Analysis · Mobile · Opinion · Technology

Rejoice, Apple fans

Apple Logo (via Google)

Warmest congrats, Apple fans – you got yourself another object of adulation and material desire. For the uninitiated it is called the IPad 3 and its oh-so-mega cool.

Like $500 mega cool. As opposed to the IPad 2 that you bought last year – that was mega cool in 2011.

…Before proceeding further, let’s get something clear:  this is not a hit piece on Apple Inc, its fans or the astonishing popularity of its products. Everybody has a right to spend his or her hard earned dosh on whatever pleases them the most.

Yet the incomparably triumphant march of the company, and the way it commandeers a cult-following the world over, certainly deserves a few words.

(written on MacBook Pro, edited on MacAir – the authors of this very blog are not entirely immune to the charms of Apple).

Since the summer of 2007, (the first IPhone release for those not following) every six months or so, news bulletins and front pages are saved for the freezing / sweating crowds waiting to storm the Apple Store to buy ISomething.

ISomething never fails to be inferior to other products on the market in a technical sense – the first IPhone did not have basic functions like video recording or SMS forwarding, IPhone 4 had truly bad reception, and so on.

The new kid on the bloc, the IPad 3, follows that tradition. It features:

– an old (okay, tweaked) Apple A5X  processor that is way inferior to the new Tegra 3 quad core as seen in the newest Android tablets.
– a dated iOS 5.1 operating system that is no match for Ice Cream Sandwich
– a 5 mega pixel camera when everybody else has moved to at least 8 mega pixels

Oh – and it looks the same as the previous version so your friends won’t immediately spot how cool you are.

The only improvement in the new gadget is its impressive 2048×1536 pixels screen – truly ahead of everybody else on the market.

But the screen is produced for Apple by its arch-rival Samsung (or Samsung and LG, that’s still unclear)!

So, what gives? The truth is, nobody knows. But it’s got to be good. So good that market data on Apple Co reads like a sci-fi book: Apple sells some 37 million phones in the last quarter of 2011 alone, Apple controls over 60% of the world tablet market, Apple shares climb into the $600 territory (when every market guru said $500 was already way too much), Apple becomes the world ‘s biggest company, and so on.

What are them boyz at Cupertino doing right that the others are getting wrong? You know, RIM bombed with its tablet, so did HP, Nokia has been all but vanquished by IPhone – you can continue that list.

Since we are going to be crucified by the loyal flock of Apple fans for doubting the supremacy of their favorite product anyway, we might as well suggest something really, really “outrageously conspiratorial and overall fringe”.

Apple is an American company, you see. It’s American at a time when the United States desperately needs something to prove its moral and technological supremacy to the world. After all, not even the shuttle is flying anymore, and American astronauts are reduced to hitching rides on Russian rockets.

“The shining city upon a hill,” is not just the words of John Winthrop. It’s a defining principle of life in the US.  It’s also how the vast majority of the American elite sees their country’s place in the world.

For a few decades after WWII  it worked – the world watched Hollywood movies, craved the American lifestyle replete with the latest gizmos – washing machines, refrigerators, huge Cadillacs, and generally dreamt about moving to American suburbia with 5 bedroom houses and white picket fences.

These days the houses in suburbia are selling for a fraction of what they used to cost while the world has moved to craving Japanese and Korean gizmos, French perfumes, Italian designs,  Danish toys – and you would likely be sent for a mental evaluation were you to declare a preference for an American car brand over a German one.

America is not done, of course, – there’s Microsoft, there’s CISCO, there’s the aforementioned HP and Dell, and so on. What’s gone is the “cool factor” – whoever comes to the pub bragging about “that cool Dell I just got”?

And then there’s Apple’s IWhatever – the Most Desired Product of Our Lifetime.

Made in America – it’s the coolest, the strongest, the very-very best. Okay, made in Japan and Korea, assembled in China – but the world sees it as American, right?

We are in no way suggesting that the State Department and the CIA are secretly abetting Apple in proselytizing their religion by opening temples (sorry Apple Stores) the world over.

We are not going to touch that scandal from last year about “IPhone tracking your moves” – you can read it  here, if it pleases you But we would agree with the founder of Business Insider – any other company’s reputation would be ruined forever.

Not Apple’s

Ever noticed that ‘Designed in Cupertino, Ca” on the box? Ca-li-for-nia, baby!

It’s a lifestyle choice, not a technical device.

Opponents can talk all they want about how backward Apple’s technical approach is with that closed architecture, how unsustainable a 200% profit margin policy is, and so on. Tens of millions of happy buyers worldwide can’t be wrong.  Right?

Ca-li-for-nia, baby! Enjoys yourselves


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