"...the process that iPhone sales folks are instructed to follow verrrry closely mimics - wait for it - childbirth. The uncanny point of similarity is that, in between purchase and the required in-store activation, the salesperson is instructed to "give them a chance to enjoy the feel of the phone in their hand," and then "ask for the customer to give it back to you." It's just like that first quick cuddle that the new mother is allowed with her child, before the kid's taken back for a thorough cleaning. And hey, why not? The iPhone is, for lack of a better term, an "intimate" product that's meant to be held and which will be an important part of its new owner's life. Without first letting the customer "enjoy the feel" of it, there might be detachment issues, postpartum depression... and I'm only half kidding, here. It's insightful of Apple to have provided this experience for the customer, a very user-friendly one that they can add to their repertoire of user-experience competitive advantages..."
This makes me think about the work by Richard Banks where he looks at what it means to design digital artifacts with longer time spans in mind, and taking heredity of objects into account. Apple have obviously considered the birth of the product with the iPhone, but how have they planned the funeral of it?
Will the grip-reaper of digital products touch each iPhone at the end of its life; cracking the screens and malfunctioning the software? Or will the iPhone live on beyond its owner to entertain and serve a new generation?
Will the iPhone ever be "retro"?