Do Apple users have relationship with their devices?

I just read an article where former Apple employee Bob Borchers tells about processes involved in developing the iPhone. Nothing new in itself except one line raised my attention. It described how company focused on fundamentals and especially “making people focus on the relationship they have with their devices”. Okay, so iPhone users have a relationship with their phone. Does this mean that iPhone is your family member, friend or lover, perhaps. I guess that is why Siri was so important innovation, because now you may have “conversation” with your phone that is not purely one-sided. This Apple users relationship with their iPhone tells a lot why statistics show that so many people use their phones in toilet. I think the AppleCare plan should include couple of sessions with a psychiatrist, too.

I do not know about others, but at least to me all that sounds quite ridiculous. Devices are machines, equipment, tools. You do not have relationships with them. Well, it is said that katana, sword of an samurai, was his soul, but even then you could consider this as a philosophical metaphor – meaning that it was a symbol of you position and duty. Katana was also a piece of fine craftsmanship which was made to last for generations. Regardless of how fine craftsmanship they may be, devices are still just a piece of wood, plastic, metal or other minerals. And modern devices are certainly not made to last for generations. Hey, they do not usually last for more than couple of years, and they are outdated in one year, anyway.

Also, devices do not think and they certainly are not intelligent. How do you have a relationship with them. I can say that I have relationships with humans, and I could say that I have somekind of relationship with my dog, but I certainly do not have relationship of any kind with computers, even when I use them each day for several hours. Just on the speculative side, I could have an intellectual “relationship” with a Turing tested, intelligent robot, but phone… no way.

All this “having a relationship with device” sounds like a Stephen King’s Christine, where this guy had a relationship with his car… and nothing good did come out of that. So, next time somebody comes babbling some marketing speech about “relationship with a device”, my advice is to get his fuses tested.

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