As anyone who was around when Apple released the first iPhone almost ten years ago will remember, there was one thing that used to happen that made it clear you owned an iPhone while simultaneously making you come across as a bit, shall we say, crass. We are, of course, talking about the not-so-humble “Sent from my iPhone” signature that Apple’s Mail app appended to outgoing emails by default.
Over the years, many have used the signature as a way of making sure everyone knows they own an iPhone. Initially, that was something to brag about – iPhones were hugely expensive and rare, particularly outside the United States, so making sure everyone knew you were using one was a brag of considerable proportions. Like we say, it was crass.
Fast forward to today, however, and the signature is once again making a comeback, but it’s fine this time around. In fact, it makes perfect sense.
Having been repurposed, sort of, at least, the “Sent from my iPhone” signature is now used as an apology for poor spelling, grammatical errors or simply a lack of content. By reminding people that an iPhone was used to construct an email, the composer is essentially making sure people know why there may be errors, or why their reply was a sentence or two long. It’s a disclaimer of sorts, and it makes plenty of sense.
This is also confirmed by researchers Caleb T Carr and Chad Stefaniak, who came to the same conclusion in their paper Sent From My iPhone: The Medium and Message as Cues of Sender Professionalism in Mobile Telephony. It’s a mouthful, but it’s spot in this regard.
Those who remember a time even before the iPhone will remember that BlackBerry devices offered a similar signature at the time. RIM, however, is now all but irrelevant. Who knew a simple email signature would outlive RIM with regards to relevance?
Not the company itself, that’s for sure.
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