How Twitter sold me my first iPhone

Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of the launch of the original iPhone, yet I celebrate it (ritual sacrifice and procession carrying the still-beating heart over my head to the nearest Apple Store) today. Because I didn’t get my first iPhone on day one.

While I was certainly impressed by the iPhone, I found the $499 price tag for a “phone” slightly off-putting. I didn’t quite get it yet (and, remember, the original iPhone didn’t have an App Store). Although I didn’t hesitate to steal the line about it that Glenn Fleishman coined sitting next to me during Steve Jobs’ introductory keynote — “the Internet in your pants” — the utility of that hadn’t really sunk in for me yet. My original plan was to take my time and try one out at a store.

And then Twitter happened.

My original iPhone along with a younger sibling, an iPhone 4S running iOS 7.

My original iPhone along with a younger sibling, an iPhone 4S running iOS 7.

I had actually joined Twitter two months prior, but the iPhone launch was probably my first real collected experience on Twitter. One that I was watching from the outside. Oh, the shame and jealousy I felt, hearing about my friends, fellow Apple nerds and complete strangers standing in line for hours for a phone. And then opening the box and waiting for hours for it to activate. I was missing out on all that! I watched on launch night, but that was all I could bear. I went out the next day and walked right in to an AT&T Store and bought a 4 GB iPhone. Without Twitter and its good friends shame and jealousy, I probably wouldn’t have gotten one for weeks.

The 4 GB iPhone is apparently the iPhone that dare not speak its name, as Apple’s technical specifications page for the original iPhone doesn’t show a 4 GB model existed, just the 8 GB and 16 GB versions. Deny it if you will, Apple, but I call it a “collectors item”.

I still have that phone (pictured) and, yes, it still works. The battery doesn’t hold much of a charge anymore, of course, but it sure is a walk down memory lane. This is the device that, if I could take it back in time, would make my 14-year-old self plotz. That and the news that I would eventually have sex on a regular basis.

So, while I fully expected to get an iPhone some day, it was peer pressure that got me to buy it as soon as I did.

But don’t knock peer pressure. It also got me into alcohol. And look how that turned out.

(Really, really well.)