By: Madeleine Saucy
The iPhone is a touch screen smart phone with multiple uses such as: to hold and listen to music, take pictures, take videos, do phone calls, use the internet, and the ever popular downloading applications to do just about anything. The user interface is built around the device’s multi-touch screen, including a virtual keyboard rather than a physical one.
iPhones were introduced by Apple in January 2007. The first model was a 2G which was introduced at $800, then the 3G came lowering prices to $300 and now with a plastic instead of metal back. Next the 3Gs model whose claim to fame was the introduction of the white iPhone and more gigs of space, then finally and the most recent the iPhone 4 whose shape is more boxy with a front facing camera.
Apple applications are available from the App Store, which launched in mid-2008 and now has well over 300,000 “apps” approved by Apple. These apps have diverse functions, including games, reference, GPS navigation, social networking, security and advertising for television shows, films, and celebrities.
Ever since the introduction of the iPhone, it’s become a status symbol. It’s not just standing for having money; it’s a symbol of being connected to the world at large. You can interact with people through the applications or social networks all over the world in a matter of seconds. No longer is a phone just used for calling people, it’s now considered a “device.” iPhone has spawned off dozens of look a likes from many other brands trying to compete for the same popularity, yet no one has completely triumphed.
The battle for hegemony with Apple and AT&T against every other brand of phone and cell phone carrier has resulted in expansions, newer flashier applications, smoother interfaces, and sleeker looks.
These are the questions we need to be asking:
1. Are we getting better applications? Or are these just reproductions of the same thing over and over again?
2. Are we just being taken in by product placement and merchandising?
3. Are we paying for the device itself, or the symbolic power it holds?