“...are you getting it?”

When Steve Jobs took the stage over 8 years ago to announce the original iPhone, he pitched it to his audience as 3 devices…

First, it was a widescreen iPod with touch controls.

The second was a revolutionary mobile phone.

And the third, a breakthrough Internet communications device. 

From his keynote:

Well, today, we’re introducing three revolutionary products of this class. The first one is a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device. So, three things: a widescreen iPod with touch controls; a revolutionary mobile phone; and a breakthrough Internet communications device. An iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. An iPod, a phone … are you getting it?

Looking back many years later, I’ve now carried a magical device of these sorts for around two and a half years. Not long compared to some, I’m aware. But thinking about this made me review my own usage of my iPhone today. It’s fair to assume that when Steve said what he did on stage, all 3 uses of iPhone were of equal importance to him. 

Years on, I would say I use my iPhone approximately 50% of the time as an Internet communications device. Mainly for instant messaging (iMessage & WhatsApp are the two main services I use for that), social media (Twitter is my main addiction here), keeping up to date with news and sport scores as well as general web browsing. 

Strangely enough, I probably use it 49% of the time as a “widescreen iPod with touch controls.” This almost matches my use for it as an Internet communicator, and mainly consists of listening to music while running as well as a tonne of Podcasts while I travel. Podcasts are my favourite medium of entertainment, and make up a significant portion of my phone use. 

Lastly, I use my iPhone as a revolutionary mobile phone probably <1% of the time. I only make two or three phone calls in a typical month, and rarely send “Text Messages.” (I try to avoid having friends acquaintances who invest in the peasantry of the Android or Windows Phone mobile operating systems.) That being said, I do use my phone fairly often for FaceTime Audio, but I consider that an Internet usage feature and not a “mobile phone” feature. It’s gotten to the point now where I could almost comfortably drop paying for voice & SMS each month, and instead go on a data-only plan. With each passing day, traditional phone features become less and less a part of my life.

So there you have it. In summary, I use my iPhone 50% of the time as an Internet communicator, 49% as an iPod and <1% as a traditional phone. An interesting mix, but I thought it was worthwhile sharing. 

I’m curious as to how everyone else uses their iPhone, and I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to reply to this post, or to reply to me on Twitter (@ZachSimone) with your estimated iPhone usage breakdown.