Everywhere I look—in the classroom, on the streets—I see smartphones. What’s interesting is that over half of these seem to be iPhones. But it’s not just the phones. According to a survey by CNBC, around half the households in the United States, or more than 55 million homes, own at least one Apple product.
But why? Why do people choose iPhones over Androids, Macintoshes over PCs, iPods over other MP3 Players, iWatches over any other type of smartwatch? Is it processor speed? Aesthetics? It certainly isn’t price! I don’t believe that these products are the apples of our eyes because of their quality or capabilities. Rather, I’m convinced that it’s all about the brand. Apples, the fruit, are iconic. Apples have been at the core of our existence throughout history.
Ever since apples first sprouted up around 2000 BC in the cultivated fields of the Middle East, we humans never fell far from the apple tree. Easy to preserve and transport, apples branched out to Asia and Europe where they became rooted, not only into the diet, but also into the social, cultural, and mythological traditions of many regions.
In China, where apples symbolize peace, they heralded the Han Dynasty, a golden delicious age spanning over a hundred years of prosperity.
Hippocrates in Greece, the father of medicine, promoted the consumption of apples. He said, “Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food.” His favorite prescriptions? Dates, barley, and of course, apples. Perhaps this is where the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” stems from.
Most famously, the biblical story of Adam and Eve features the apple as the forbidden fruit. A serpent tempted Eve to pick the fruit of the forbidden tree. She and Adam ate the apple, giving us both our Adam’s apples and the beginning of knowledge.
Fast forward to the 17th century when, lo and behold, that one smart apple hit Isaac Newton on the head. This inspired him to formulate his theory of gravity,which not only explained motion, but set into motion a whole new generation of higher learning.
Thereafter, apples became the face of education. Reading lessons begin with “a is for apple”. “Apple polishers” bring “an apple for the teacher.” Students learn the story of Johnny Appleseed, who trailblazed across the Appalachians, planting the seeds of history as “American as apple pie”.
Now, the latest carrier of the apple legacy is Apple, a company which has taken a huge bite out of the smartphone and tablet industry. You may ask how this one company could have wormed its way into our world so deeply– but really, it’s no wonder. Not when all this time, we’ve grown up side by side with the apples.