Apple collecting to form friendships

Young-Woo Koh, an Apple aficionado, considers his 26 Apple products as more than mere devices.

You might not think winter is the perfect time for Apple picking, but Young-Woo Koh, a Syracuse University senior IST major, discovered the most appetizing “Apple” this winter: the special edition of an iPod Nano 1st generation. He picked it this winter, putting the number of his Apples at 26 total: 12 iPod Nanos, 3 iPod Touches, 4 iPod Classics, 3 iPads, 3 iPhones and 1 iPod Shuffle. Carefully arranging his 12 iPod Nanos by their generational timeline (seven generations total), Koh proudly presented his collection to me. He said he has duplicates of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 6th generation, because, “iPod Nanos are distinctive in color and storage capacity even within the same generation.”

Many SU students around his age are also “Apple pickers." However, instead of the iPod Nano, they worship the iPhone series, a device that helped Apple Inc. amass $178 billion—a record amount of money, enough to give every American $556, according to USA Today. Mintel Reports, a global market and research database, indicated in its 2014 study of the U.S. mobile phone market that Apple’s loyal consumers, people aged 18-24, largely contributed to Apple’s gains. Stephen Connors and Ashley Siu, SU students who represent this demographic, individually own three Apple devices including an iPhone. They say they trust Apple products because they are so user-friendly, citing their simple interface and access to the largest library of apps.

So then, how can we explain Koh’s yearning for iPods? His passion for them began in 2008 when his father bought him an iPod Classic before he moved to the U.S. alone from South Korea. His iPod was his only friend in a new country. He says he cannot forget the many nights in his dark, empty dorm room when the music from his iPod soothed his mind. He kept putting his finger on the device’s wheel button, relishing the lingering, warm feeling of connection and friendship.

His circle of friends is expanding as he waits for the iPhone 6s. He says he will keep picking more Apples in every shape and form. 

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