Monday, March 19, 2012

Trueman: "Eating the Apple"

Carl Trueman:

The announcement of the launch of the Apple iPad3 was greeted with predictable positive promotion in the media and the usual level of hysteria among the shopping public which we have come to expect. When Steve Jobs died last year, it was as if a messiah had left the earth yet, when his c.v. is examined, it contains no cure for AIDS, no effective treatment for cancer and no answer to world poverty. He designed cool looking computers, snazzy cell phones and juke-boxes of a size that can be carried anywhere. We live in a world of small messiahs these days.

The fascinating thing about Apple is, of course, the company's ability to pull off the same con-trick time after time. We all know that capitalism requires the constant creation and recreation of markets. Apple have this down to fine art: they release an under-equipped product; indeed, by the time the product is released there are usually rumours circulating about the upgrade to come; and then a year or so later (if that long) they release the new version (at about the same time as the rumours of an even newer version start to spread). There is not even any real competition here beyond mere chronology. Apple competes, in effect, against itself, and everyone's a winner. That sounds very close to a commercial equivalent of the secret of perpetual motion.

What is perhaps so surprising is that everyone - me included - falls for this. You would imagine that, sooner or later, the buying public or the media would realize that we are all being systematically ripped off; but here is the single coolest thing about Apple - they have so taken hold of the imagination that we believe their ripping us off is actually doing us a favour; thus, the media hype continues unabated and the queues outside shops seem never to become any shorter.

1 comment:

redeyespy said...

Apple has certainly taken "built-in obsolescence" (or at least the perception of that) to new heights. Hearing aid companies have also mastered this.