I got my first iPhone in 2009, when the organization I worked for decided to upgrade the company-provided cell phones. Fortunately, I didn't have to purchase it myself, but when I just googled "retail cost of an iPhone 3GS," I found the announcement from June 2009 that says a 16GB version cost $199 and the 32GB version was $299.
Of course, the pricing structure was different then and required a contract--but the point is that an iPhone in 2009 was much cheaper.
I remember taking my iPhone home and pulling up a YouTube video of an old Waylon Jennings performance (we are big on Waylon in the McKissen house) to watch with my wife. Our minds were blown. The phone seemed like something that should belong on Batman's utility belt. It was the manifestation of every device I wished existed when I was a child, and it made me remember the time one of the rich kids at my high school brought a tiny, portable, black-and-white TV and watched The Price is Right in the back of math class.
(That guy later spent a few years in prison. The lesson? Pay attention in math class.)
(Also, don't drink and drive.)
Ever since then we've been an iPhone household. I know that alone qualifies me as an idiot to Apple-haters. However, I have three kids, a business, and a writing career--and iPhones are easy. They are intuitive, at least for me. I love learning, but learning to use a new phone is not the type of learning I like to do.
But that's all going to change, as soon as my current iPhone dies.
The iPhone 8 is rumored to cost somewhere around $1,000, and I just won't pay $1,000 for a phone. I won't pay nearly $1,000 for a phone. In fact, this will be my last iPhone of any type. I know there will be iPhone options that cost less than $1,000--but it's more the principle of the matter.
At some point, we have to stop the insanity when it comes to these devices. The idea that we need a $1,000 computer in our pocket just to be fully integrated into modern society is crazy--but it's a crazy we willingly buy into.
Apple or Samsung doesn't force us to buy these products. We choose to engage in this insanity.
It isn't just the cost, though.
Research has shown these devices haven't resulted in a happier, more productive society. Of course, if you have children, you don't need a research study to tell you that smartphones aren't all they're cracked up to be. As I write this, my wife and I are locked in an epic struggle to decrease the amount of time our kids spend with their phones, and we have banned our teenage daughter from Snapchat--making her a social pariah (at least in her eyes), but hopefully a social pariah who can read for more than three minutes without checking her phone.
(In other words, we are super popular with our kids right now.)
The struggle to maintain a reasonable phone bill and a healthy balance between screen time and real life isn't going away. We aren't going to move to a cabin in the woods, cut the cord, and live off the land.
(Mostly because I lack any survival skills whatsoever, and the last time my wife tried to start a camp fire my jacket ended up fused to a picnic table.)
But being a participating member of the digital economy shouldn't mean wondering if there is enough valuable fluid in your body for you to sell just to afford a phone.
So, we are taking a stand. It's a weak stand, but it's still a stand.
There will be no $1,000 phone in our house.