Saturday, June 16, 2007

Chicago Tribune Editorial - iLust for iPhone

Chicago Tribune Editorial - iLust for iPhone
Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
Published June 16, 2007

In the coming weeks, you will be able to tell the techno-hip from the rest of us. They'll have the iPhone. We won't.

Not that our Inner Geek doesn't desire one. The Wall Street Journal says the iPhone -- a combo iPod/cell phone/Web browser with the ultracool touchpad design -- could be "the most anticipated device in the history of the wireless industry." Another moniker: The God Machine.

We've been transfixed by the new iPhone commercials, drooling like Homer Simpson in full doughnut lust. Afterward, and for hours later, only one thought forms, over and over: Gotta. Get. One.

Once unleashed, the Inner Geek cannot be subdued until the object of desire is acquired. No substitutions allowed. For some technorati, this may involve many hours in line outside the Apple store, or even camping out overnight with a sleeping bag to be the first in line on the first day of sale, June 29. Fact of human nature: The more difficult it is to obtain the object, the more desirable it is. Lots of people can pay $500 or $600 for the iPhone. But will they get the chance? Shortages of the iPhone on the first day are already being predicted.

Comparisons of the iPhone to the supreme deity do, admittedly, set high expectations. Will it -- can it -- live up to the hype?

We hope so. Doubters, skeptics, pick at possible flaws, foretell potential disappointments. We counsel optimism and patience -- any flaws tend to get fixed in the second iteration of these devices, just in time for Christmas or Hanukkah, if you know what we mean.

Some of our colleagues are impervious to all of this. They reason as follows: I already have a cell phone. I already have a BlackBerry. I already have an iPod. Why do I need an iPhone?

We pity these poor, lost souls. Life without a periodic and unslakeable desire for the next cool gizmo is a frightening void, in our opinion.

These clueless sorts are likely to witness a high-definition television, its screen blazing with impossibly sharp colors, and shrug. It's just a TV, right? Sure, and Michael Jordan was just a basketball player.

Some people may think that those who crave the iPhone enough to say, write editorials about it, really need to check their priorities and, possibly, get some serious therapy.

They may be right. But the iPhone is cheaper.

If you know what we mean.


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