Apple has changed the way I look at technology and perhaps the way we all do. I'm looking at the video promo and introduction the FaceTime and in all the time I've known to a reasonable degree of certainty that it would be a feature of the new iPhone, it never quite motivated me. It does now, but not because I need it. Apple has returned a sense of wonder to its products. What I'm suggesting is that Apple is a new kind of brand.
Apple of course is a gear brand, and it appeals to people like me who are gearheads. When I think of gear brands, I think of that niche of prosumer goods that I grew up loving as a boy and a teen growing up in Southern California. That means Porsche & BMW, Oakley & FMF, Nike & Body Glove, Viking & Calphalon. Gear makes you feel as if you can suddenly do things that you couldn't before. The right gear both encourages and enables you to extend your abilities. There is something both extreme performance about them and natural extensions of your body. They make you feel like you, plus. That's not really something new to mankind. Weapons do this. Great clothing does this.
What's new is that Apple is both extreme and comfortable and it has mass appeal. This is kind of a killer brand. It begins to represent more than just something that the select few can buy. We always know there are Porsche people, and they are a world apart from us mere peasants. But Apple is offering this at prices its own low level employees can affords, like Henry Ford. It feels as though the whole of society is enabled. That's what different about new Apple stuff. It begins to feel like science fiction, like *we* are all making progress because of this stuff.
That's a very powerful illusion. One that may or may not be sustainable as the world economy flops around like a beached swordfish.
But there it is, straight from 2001. FaceTime. Your videophone, brought to you by AT&T, just like Arthur C. Clarke envisioned.