And it doesn't hurt that these are the companies you're intimately familiar with: Apple, Palm, Research in Motion. You like their products and you buy their products, you understand their appeal. That, alone, is never a good reason to own a stock, because what we care about more than anything are the fundamentals, how a company is performing, whether it is actually making any money. But it is helpful if you already believe the fundamentals are strong and getting stronger.
These smartphones are becoming every bit as necessary as, say, our ability to read the papers on the Internet, or watch TV with cable rather than rabbit ears, as surely as we text instead of call and take pictures with phones and not cameras, and just as surely as we now watch TV on our computers, even our handheld ones. Devices like the Pre, the iPhone, the Blackberry, they're the little gadgets that do everything, especially now that so many applications have been released on the iPhone, turning it into the Swiss-army-knife of smartphones. These are game-changing products that essentially make just about every other gadget out there irrelevant. Camera, check; music player, check; email, check; phone, check; web browser, check, and countless other, less important things. They represent exactly the kind of technological leap that takes everyone by surprise--everyone except for younger investors who get it.
Yes, I am transparently trying to entice you into the stock market by using hot, interesting stocks that you know and like, but they also embody one of the strongest product cycles I have seen in ages. Nobody on the Street is expecting that everyone will need something like an iPhone in the same way that it's now expected that virtually everyone has access to a personal computer, but that's exactly the way things are going.