I have iPhone envy. My condition has recently been worsened by the upcoming release of the iPhone 4, slated for release June 24 and available for pre-order June 15. I have been fully and completely seduced. The newest model boasts dazzling features including 2 cameras; one with flash and one front-facing to work with their new Face Time video chat feature (currently only available in WiFi networks to other iPhone 4 users); a “retina” display with 300 pixels per inch, sleek angular design and aluminosilicate glass front and back. Of course, I do not own an iPhone, not even an older version. I watch with fervent jealousy as my boyfriend plays Angry Birds and checks his email 5 times an hour and receives texts in glossy iChat bubbles on his 3GS. He can take gorgeous pictures and upload them instantly to Facebook. I am stuck in a contract with T-Mobile with a Samsung Gravity, which by today’s phone standards is nothing to brag about, except it does have a slide-out keyboard which helps with texting. It’s not cool, though. It’s inferior to a myriad of phones these days. I upgraded to it when I was with my boyfriend at the time; and we were too busy singing songs and braiding each other’s hair to covet the latest technology.
But now. Times are different. Not only do I work in a market which pushes emerging technology, but I’ve seen everyone around me (it seems) finger-tapping, sliding and pinching to their heart’s content. Oh, I don’t need an iPhone. That’s the thing. It’s a very clear case of “want vs. need,” which any frugal person would be able to dismiss. Yet I cannot escape the seduction of the iPhone, and all rational financial judgment goes out the window. Surely this is the case for many, much to Apple and AT&T’s delight. And you can forget iPhone’s “rivals:” Blackberry, Droid. iPhone is and always will be king. I’m a Mac devotee; my MacBook is the best purchase I ever made. Apple is legendary at making the most beautiful and high-performance electronics on the market. Steve Jobs, you are a brilliant man. Even Melinda Gates (wife of Bill) has admitted to having iPhone envy in an issue of Vogue last year.
So if I am to invest hundreds into a phone, you can bet it will be for the real deal. The switch won’t come cheap: If I switch before my contract expires (in another year) I’ll get slapped with a $200 early termination fee from T-Mobile, plus the $199 phone, plus activation, plus the $100 or so monthly which I certainly can’t afford. But…it’s an iPhone. And no substitutions will suffice. Among the many things I’m learning from motivational guru Gabrielle Bernstein, it’s not to live life ruled by the “when I haves.” For example, “when I have this job, this client, this apartment, this boyfriend, this iPhone…then I’ll be happy.” Everyone knows that happiness comes from within. It’s a lot of work, though. And while I’m working on my inner self, I would be oh so glad to have an iPhone in my palm. Someday.