I Breathe, I Eat, I Live, iPhone
As I pour over the internet, looking for news on iPhone 5 and rumors of the iPhone Mini, excitedly anticipating what new marvels Apple might make available to me with the new version(s), I’m find my self wondering, “When did iPhone become such an important part of my life?” I know it’s extremely vital to my very existence from the lost, bereft feeling I get when my battery dies or worse yet, I leave it behind.
Ask anyone and they’ll say there are 4 basic needs in life, Air, Food, Clothing Shelter. Ask Maslow and he’ll up the ante by adding Safety, Love and Belonging, Esteem, Self Actualization and Self Transcendence. I believe Apple has subscribed to Maslow’s theory; that there are more than the 4 physiological needs, because they’ve done an incredible job of meeting Maslow’s hierarchy of needs not only with their products, but their marketing as well. Apple has done an amazing job of creating new markets by making us fall in love with sexy technology that meets all of our needs, even ones we didn’t realize we had! Whether you are looking forward to iPhone 5, White iPhone 4, iPad 2 or the rumored iPhone Mini, if you are like me, you don’t just want this new technology – you need it!
Let’s start with how iPhone meets the first 4 basic needs, Air, Food, Clothing, Shelter.
Air: There is actually an app for iPhone that makes your iPhone blow air. There are also apps like ISmog and IBreathe that report on air quality.
Food: Urbanspoon will find you great eats wherever you are. You can choose by cuisine, price and location. Myriad other food apps exist from every imaginable diet app to recipe apps like Epicurious, to the Food Network, to calorie counters.
Clothing: Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Zappos and more will keep you – covered.
Shelter: The Red Cross has an amazing app if you need emergency Shelter. Kayak, Orbit, Expedia and Priceline’s apps will find you a hotel for the night. ReMax’s app will help you find a home to buy, and Rent.com’s app will find you one to rent.
So what about Maslow? How do Apple and iPhone meet Maslow’s needs?
Safety: iPhone applications abound for promoting our safety. There are apps for tracking weather and hurricanes, sexual offenders and alerts for crime in our neighborhoods. Lose your iPhone, no problem, FindmyiPhone will find it! Only On Star has done a better job at promoting safety.
Love and Belonging: Text, Facetime, Facebook, Myspace, keep us connected with those we love. Acceptance today is measured in the number of friends who hit you up on Facebook and the number of texts you receive in a day. They’ve actually discovered that checking your Facebook and finding interaction releases Serotonin into your system, and, alternatively, not receiving response and acceptance on Facebook can spark depression.
Esteem: Our iPhones can definitely build our esteem. Just owning one purveys a certain sense of entitlement and arriving, a status symbol of sorts. I wonder whether that feeling will prevail if Apple does in fact release the rumored, iPhone Mini? Will leveling the playing field and making our much sought after iPhone technology available to the masses in a scaled down version hurt our iPhone 4’s cache? I think not. The Ipod shuffle, with its cute, diminutive profile and price tag, brought portable tunes to the masses at an affordable price and paved the way for Ipod Touch to become the next must-have technology. iPhone’s camera and video camera also help our esteems, helping us capture our pictures and videos and sharing them with the world. Those aforementioned texts and emails, and social network interaction also can build (or destroy) our esteems.
Self Actualization- Yes there is an app “How to be Happy”, but that isn’t the half of iPhone’s ability to help with Self Actualization. Take into consideration the bevy of streaming, self-help video available on iPhone. Add to that collections of audio books, including Tony Robbins and Psychocybernetics and finally, Relax and Gratitude apps and you’ll realize the powerhouse iPhone is in the arena of Self Actualization .
Self Transcendence: Apple is good, but if they’ve achieved an app for Self Transcendence I’d love to see it!
Apple’s overall marketing style lends itself to meeting our needs as well. They focus on our emotions. They convey lifestyle; imagination; innovation; passion; hopes, dreams & aspirations; and empowering people through technology. Apple’s brand is that of a humanistic company that cares about their customers and seeks to simplify and improve their lives. They realize that there are lots of electronic devices that place calls, take pictures and access the web. That’s not what they “sell”.I rely on my iPhone 4 more times than I can even count every day. It’s hard to imagine what I did before 2007 and the first release of the iPhone. The prospect of an iPhone 5 fills me with giddy anticipation, as I can’t even begin to imagine what new conveniences and benefits will be packed in the new version.