Seven and a half years ago, Laura Sydell reported this story for NPR’s Morning Edition. “Rumor has it,” said show host Steven Inskeep, “that Apple Computer may be about to release its own cell phone that plays music.” Possibilities like this led Inskeep to conclude that, “it may be almost impossible for the company to live up to expectations.”
“The market potential for cell phones to play music is huge,” one of Sydell’s sources confirmed. At the time, such a prospect led another of the reporter’s sources to euphorically proselytize,
“It’s going to be really cool. It’s going to be usable. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to have that Apple coolness attached to it, that aura of just ooh.”
This morning, Laura Sydell filed another story on Apple, replete with euphemistic allusions to genital size. After so many years and so many iterations of the now pervasive “cell phone that plays music,” it was hard not to get the impression that some of the that “aura of just
ohh ooh” was beginning to wear off.
Just listen to one of Sydell’s sources this time around, “She used to have an iPhone but says it ‘basically became kind of useless other than, honestly, as a phone.'”
The once great and powerful music playing cell phone is now “kind of” useless for anything other than calling people? What’s next? Multi-media tablets that are “kind of” useless when it comes to anything other than reading books?
But not everyone has hopped off the Apple bandwagon these days, and Sydell made sure to find a more properly Appletini-tastic note to end her report on,
“J.P. Gownder, an analyst at Forrester, says the Apple device is likely to keep track of vital health signs, sports scores and stock prices. He imagines it will be the perfect complement to a larger iPhone, which is kept in a bag or back pocket.
‘You could imagine a world in which some sort of iWatch and maybe a large-size iPhone co-exist on the same body,’ he says. ‘And they just offer people different kinds of information in different contexts.'”
Like, just imagine you’re at the movies, and you want to check what time it is on your iPhone to see if you can still run to the bathroom before the previews start, and ooh, you totally do! So you go relieve yourself just in time to get back to your seat as the lights dim.
Then, later on in the evening, you want to check what time it is to see how much is left in the four and a half hour long monstrosity that is Transformers 5: The Search for Optimus, but, ooh no! You can’t check your iPhone cause that washed up celebrity shamed you into turning it off before the movie began. Don’t worry though, cause now you can totally check what time it is on your brand new iWatch!
You might even be able to whisper sweet nothings about how Michael Bay is just an adolescent Steven Spielberg-wannabe into your smart watch just like, “comic book character Dick Tracy.”
If none of this sounds as interesting or as revolutionary as the cell phone that also plays music of yesteryear, don’t worry, Sydell says there’s still hope,
“Apple is coming late to smart watches and bigger phones, but this was also true when Apple introduced its first iPod, iPhone and iPad. Apple is a company with a long history of opening up existing categories of technology and turning its devices into must-haves.”
Clearly, NPR isn’t the only one with an occasional soft spot for Apple. The insidious relationship between the American media and this particular developer of consumer electronics is well documented.
Indeed, it’s as if there’s something in our national consciousness that needs to believe Apple ever was, and will forever remain, the platonic ideal of artistic and technological innovation. Even if, like many companies, Apple outsources thousands of its jobs to workers in low paying, poorly regulated economies, and consistently finds ways not to pay taxes on the billions of dollars it makes in profit, at least we, as Americans, can still be proud of the unique, entrepreneurial spirit that that continues to make Apple the leading provider of cell phones that play music and watches you can talk to.