chapter  3
15 Pages

The iPhone Moment, the Apple Brand, and the Creative Consumer: From “Hackability and Usability” to Cultural Generativity


In this chapter I position the iPhone as a moment in the history of cultural technologies. Drawing predominantly on advertising materials and public conversations about other “moments” in the history of personal computing and focusing on Apple’s role in this history, I argue that the design philosophy, marketing and business models behind the iPhone (and now the iPad) have decisively reframed the values of usability that underpin software and interface design in the consumer technology industry, marking a distinctive shift in the history and contested futures of digital culture.