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Always On by Brian X Chen

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Chapter 1

the dream of the perfect thing

The iPhone had everyone fooled. Even Steve Jobs didn’t know quite what he had when he introduced the keyboardless gadget in 2007.

“Today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products,” Jobs said during his keynote speech at Macworld Expo. “An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. An iPod, a phone—”

He paused a beat.

“Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices. This is one device. We’re calling it iPhone.”1

Just three things? Talk about a tricky statement. As of this writing, the iPhone is hundreds of thousands of things and counting, thanks to “apps,” which add to the handset’s endless list of capabilities. The iPhone is not simply a web browser, a phone, and an iPod, but it is also ...

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