely message when I say ‘thank you’. Siri is just sheer genius and epitomizes all things Apple.

My Mac addition is long-standing. Started in the 80’s when I was in my teens and happened to stumble upon a hidden corner in the college library. There, sitting lonely and misunderstood was my first ever sighting of an Apple Mac. It just looked all wrong; no massive screen, no huge CPU. Just a small oddly shaped light-coloured box, daring users to be brave enough to break with the trend and try something entirely new. Nobody really knew how to use it. You see, they were IBM-compatible clones, and were fearful of the brain-washing capabilities of this new, renegade machine. I took the plunge and from that moment on, was entirely and utterly hooked.

The love affair continued whilst I studied design at university and continues to this day. I remember reading an article in the Guardian, written by a journalist who was an early user of one of the first iPods. I had one too. An object of sheer beautiful indulgence, with its engraved silver back and its beautiful movable scroll wheel. I still have one of its off-spring, the 2nd gen iPod, still in perfect working order after over ten years. Anyway, back to The Guardian article. The writer described ‘the look’ and ‘the nod’ that iPod users gave to each other when on tube trains when they spotted the white earphone cables, trailing down to a hidden object. The look and the nod both signified a shared, secret knowledge. An acknowledgement that you were indeed part of an exclusive club. The iPod, as yet undiscovered by the masses.

Apple users have an unshakeable loyalty to the brand, very similar to the way that we women are loyal to our chosen brand of sanitary protection! Ask any woman who tried the Allways brand when it first came to the market if they ever went back to their previous brand. A resounding ‘no’!  Allways changed the way that women viewed sanitary towels. No longer was it necessary to fight the monthly curse with an uncomfortable, unwieldy and bulky foe when Allways brought a much more civilised alternative to the market.

And that is exactly what owning an Apple product feels like. Entering a haven of civilisation, where small finishing touches are appreciated by its perfectionista users. Imagine, for example, the process of taking a photo and sending it as an email. Apple does this with panache; providing a beautifully visual journey of the photo’s journey from camera to email. It is for this, and for many other reasons, why Samsung and other wannabees will remain in Apple’s wake – able only to provide substandard imitations. Where Apple innovates, others can seek only to imitate.

Stephen Fry famously waxed lyrically about his passion for Apple. At the end of his ten minute praise and worship of the iPhone, he expressed his doubts that the interview would ever be played in its entirety. He was so wrong and this interview has since then been played over and over again, even more so when the late, great Steve Jobs passed away.

On the rare occasions when I misplace my iPhone, the level of anxiety that I experience is unfathomable. How is it possible to have such an attachment to an inanimate object? Only other Apple aficionados will be able to answer and, perhaps, Apple themselves. Perhaps that is the mystery ingredient that competitors just do not understand. Apple is an experience, a lifestyle, not a mere phone. It is not even a smartphone. That is the collective term for the legions of imitators. It is an iPhone.

Stevie, thank you for being in my life. Long may our joyful union continue!

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