I just placed an order for a new iPad mini with Retina Display, and Apple generously offered me free engraving. I declined. I always decline... well, almost always.
The last time that I engraved any of my devices was October 12, 2005. The object was a 30 GB iPod Video with color screen. I still use it everyday in my Audi as the music player for its audio system.
Why October 12, 2005? Well, that was the "One More Thing Event" where Steve Jobs introduced the iPod Video, and it was my favorite Apple media event of all time. The curtains opened at 10am that day at the California Theater in San Jose. And for the next 2 hours, I was transported to another world.
Steve looked great on October 12, and he was masterful on stage. I captured one of my favorite portraits of him that morning in the California Theater. He looked truly happy. The setting, the presentation, the technology... it all was magical.
When I ordered my iPod Video, I took advantage of the free engraving. On the back it reads:
One More Thing Event
October 12, 2005
I will never sell that iPod, and I will never forget that day in San Jose.
So that's the one time I did engrave. I haven't since. I like to sell my devices to someone who can use them when I buy a newer model. And I don't think most people want to buy a used iPad with a sentimental message carved on the back.
That is, unless they were shook hands with Steve Jobs on October 12, 2005. Then they might feel differently.