iPhone frenzy!

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By Linda Forrest

This morning on my way into the office, I saw about 50 grown men (sad to say there wasn’t a female among them) camped out outside a Rogers store to be the first to get their hands on an iPhone 3G, available today for the first time in Canada. The long line ups and eager anticipation extend beyond Canada’s borders as the new version of the phone has some additional bells and whistles that have Mac-philes and the hoi polloi alike very excited.

When I saw the faithful gathered this morning in aim of a common goal, I was reminded of “back in the day” when, prior to the internet, I lined up for hours and hours to buy concert tickets at the local Ticketmaster outlet. That situation, like this, was a “you snooze, you lose” proposition as I’m confident in saying that it’s doubtful that the little Rogers stand in the Rideau Center has enough iPhones on hand to meet the demand and only those brave souls who were in line prior to the store’s opening are likely to be entirely unproductive today at their jobs as they play with their new toys.

My point, and I do have one, is that the buzz surrounding this product has reached a fever pitch, and that people who perhaps have never had a mobile phone, let alone a whiz-bang PDA like the iPhone, are chomping at the bit to get their hands on one. This not only increases the demand for mobile applications, but also means that a whole lot more people will be using Canada’s wireless infrastructure, not to mention entering the world of constant accessibility.

As PR practitioners, we have to be constantly available to our clients. One never knows if and when breaking news could hit and we need to respond to it immediately or switch into crisis mode at a moment’s notice. To that end, the introduction of the iPhone to our team has been wonderful – allowing each of us to have access to our email and the internet no matter when it is, no matter where we are. As Francis has said on occasion, yes, it’s a leash, but it enables us to take vacations and be out of the office, if need be, yet still be plugged in. The trick, then, becomes unplugging, not checking your email as soon as you awaken and as the last thing at night. Oh, who am I kidding – we all do that anyway, regardless of whether we’re using our computers or our iPhones to connect.

To those of you who are just getting your first iPhone today, congratulations and enjoy. I think the employers of the world must have come together to encourage this release on the last day of the workweek in the hope that the anticipated lost productivity would be limited to a sunny Friday and people will spend the weekend, off the company clock, experimenting with their new gadgets.

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