“What makes the iPhone cool?” I ask my niece. “I love my iPhone,” hugging it to herself. Clearly this is a visceral attachment – so what is going on?

“Where is my iPhone?” she asked, “I have to put the baby to bed.” She is in the bedroom giving the baby a bottle and gently rocking her – while she surfs the web and reads news and email.

“Where is my iPhone?” she asked. It’s Sunday morning and she is reading the news – out in the middle of the desert.

She is checking out Facebook. She is sending email to work. She is calling her sister…

“Look at these pictures,” she says to her husband, “I just took them – isn’t this one cute? That one is great. I need to send an update to the family.” (Once a week she sends out a new baby picture.)

The baby is on her lap. “She loves the iPhone, she loves looking at pictures of herself,” she tells us. “Okay, okay, I’m turning the pages, just a minute.” The baby is staring into the screen – intense, intense wanting. It’s the new generation.

We are playing cards – fun at night – the baby wakes up… “Should we just get her and let her stay up awhile?” It’s illicit, it’s fun, it’s not perfect parenting – but we do it. “Where is my iPhone?” she says – and, poof! Ernie and Bert are playing to the baby, who is holding the phone – intent, intent watching. Crying cause it stops… “Wait a minute, wait a minute – look at this picture.”

A one year old is holding the iPhone and turning the pages to entertain herself… and we almost finish the card game – even the iPhone isn’t a good enough babysitter at 11 pm.

So why does my niece love the iPhone? It has become part of her life. It’s not just the ease of use that Apple is known for – so easy a baby could use it. It’s not just the connectivity to the wireless in the house giving us Ernie and Bert, the New York Times and Facebook. It’s not that it now has pictures like all other phones. And it’s not just lots of apps.

It’s that the iPhone has woven itself into the very fabric of everyday living.

I have clients who say, “How do they do it? We need to ‘think up’ the next rage, too!” What makes the iPhone cool? It’s more than “the pinch” or any one function or feature or design element.

The iPhone has become a life appendage, it is part of life itself, it extends what life can be. It’s the way every element of the product slides right into the spaces that life leaves open and offers delight.

In the space between the moments of real life is the place of real opportunity. Look there.