Animals have a hard time using high-end mobile phones. I know because I’m a deer and I’ve owned them all: the Sony Ericsson W810i, the Motorola Q, Samsung’s BlackJack... All nice to look at yet unusable by those of us without fingers. That’s why I’m excited about the new iPhone. By replacing the copious buttons found on other phones with a large touch screen, Apple has created a device that can be operated by the entire land-dwelling animal kingdom.
"But animals can’t talk," I hear you humans saying. "Why would they want a cell phone?" The answer - text messaging. Being able to quickly send messages over long distances will allow us to do things we"re already doing better. Hunt and protect ourselves, for starters. Animals have wanted to text message for ions but, until now, using a phone required pushing tiny buttons or negotiating a stylus. Ever try holding a stylus with a hoof? Thanks to Apple, animals are no longer locked out of this paradigm shifting technology.
The iPhone has almost everything a deer would require. The most impressive details being good battery life (there are few electrical outlets in the forest) and a fast data connection. True, the phone uses EDGE which is not a full 3G network, but that should be fast enough for now since most animals don’t yet deal with large graphic files. For those times where a bigger data pipe IS required, the iPhone can switch over to a WiFi network. With Starbuck’s recent announcement that they’re running out of street corners and will soon start opening outlets in the middle of deserts and forests, a T-Mobile Hotspot should soon be accessible in every square foot of the wilderness. It’s amazing how things fall into place, isn’t it?
One feature I am personally looking forward to is iPhone"s access to YouTube videos. Until now, my television viewing has been via the store window of Ace Appliance which means I’m at the mercy of the guy who closes up for the evening. Whatever random channel he leaves the display TVs tuned to is it for the evening. Sometimes I get lucky and get to watch Animal Planet. Other times I"m stuck with the Fox News Channel. With the ability to stream YouTube videos direct to the iPhone, I’ll finally be in control of my nocturnal entertainment. (Goodbye O’Reilly Factor, Hello Andy Kindler and reruns of The Pet Shop. I also like the animal clips on America’s Funniest Home Videos. The old ones with Bob Saget were the best. Whatever happened to him? I heard he started working blue.)
There seems to be only one thing missing from the iPhone - a camera. My uncle"s life was cut short a few years ago in an area clearly marked by No Hunting signs. A camera would have come in handy because without a photo of the crime scene it"s the hunter’s word against ours. As far as an animal"s requirements, the lack of a camera is a glaring omission. The other negative is price. With the exception of animals working in the high-paying entertainment and hauling industries, most of us don’t have $600 just laying around. It takes a long time to collect that much in dropped coins along the highway. But you can’t fault Apple for charging what they can. They’re in it to make a profilt, and to create paradigm shifting technologies doesn’t come cheap.
First the Macintosh then the iPod and now the iPhone. Once again, Apple has managed to expand a market by creating a device “For the rest of us.”