iPhone has technology to die for
There's a lot of fatalistic hyperbole floating around the blogosphere as Digital Slobs await the release of Apple's magical touchscreen iPhone, the latest paradigm shift expected to arrive from the great beyond to "change everything" for mere mortals in June.
Any number of hereafter metaphors have been used since the gadget was unveiled on Jan. 9. People would "kill" for an iPhone. The iPhone puts the "nail in the coffin" for other cell phones. If you don't like the iPhone, you're "dead" to me (actually, that was kind of harsh, Mom).
Exaggerations? I thought so. But all this imagery took on new meaning last week when, during my weekly Internet call-in show, a one-of-a-kind celebrity dialed in with a unique, life-or-death interest in the iPhone. Here's the transcript from that call:
Digital Slob: Hello, Grim Reaper, and welcome to digitalslobpod's Endless Ego Cavalcade show. What's your real name, by the way?
Grim Reaper: Whaddaya mean?
DS: Uh, OK, never mind. What's on your mind today?
GR: Yeah, I'm calling about the iPhone. I was wondering when it would be available?
DS: June is what I heard.
GR: OK, because I've been using this ancient sickle for about 2,000 years, and my contract with that ends in March, and I was wondering if I should wait for the iPhone to come out.
DS: What is that, like a giant blade on a stick? Who's your contract with?
GR: Verizon. But before that I was using this AT&T scythe for about 50,000 years. It worked pretty good ... didn't kill that well in tunnels, but what does, right? Anyway, about 2,000 years ago I left it in a bathroom in Mesopotamia on this reeeeeeally hectic day, and I didn't have insurance, so I thought I might as well upgrade to the sickle. I like the grip better but there's still no Bluetooth connectivity.
DS: So I don't understand ... you use a sickle like a smartphone?
GR: Yeah. It holds my calendars, spreadsheets, addresses and my powers for delivering the dead to Hades. It even holds my vacation photos from the Crusades.
DS: You vacationed during the Crusades?
GR: Yeah, well, business vacation. I expense-accounted it.
DS: That Hades thing is a pretty high-end function.
GR: Yeah, special third-party app ... uses Flash 7. I know a developer in the Underworld who really knows his stuff.
GR: So anyway, I was wondering if I have to renew my Verizon contract for another 2,000 years when my contract is up in March, because I kinda really want an iPhone, but I gotta have something before June, because, y'know, I get pretty busy a lot of the time.
DS: Yeah, I can imagine. Well, if you're with Verizon now, you should be able to go month to month after your contract expires. Just don't upgrade to a chain saw or taser or something like that, because then they'll probably have you under contract again -- a long contract, sounds like.
GR: Right ... I'm already getting junk mail from those guys.
DS: Also, it looks like Apple isn't going to open up the iPhone to third-party software developers, at least not right away. So it might not help you move undead inventory through the River Styx quite as well.
GR: Did Steve Jobs say "no third-party developers"?
DS: Um, dunno. But he's the CEO. It's his call.
GR: Do you think if I talk to him it would help?
DS: Well, maybe. ... Do you think you can get in to see him?
GR: Oh, yeah, I can get in.
GR: Another question: That iPhone touchscreen, is that a heat-sensitive kinda thing?
DS: Don't think so -- proximity sensor, I think.
GR: Right, because there's not a lot of heat coming off my fingers these days ... just bone, really. So I'm afraid it might not scroll so well for me as it did for Jobs at that MacWorld keynote.
DS: Well, they were keeping the iPhone under heavy guard and under glass at MacWorld, so it's hard to say. You might want to test one out this summer at an Apple store before you switch carriers.
GR: Yeah, I hate those stores, though. Every time I walk by they're, like, packed.
DS: Yeah, but I bet things clear out pretty quick pretty much wherever you go, right?
GR: Not there. Those fanboys are serious about their Mac stuff.
DS: All right, well, thanks for calling in, Grim Reaper. I'd like to say "stay in touch," but not really, if you know what I mean.
GR: Understood, but if you keep eating fast food five times a week, I'll be back sooner rather than later, according to my algorithms.
DS: Oh, but I'll at least make it to June, right? I want to test-drive an iPhone, too, before I check out for good.
GR: Sorry, can't say. I've got almost as many trade secrets as Apple.