• Christmas May Have Inspired Next Generation of iPhone Users?

    Unlike previous generations, kids today can thank modern technology for helping keep closer tabs than ever on Santa's Christmas Eve globe trotting.

    On Thursday night, for example, countless children gathered around iPhones everywhere for the first time to track Santa using Google Maps and Google Earth.

    The folks at NetBookBoards put it best:
    Being a kid right now must be so exciting.
    This year Google partnered with NORAD to usher into the 21st century a tradition that dates back to 1955. On Christmas Eve, the NORAD Santa tracker enabled kids to use Google Maps and Google Earth to pinpoint exactly where Santa was at any given moment on his overnight shift.

    Although applications have been released in the past to provide a similar function, only this year did the demand for tracking Santa via the iPhone really seem to catch on.

    Although few have discussed any aspect of this season's Santa tracking beyond the excitement it obviously helped facilitate for children and their families around the world, there is no shortage of mobile marketing analysts who can't help but postulate what this event could ultimately mean for the next generation of Apple consumers.

    With evidence suggesting that the most effective product branding takes place in childhood, it is quite possible that hundreds of thousands of children may have subconsciously become future Apple fanatics as a result of what could have been the most exciting part of Christmas Eve for many - tracking Santa's whereabouts on the iPhone.

    Are such suggestions a little premature? Possibly. But don't underestimate the power of product branding in youth. In this regard, Christmas 2009 may yield holiday cheer (and subsequent revenue) to Apple for many years to come.

    Image via netbookboards.com
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