Announcement of iPhone 5 an iHoliday to some

Published: Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, September 8, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.

Hark the herald angels sing. It’s Christmas in Techville with a newborn smartphone king. Hallelujah!

Sacrilegious? Yes, I get it and repent. However, as a new iPhone is to be born this week, many of us will be following the North Star all the way to the Apple Store with gifts of gold, cash and debit cards. Let the coveting begin.

Such is the impact this tiny device has had on our lives. Its reach to the ends of the earth and all corners of our lives has been profound. It’s hard to argue that we are not better for it. I attend a church where a large portion of the body gets scripture from Bible apps, worships on iTunes, evangelizes on Facebook and tweets from the mission field. Some even use the tithe calculator app as the bucket is heading down the pew.

What is it about the iPhone that stirs the masses so much?

This past week is the same week that the new Nokia/Windows 8 phone was released — and Nokia stock plummeted. The same week that Motorola unveiled a “new” Razr phone (talk about “jumping the shark”). The same week Motorola is offering a $100 rebate for frustrated new Android buyers who don’t get the new Jelly Bean operating system. Jelly who?

In the same breath, you have bloggers and tech writers practically tripping over themselves as they dissect every rumor and every iPhone wishlist like a 9-year-old on Christmas Eve. You have families eyeing who has the next upgrade and who will get the techno hand-me-down. Ebay is buzzing with people trying to get rid of their “old” iPhone 4S. All this hoopla for a hunk of glass and circuits.

Wednesday, the day of the announcement, is turning into an iHoliday of sorts with people taking the day off as they formulate their plan to be the first to order.

Is Apple putting some addiction sauce in the headphones or hiding subliminal messages in its ads? You cannot smell an iPhone, but somehow they give off cravings akin to driving past Burger King while the Whoppers are cooking.

The bottom line is smartphones keep us connected. Even to a fault. We don’t have to talk to people anymore. Some of us never wanted to. There is an app for everything our lives are defined by, and those without definition find an identity in their smartphone.

At some point, we all awoke in the microwave society. Always on the go and needing satisfaction in two minutes or less. We have minds that race out of control, and when we hit a red light there is Angry Birds to keep us going. We overcome life’s boring reality by thumbing through our virtual reality and surmount our own lack of organization with smartphone compartmentalization. It is the ultimate Swiss army knife for a Robinson Crusoe culture.

Apple’s compulsive mission of “it just works” seems to have won the race, at least for now. So no, there is no magic sauce but a good product with great timing. The iPhone was the marketplace answer to some of life’s problems. Unfortunately, it can never solve all of our problems. No matter how much we keep updating and downloading.

This is why our old technology loses flavor like a stick of Wrigley’s spearmint and we are so comfortable making the annual pilgrimage to the Apple Store.

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