iThis and iThat, Because, It’s All About Me

My apologies to the Mac users that read my blog.  As most of my friends and family know, I do not have any use for a Mac.  I use Microsoft Windows.  I have been told that Mac file systems operate more like the human brain, and that they are much easier to use, but I have not personally found that to be the case.  Every time I try a Mac, or a Mac product, I walk away frustrated, and go back to Windows.  Microsoft is my happy place:)  I am only doing this because I received an e-mail about the iPhone.  I think that I was being goaded, and if I am wrong, I will publicly apologize.  No need to spend $500 on this for me, spend half, get me a Zune, and I will be most pleased.

Apple Computers, wait, sorry, Steve Jobs has apparently renamed the company Apple, Inc.  I am sure there is a good reason for it, there must be. 

In the 1970’s when GM was struggling with their public image, among other things, Iacoca changed the companies legal name from General Motors, to The New General Motors.  The media was constantly saying “The failing General Motors…” or “The troubled General Motors…”.  With the name change saying “The failing The New General Motors…” just didn’t roll off the tip of the tongue.  In changing the name, and taking control of how the media mentioned GM, Iacoca took control of the GM image from the press.  The name change made sense.

The point is that changing from Apple Computers to Apple Inc does not seem to make any difference, unless it is to save a couple of tenths of a penny on the ink when the company letterhead is printed.

 So, starting over, Apple Inc unveiled their iPhone, not to be confused with Cisco Systems iPhone.  Honestly, I didn’t know that Cisco had an iPhone, but more on that later.

The Apple iPhone is suppose to be the latest, hottest, cell phone when it hits the market, later this summer.  Combining the features of the IPod Video, a cell phone, and a PDA with Wireless and Bluetooth technologies, Steve Jobs promises that it will be the envy of every cell phone owners eye (or is it I).  It certainly sports a sleek look, and on the surface, seems to be pretty cool.  The iPhone has the ability to send and receive e-mail (but will it interface with Outlook?), surf the web using the Apple internet browser, Safari, it integrates with Google Maps, and you can even use the Widgets that are part of OS X.  And it can all be yours for the low, low price of $499.  Oh, and you have to change your cell phone provider to Cingular.

I saw clips from the announcement that Steve Jobs made about the new Apple toy.  He was pretty excited about his new phone.  Chatting about all the features, he got to the biggest problem the iPhone has, and with his usual arrogant, bravado, he claimed it was a feature. 

One of the most important parts of any PDA, and the most overlooked, is the stylus.  It allows me to write and select without getting the screen dirty.  I have used PDA’s for about 3 years, and every time I try to use my finger, no matter how clean, there are always smudges that are near impossible to get rid of.  Steve Jobs apparently expects that iPhone users will have fingers that will not smudge the screen.  It would be interesting to know weather Apple has taken into account that there a few of us around that have larger than average fingers, and the iPhone does not look to be user friendly to those of us with larger fingers.

Maybe Apple people are different than PC people.

Also, the cost.  At $499.00, Apple seems pretty proud of their new gizmo, and for all it claims to do, maybe if they figure out how to keep the screen clean, and open it up to other wireless providers, it might be worth it, but to those of us who have been overcharged by Cingular one too many times (or had a 2 year contract, only to find out that they hit your minutes on the calls after 7pm, when you signed up to get the free incoming calls after 7, and they insist that you pay for their mistake) I don’t think that it is going to give many people reason to switch.

There is also the marketing aspect to consider, as well.  Far more important than weather this is a good product and service, and way more important than weather this thing sells or not, since 2001, Apple has used the concept of “I” to sell their new hand held devices.  iPod, iPod Nano, iPod Mini, iPod Video, and my personal favorite, the iPod Flea.  Please note that you will need the following accessories to get the most out of your iPod Flea: the Flea Collar, Flea Market, Flea Infestation kit, iPod Tic, Bluetooth wireless remote Flea and Tic Control, and the Flea Bag.

Anyway, the Apple advertising seems to say ” It’s all about you.  You are an individual, and you deserve your stuff to be personalized just for you, and we know what you want”  While that is part of most modern ad campaigns, Apple takes it a bit further.  They use the pronoun “I”.  Is that because they are trying to further reinforce the post-modern idea that “I am the most important person, and what I want is all that matters.  It’s my stuff, my way.”?

Contrast that with the Zune ad slogan “Welcome to the Social”.  It seems that Microsoft has stumbled onto the idea that no one is an island unto themselves.  We are made to interact with each other.  Could it be that someone in the Microsoft ad dept. that understands the concept of community?

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