By Nick Papa
For an entire decade, I have been ensnared by Apple’s marketing techniques. With new versions of operating systems and programs being continually released, I have suffered near panic attacks over the thought of owning archaic (not even one year old) technology.
The Apple Island
I sometimes console myself with the words of English poet John Donne, “No man is an island.” In this instance, I am positive that I am not alone on the island of frustrated Apple customers.
Imagine spending upwards of $1000 in the Apple store. You walk out with a new MacBook. Sure, it was expensive, but you also got a free iPod, and you know you will get a lot of use out of both.
“I have suffered near panic attacks over the thought of owning archaic (not even one year old) technology.”
Then, only weeks after you make this seemingly smashing investment, you click on Safari. You were intending to check your Facebook, but something catches your eye. Apple has come out with a far more advanced operating system, a smaller iPod, and this week, if you buy a MacBook, they throw in an iPod and a printer.
Apple Products are like cars
I do not need to imagine this scenario because I have lived it time and time again. Just last Christmas, after watching an hour of tutorials on Apple’s Web site, I was in the store spending $999 on a new laptop because I was so convinced that iPhoto version 7.1.5 would differ so much from my current version (7.1.4).
I remember my mother once explaining to me that a car drops in value the minute you drive it away from the dealership, but never thought the same would apply to laptop computers.
Searching through the Apple Web site, I thought I would be memorizing all the reasons I would be using to petition my parents for yet another new laptop. Instead, I found a nearly pointless new product: the iPad.
The ‘magical’ iPad
“Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbeatable price,” reads the headline on the Web site.
Magical? Unless the iPad is a $499 portal to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I will do just fine without it.
“Our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbeatable price…”
As for the rest of the description, I suggest Apple’s marketing department start brainstorming new slogans because “most advanced” and “unbelievable price” are hardly truths when Apple products are concerned.
The iPad is marketed as a tablet computer but, in reality, is an oversized iTouch; a fact that Yahoo’s tech blog agrees with, humorously dubbing it an “iPhone on steroids.”
The iPad contradicts its own headline on Apple’s Web site by lacking 3G phone support, a new interface design, flash support, a replaceable battery, and most shockingly, a camera.
This is their most advanced technology? If these lacking qualities don’t convey the fact that Apple is withholding essential features (available in a variety of their other products) so they can release version after version to turn a profit, I don’t know what does.
Save your money
Whoever spends $500 on a product awkwardly stuck between being a MacBook and an iTouch (not even an iPhone) – without even a camera or capabilities of watching flash videos – needs to either get examined or go to a Shopaholics Anonymous meeting.
“In this economy, save your money; I’m willing to bet your current version will suffice.”
I understand that Apple is a business, and for its goods or services, a business expects profits.
But to create a product and deliberately leave out what are now considered basic features to take in unheard of amounts of money by slowly releasing what they have already developed makes no sense.
Long story short, for $499, you might as well spring for an actual laptop ($999) or save your money and get an iTouch ($199) instead.
The iPad has no feature to rival either (but maybe future iPad versions 2 through 1000 will).
That being said…
Still, I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I still cannot find a laptop with better battery life than a MacBook, an MP3 player with crisper sound than an iPod, or a mobile phone better than the iPhone (sorry, Blackberry users).
Eventually everything we own will become obsolete, but my advice is this: when making an Apple purchase, do your research and carefully consider it.
If you are already a proud MacBook, iPod or iPhone user, don’t let a marketing technique convince you that you need all the unreasonably priced and outrageous new products that Apple makes you think you do.
In this economy, save your money; I’m willing to bet your current version will suffice.