I know, I know. I said I wasn’t going to buy an iPhone. But, in a moment of weakness, I did it. (Those of you who bet I wouldn’t last can now collect your winnings.) Three things put me over the edge.
First, last week Apple made several announcements. The company introduced new iMacs, as well as updates to iLife and iWork. I even watched Steve Job’s entire speech and demo session. As usual, he blew me away. It’s not just the fact that he is a great presenter (which he is), but that his products are so unbelievably cool. I love everything about them.
Second, since I live and work in Keynote, which is part of iWork, I went to the Apple Store to buy the upgrade. I picked up a copy of iLife while I was at it. While I was there, I played with an iPhone. I think Steve has put some secret device inside the iPhone that interferes with the normal functioning of your brain. Right then and there, I started the rationalization process. I knew I was being sucked into the tractor pull.
Third, I met a guy who was talking about blogs, social networks, wikis, and all kinds of Web 2.0 technologies. Then I visited him in his office. As they say in Texas, “the guy was all hat and no cattle.” He had an ancient—and I mean ancient—computer on his desk. It was running Windows 2000. His phone was also ancient. I felt like I was in a museum.
I thought, How can you talk about technology and contribute anything meaningful to the discussion if you are not using the technology? Duh. So, afraid that I was going to be left behind, or worse, end up a techno-hypocrite, I went out and bought an iPhone.
As it turns out, some of my concerns were misguided. The iPhone will work in a corporate environment with an Exchange Server. I am able to receive and send e-mail from the device without any problems. True, unlike the Blackberry, it won’t wirelessly sync my calendar and contacts. Instead, I have to connect the phone to my MacBook Pro and sync. But this is not that big a deal. The iPhone does so much more. It’s honestly one of the coolest pieces of technological joy I have ever experienced.
Whatever you may think of Apple, the iPhone is an icon of what the future holds. Electronic devices are going to become increasingly simple and elegant. And, I am more convinced than ever, an eBook device that will change everything is right around the corner. Those of us in the publishing world had better be ready.