I was going to have a big write-up of the iPhone X that I picked up today. But I think that everyone is doing one of those. The iPhone X is a great phone and so far, in the 12 hours I’ve had it, I think I’m liking it. It’s taking some time to get used to the removal of the home button, but as the day progressed it just started to become a habit.
I’ll stop talking about the phone and get more to talking about actually picking it up.
My appointment to pick up the new phone was at 8 and I was uncharacteristically later than normal; I got to the store at around 7:40. There were a few people in front of me in line but it wasn’t anything big. A stream of people came inquiring about picking one up without having ordered it beforehand — they all walked away; all of the phones today had been accounted for.
But that’s still not the interesting part at all.
At 8 we were let in with a chorus of cheers and each of us was paired up with a sales associate. I got Wilson.
Wilson, my sales guy, is an African-American perhaps around 40 or so.
Wilson is also blind.
He was using the little iPhone 4-looking sales terminals to conduct the transaction. The thing I found so interesting is that Apple’s overall accessibility for iOS is so good that he was able to do everything with help for only two steps which I’ll get to in a moment. He also had a single AirPod in his left ear and was using a screen reader for the entire sales transaction.
Many companies do a bit of lip service to real accessibility. Apple does an absolutely stellar job of it. I’m thankful that I don’t need assistive technology when I’m dealing with computers. I’m also thrilled that there are companies out there like Apple who really take it to heart. Not only are their devices built with accessibility in mind, but even their internal tooling is as well, which impressed me greatly.
The two moments where he needed a hand? Checking my ID to make sure I was me — it’s hard for a blind individual to verify a picture. Scanning the tiny barcode on the back of the phone for the serial, IMEA, and SKU.
The entire transaction took maybe 20% longer than an ordinary transaction.
It’s times like this where I’m happy to support a company like Apple.