Pre-Ramble: Look out! As of yesterday afternoon, I am the proud owner and captain of my very own iPhone 3GS. That’s right, mild-mannered, tech-challenged me is packing “the fastest most powerful iPhone yet”… … featuring up to 32 gigabytes of storage, voice control, video recording, cut and paste functions, and a bunch of other cool stuff that I don’t even understand.
Apparently, I now carry the technological equivalent of NASA, a Swiss army knife, and a concierge right here in my purse. This multi-functional object works as a cell phone, text-messaging center, email access, Internet hook-up, gaming arcade, jukebox, restaurant guide, movie camera (and editing table), calendar, to-do list, directional compass, GPS unit, and “virtual” coin flipper… it even has a backyard bird guide! How on earth did I get through a day without this thing?
As is the case with most every product released by Apple, the iPhone 3GS is as close to design perfection as you can get. Its sleek, curved styling and clean simple functionality are a wonder to behold, and the crisp, brightly lit icon buttons communicate so well that even the most tech-unworthy among us can summon up the intuitive gumption to grasp their meaning.
Apple has elevated the shopping experience around its products to an art form. The classy glass entryway and underground orientation of its premiere NYC location (shown above) evoke I.M. Pei’s Louvre Museum in Paris. Even at our local mall here in Minnesota, the Apple store has a unique and exciting atmosphere. You walk into the stark, but bustling, white, bleached-wood gallery/playground environment and are immediately greeted by the first tier of the Apple staff hierarchy, a chipper team of “associates” in orange t-shirts. Once the assessment has been made as to the objective of your visit, you are upgraded to an associate in a blue t-shirt. (Our’s was named Drew.)
The tech-wizard will see you now … The guys (and gals) in the blue shirts (the tech-hip equivalent of a starched white lab coat), are young, friendly, laid-back and highly knowledgeable around all things tech. Techiness reeks out of their pores. They have official ID badges on lanyards; two-way transmission ear buds; and wifi, pocket-rocket cash registers strapped to their belts. These combination brand evangelist, nurse practitioner, tech-wizards, flawlessly walk you through the pertinent points of their presentation, citing competitive advantages and nifty features, and emitting invisible rays of wisdom so deep they must be all but able to divine your most hidden thoughts. The overarching vibe we got from Drew was, “you’re safe, you’re in good hands, it’s cool, and it’s all good.”
So, you decide on the couple of options available on the unit — amount of memory (16 or 32 gigabytes … apparently both are beyond a TON of storage capacity … my sales associate confided that even he, in all his uber-techiness, had trouble filling up the 16GB unit) and color (black or white … black seemed the way to go), and then you head over to the accessories wall … some particulars:
- While the unit comes with a charging cable and headset, you need some way to recharge it on the road. The Griffin “PowerJolt” seems to fit the bill (we’ll see … my newbie phone still has it’s original charge).
- An anti-glare film protector is also a must, to ward off 99% of the scratches, dust, dirt, smudges and fingerprints that could mar your pristine and inherently fragile touch screen. Comes in a two-pack.
- You also definitely want a cover — something grippy and bouncy, so when you drop the thing, it has some kind of chance at survival. My daughters recommend the “incase” brand slider case … pliable enough to hug the phone, but firm enough to retain it’s shape (some of the cases made out of the more “rubbery” materials will actually stretch out over time, becoming baggy and flopping off the edge of the phone … not good — too easy to bobble the unit).
So, there you are. A few clicks on the remote cash register, the grand swipe of the credit card, and you’re good to go! I hope this has been a useful and informative play-by-play on the iPhone 3GS purchase process. Stay tuned for future posts on user-interface pointers, foibles, etc. …
The Take-Away: By far, the best part about the whole iPhone 3GS scenario was the tech-envy incited by my new toy in my beloved teenage children. I swear, I was floating a few gigameters off the floor as we left the mall, while my daughter trudged along, shaking her head all, “Mom, you have no idea how much stuff that thing can do …” as though I were some 95-year-old granny crawling out of the parking lot in a spanking new Maserati Granturismo S.
… SO, WE’RE EVEN — beauty is wasted on youth, and cutting-edge technology is wasted on us old farts!
Post-Note: Thanks Drew — great job — I’m off to leap tall buildings! … And, as I mentioned on the sales floor, should I have any little questions or issues, I’ll be sure to text you.