I've been thinking about this post for a few days now, thinking of things to include and things to exclude. Just a couple minutes ago I was listening to the Mojo morning show and there was a commercial for a cell phone company and they were advertising the “slim & sexy Motorola RAZR” for CAD$99 or something like that.
This made me realize that as quick as this year seems to have gone by, last Christmas seems so far away. Don't worry, there's an example and a point coming.
Last December, about the 16th or so, I was sitting at Canton for lunch with a co-worker, and there was a guy at the next table who had a Moto RAZR. It took me a second to actually recognize it, as I hadn't actually seen one up-close-and-personal before. NO ONE had one yet. I don't think they were even released in North America yet. My friend Richard ordered one from Singapore for his wife for Christmas and dropped a HUGE premium for it. Wireless Imports was selling them (unlocked) for close to $1000US.
Within 12 months, the RAZR was released to the mass market. Down here, Cable & Wireless was selling them for KYD$600. The RAZR was THE must-have phone to be seen with. I was in the C&W store getting my ancient Nokia 8260 checked out, and the girl at the counter next to me was begging and pleading and whining and wheedling to get a RAZR and have the $600 applied to her monthly bill over 3 or 4 equal payments. She obviously couldn't afford the phone, but *HAD* to have it. By April, the price was down to KYD$399 and people were buying them up like hotcakes. RAZRs turned into bellybuttons: everybody had one. Over the summer, just as the market was getting saturated with RAZRs and it wasn't “special” anymore, Moto dropped the “special” black RAZR. Suddenly everyone had to ditch their “old” silver RAZR and get a black one. Prices on the black one were back up to $499, while the silver one (WHICH IS THE SAME DAMN PHONE) were $399.
Seb was back in London in September, and he was looking around for a pre-paid SIM card so he could have some comms with him temporarily while he was in London. RAZRs were being given away for free now with a 1yr contract, and everyone was toting them around, thinking they were the cutting edge (pun intended) of mobile fashion (the fact that those two words are next to each other kind of irks me, too).
Just when you thought it was safe to actually get all your address book settled on one phone, this fall the rumors started about a PINK RAZR. A quick trip to Wireless Imports again showed the pink MOTO RAZR prototype phone available for USD$1500. Buzz was already started, and when the Magenta (and blue, which no one seemed to care about) dropped, KA-BOOM. One of the girls at work has been AGONIZING over getting one for weeks now. I was in Quizno's a couple weeks ago and saw someone who had one, and was practically DISPLAYING it so everyone could see it. I txt'd my co-worker that she wasn't going to be the first person on the island to have the Pink one I thought she was going to cry.
It's JUST a PHONE! It's a communications tool, not a fashion statement! Apparently I'm wrong though. To me, my cell phone (and home phone and VoIP phone) are there for MY convenience. (Except when I'm on-call for work) I'm not a slave to my phone. If it rings and I'm busy doing something (like cooking, crapping, sleeping or driving) I don't answer it. If im somewhat busy, I'll take a look and see who's calling, and then maybe answer it if I feel like it.
Now there are Cingular adverts on TV using AC/DC's “Back in Black“ song to push the Black RAZR again. So in just 12 months, the RAZR has gone from vapor to release to ubiquitousness... Three times.