Apple Help Us, We’re Just Dumb Consumers

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As a reader of this article, I’m not sure where you fall in line.  Perhaps you love all things Apple, maybe you’re a tech geek, or possibly you are doing research about the iPad.  Whatever your reason for being here, please take no offense when I say that Apple typically uses all of its marketing to make sure consumers never ask why.  Their marketing strategy for the iPad seems the same way.  They didn’t add flash because they say you don’t need flash.  They don’t have a removable battery because you don’t need a removable battery.  They tell you what you need, how you should use their devices, what you can and cannot save on their devices, yet they sell you their device and tell you to make it your own.  Well hell Apple, I’d like to but you pretty much have limited what I can do in every single way.

Make sure you don’t ask why Apple does these things because you’ll hear things like; simplicity, easy of navigation, etc.  For me, those words aren’t positives, they are negatives when it takes away all ability to customize, add to and navigate a $500 piece of hardware.  One of the main things Apple’s marketing has sold everyone on is that its devices are different.  They sure are different.  In fact, by limiting the software your hardware can use, they are one of the only hardware developers in the world that controls not only what is inside their device but also what content is seen on it.

There is another example of a hardware manufacturer that does this.  The console companies; Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft all limit what games can be played on their systems.  Apple is building a model that is entirely reminiscent of the console gaming market.  But don’t ask why, they won’t tell us.  After all, limiting choices makes things simpler, easier and better for us average consumers.  Doesn’t it?

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Cody likes sports, games and sports games. He has also been known to read about sports, games and sports games.

3 Comments

  1. Zac

    March 23, 2010 at 9:14 am

    You make a fair point about Apple (and more specifically Steve Jobs) being very controlling over the end products they produce. This is a true thing. It is also true that this is not a good thing, that having the most open and customizable devices possible is preferable for us as consumers. However, Apple is not so controlling because they are some evil draconian corporation, but because they think their customers stand to gain more than they lose in the equation (it is the customers, after all, who bring in the money)

    . A small example: making a battery removable necessitates a more bulky design. Is Apple overvaluing a svelte design by sacrificing interchangeable batteries? You are certainly free to think so. Is there a more sinister motivation? I doubt it. How much profit do you really think Apple is making from those $99 battery replacement fees? Honestly, they’d almost certainly make more money by selling extra batteries. Apple certainly does have an interest in getting people to upgrade to newer devices and this is part of it, but a bigger part is continuously releasing slimmer, sexier, more capable devices. People who upgrade because a battery died were clearly just looking for an excuse.

    Look, I’m not trying to be an Apple fanboy here. Apple makes a lot of questionable decisions, and you are right to point out what consumers stand to lose by accepting those decisions. But the point you miss is that consumers stand to gain from those decisions as well. Like anything there are pros and cons, and me personally, I think Apple has proven track record of creating compelling products of exceptional quality for the consumption of the general population. The iPod, iPhone, and to a lesser extent, iMacs and Mac laptops, have taken off with consumers and been wildly popular not only in sales, but in consumer satisfaction after the purchase. Will the iPad be a similar product or more like the Apple TV? I don’t know, but I think Apple has at the least earned a “wait and see” verdict.

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  2. Cody Sharp

    March 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Rick,

    That’s a fair comment. One of the reasons is that there is a lot of curiosity about the iPad right now (120,000 pre-orders already). The other reason is that I think there are a lot of people that want it so badly that they are overlooking its shortcomings. Later on those people may be disappointed. I do have some good things to say about the iPad as well. I’ll try elaborating on them shortly.

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  3. Rick

    March 14, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    You’ve posted at least three separate articles on the iPad and all have a negative tone. I don’t understand why you keep posting about something you don’t like when it isn’t even available…

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