“Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in January, 2007, before an adoring congregation, in his signature ‘Sermon on the Mount’ style,” Virginia Heffernan writes for The Los Angels Times. “On June 29, it became available to the public. Ten years later, the phone has spread like Christianity. There are 1 billion iPhones in use, and the device represents ‘the pinnacle product of all capitalism,’ as Brian Merchant argues in his new book, The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone. Merchant calls the adoption of the iPhone — and its adoption of us — a ‘rapid, civilization-scale transformation.'”
“‘We have designed something wonderful for your hand,’ said Jobs on that first day. But the iPhone is to human hands like cold chrome is to warm, yielding fruit,” Heffernan writes. “Sigh. We fell in love with hardware that was our opposite.”
“Suddenly, when the iPhone appeared, every phone but Apple’s started to look like a fidget spinner for the dandruff club. I couldn’t shake the idea that there was something unsightly and uncool about a raised ‘non-dynamic’ keyboard, so when my T-Mobile plan elapsed, I switched to iPhone-friendly AT&T, and took home my first iPhone,” Heffernan writes. “Glabrous may be the perfect way to describe the pinnacle fetish of capitalism. I heard it first from Marina Warner, the British mythographer, in a lecture she gave that likened the iPhone to Venus de Milo and depilated porn actors. Those idealized female forms, she said, look and feel alien, the way the iPhone does, and all three suggest that terrestrial humans — in our stubborn hairiness — chronically fall short. The iPhone is also ‘oleophobic’: It fears oil. Hairless and oil-free, the iPhone holds human biology in contempt.”
Read more in the full article here.
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