Until very recently, if you ordered an iPhone online you'd have to go down to your local Apple Store in order to pick up your prize. That's all changed in a new move by Apple calculated to get rid of their excess iPhone 3G stock. The iPhone 2009 is coming out soon, and after that Apple's not going to want excess old 3G's taking up space in their warehouses.
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All you'll need to do now to purchase an iPhone is go to the Apple website, enter your billing info, pick an iPhone, and select your plan. When that's done, you can reserve an iPhone at a store or have it delivered to your door. For free, even.
Apple is making a big deal out of how simple it is to purchase an iPhone now. I can't fault them for making it simple. Apple even offers to have a "Specialist" set up your email account and ringtones and other custom options. This is Apple's tacit admission that their target demographic is not made up of tech geeks. Setting up your email and ringtones on an iPhone takes all of five minutes. It hardly requires a specialist.
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Of course, there's nothing wrong with making your product easily usable by people who aren't tech-savvy. Most of the world doesn't spend a lot of time thinking about how computers work. The geeks jumped on the smartphone bandwagon a long time ago. The remaining market that Apple needs to win over are the people who didn't want a smartphone two years ago, and are only vaguely interested in them now.