I was interested to read Apple's Q3 results this week, but not surprised that they blew the number away. They reported 8.4 million iPhones, 9.4 million iPods, and 3.3 million iPads – more than 20 million devices that weren't computers – and 3 of them went to 442 Laverne Ave.
Three years ago we were an "Apple-lite" family. Yes, we had iPods, but Ben's was the first generation brick with the trackwheel, about the size of a pack of cigarettes and pretty finicky. Cate's was an iPod Nano. Turquoise, bought when she was 13 and still into the Spice Girls. Nick had the Black U2 Branded version, except he only used iTunes to burn CDs to take in his car and the iPod sat on his desk. And me, well, I had an iPod Shuffle, specially engraved with "Thank you for making Lego Star Wars II a success!". I filled it up 122 songs and never touched the music selection again.
Fast forward to 2008. I get an iPhone because all the cool kids at work have them. I figure the keyboard is so problematic that it will keep me from texting and emailing so much and I happily trade in the Blackberry. I discover right away that the typing does in fact stink, I send a lot of unreadable messages when the auto-finish typing kicks in, but I realize that I just love this thing. It does everything. Weather. Stock Quotes. Play Scrabble. News. Funny little apps for everything. Travel. Contact lists. Texting. Photos. The phone was the trojan horse. Once I had it, I had to get a Mac.
So after using a PC from the beginning of time (since back at Lotus when we have Compaq portable computers that were the size of toolboxes), I switched to a Mac. I kept my PC for a while "just in case", but soon learned that life was just better with Mac, and that yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Once I got the Mac, Cate had to have a Mac. It started simply enough ….. "my laptop is freezing up!", she cried. "I'm losing hours of my life waiting for this to boot up!" she said. "I'm going to college you know!" …. and I relented and we got her a Mac, which came, because Apple is genius, with a new iPod Touch, a Printer, and $50 off. In case you’re wondering, Ben didn’t want a Mac. He said “I’m a chemical engineer, we use PCs”. That should have been the end of the story.
Fast forward to winter 2010 and the iPad drumbeat starts. It's like a big iPhone! It will change games forever! It can teach anything! All your apps will work with it! It will replace Kindle! I started really thinking about iPad. I believed the hype. I saw the demos. I read the reviews. And I wanted one. It's such a cliche to say that the iPad is amazing, but it really is. I've well documented my turmoil over e-readers, but found that getting and reading books on the iPad is easy and satisfying. Games are more fun because they're bigger, more detailed, and easier to control. I love, love, love, the Pulse app – just great for a news junky like me. So, of course fell in love with my new toy , with a little help from Mobile Me. Mobile Me is quite possibly the best invention for someone like me ever. Now I've got everything I need on all devices at all times if I want it. No more worrying about syncing. Somehow everything is just there. iPhone? iPad? Mac? My calendar works everywhere. I can get that Power Point or Excel File or picture taken on the 4th of July anytime I want it. So exciting …. and to think about my future business travel without multiple electronics and chargers – just awesome.
Next came the iPhone4. I held out for a long time on this one. I tried to figure out why I needed it since my other phone was still perfect and I had it set up just the way I wanted. Then I saw the commercial for Facetime with the Pregnant Mom, the Ultrasound, and the Dad and realized that with iPhone4, I could see the faces of my kids anytime I talked with them – whether from Tulane University or University of Oregon. And I was sold. My bundle of joy arrived today.
So here we are, our happy family has expanded from 4 old iPods (still in use by the way) to 2 Macs, 2 iPhones, 1 iPod Touch and an iPad in a period of 2 years. No wonder Apple is rocking. And deservedly so.