Hello, you have reached my iPhone

I know what you’re thinking: No one could possibly be so enamored of their iPhone — not to mention so pretentious and/or oblivious to the potential snickers — as to drop the name of the world’s most famous tech toy into their answering machine message.

Meet Bill Cheswick. Here’s his message: “This is Bill Cheswick’s iPhone. You know what to do, and when to do it.”

Yes and yes … although I’m not sure what to say or how to say it.

In a week that saw Apple report the first million units sold, Cheswick’s message was brought to my attention by a colleague who had attempted to contact him to arrange an interview but initially managed only to speak to his iPhone. Cheswick is lead member of the technical staff at AT&T Research, which means that while he’s not directly involved in the carrier’s iPhone service, he does have something of a workplace rooting interest, as well as a serious case of the iPhone infatuation that’s been going around.

Why flaunt it? I just had to know why a person, a serious techie who spoke at last week’s Jericho Forum and is among a handful who’ve been dubbed the “Father of the Firewall,” would be compelled to announce to all contacting him that they had reached a, well, a you-know-what.

Here’s our e-mail exchange:

Why’d you do it?

“I needed a message, I entered one. I put no thought into the ‘iPhone’ part of the message.

“But the iPhone has pretty consistently exceeded my expectations, and I love it, even at the old $600 price. (A deal’s a deal, you know.) I am quite pleased when I use it. In particular, the message storage and recording is based on the phone, not the phone company, and this is a cool change. I am sure that (feature) cast a glow over the message’s contents.”

What kind of response have you gotten?

“My mother had no idea what to do. I assume there is a beep there, though I haven’t checked. She tried to talk to me, to press ‘1,’ and finally hung up. … No other feedback, and I am surprised that I got any at all.”

Do you know of others doing such name-dropping? Might it be “an AT&T thing?” (I actually Googled “reached my iPhone” in various formations and came up largely empty save for one person who used the phrase in a “could you imagine someone doing that?” manner.)

“I know of no official corporate policy, nor do I recall hearing any similar suggestions in our weekly corporate messages. Certainly I have never been one to pay much attention to most marketing edicts.”

And finally, has it crossed your mind that someone might find the message, oh — how can I put this politely — ever so slightly snobbish?

“Well, I am clearly an

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