Nothing exciting about that I hear you cry, but not when its an iPhone 5 prototype.
In a story that bears a striking resemblance to an incident that occurred just over a year ago, it would seem that an Apple employee got a bit too tipsy and left his phone as well as his sobriety in a San Francisco bar and restaurant. It just goes to show that tequila, hot-wings and smart phones do not make a good combination. To make matters worse someone allegedly found the phone and sold it for $200 on craigslist. Which is cheap seeing as it cost Gizmodo 5 grand last time. But maybe they just marketed it wrong or no one really wants an iPhone 5, but I doubt that and being charitable as we are here at Neowin, we would have just given it to this guy and save him the trouble of sleeping rough on Apple's doorstep for fruit labeled electronics.
There is little to argue with the fact that Apple is an iconic brand, and has been responsible for the deprecation of the PC and laptop to just another web connected form factor amongst many other devices. Such is the power of this brand, the passion behind it has created a cult of almost hysterical proportions. People camping out, lines queued round the block, investors questioning its future on the basis of one man. Now we have headlines news about a lost iPhone.
What makes Apple as a brand so powerful however? The root lies in that they have created an emotional connection with people. This is one of the worst kept secrets in marketing. One which precipitates many a debate on online forums among "fanboys" people so passionate that they are willing to go toe to toe with their fellow internet users who prefer competing products. In a similar way to soccer teams create a connection to their following Apple is a master of creating "buzz" and "excitement" around their fans, tapping into the fundamental human psychology of de-individuation. "He has one, so I want one too".
The fashion element cant be underestimated particularly when it comes to appealing to women. When I look at something I'm more focused on 1. What does it do for me? and 2. How much does it cost? Without seeming to be sexist here, if I ask my wife the same question she would say 1. What does it do for me? 2. Does it look nice/fit well/match/colour coordinate? 3. How much does it cost?
This is where Apple has really nailed it in the past 10 years. Iconic designer Jonathan Ive, managed to create a perfect fusion of form and function with Apple products that have simply left others in the industry scratching their heads. Creating truly beautiful products that are easy to use that just work. This has opened up a range of mobile devices to a whole different section of the population who purchase for a whole different reason from us "Geeks". Fashion however is a fickle mistress. Lets hope that she is kind and that Apple doesn't repeat the mistakes of the past, and that Tim Cook et al can take the company forward.
So lets hope that we have many other phones/tablets/[insert future Apple product here] to be talking about in the future as we bid farewell to one of the true enigmatic icons of our industry.