Last January, Steve Jobs said he was going to reinvent the phone and I couldn't believe the amount of hype that surrounded it. Google "Apple iPhone" and you'll get 160 million hits ("Nokia phone" gets you 57 million). Bloggers have even dubbed it the "Jesus Phone" like it was the Second Coming. I've had my iPhone for two months and it hasn't changed my life. It's just a cellphone. It's actually less of a phone than you're used to. It doesn't do MMS. It won't let you forward messages or send and receive business cards. It won't even let you use your favorite song as your ringtone. But I'm still using my iPhone for the very reason I wrote earlier. It hasn't changed my life.
That's what the iPhone, and Apple, is all about. It's been two months now and I still haven't read the manual, not one of its 18 pages. Yet every day I have no problems syncing my calendar, checking my email, the weather or even my friends on Live journal. I can't say the same for all the other phones I've owned, including the Prada phone that Apple was rumored to have copied. The iPhone joins the list of Apple stuff I use not because it's revolutionary, or worse, cool, but because it's all about me. That's the secret of Jobs' success. He knows that beyond cutting edge design, it's about understanding how people do and use things.
He hasn't met me but, years back, he gave me a one-button mouse for my Apple Ile just so I wouldn't have to read a manual to figure out whether to click the left or the right button. Now, he's giving me a phone with a keyboard that pops up only when i need to type, that knows if I've turned it sideways and rotates the screen accordingly. He knows me and yet he doesn't. Jobs didn't give me a 140 page manual to learn how to use the iPhone like Nokia did with their N95. Instead he made the iPhone smart enough to figure out exactly what I want to do and adjust to the way I do things. I don't get anything more than I need, when I need it. Nothing complicated. Nothing unnecessary. Nothing life-changing. Instead of spending a day reading a user manual, I have more time to think about more important things in life like, how to fill up the 17 billion cells in a Microsoft Excel 2007 spreadsheet (that's 1.1 million rows and over 16,000 columns).