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5 A Day

If you’re to believe the rumours, Apple are about to announce the iPad 5 and the iPad Mini 2.

If true, that would mean that someone who purchased an iPad 3 would find themselves with something that’s been superseded twice in twelve months. Insane.

Or is it?

The Internet is predictably awash once again with enraged iPad owners who feel that this is far too short a window in which to out-date their shiny new technology. They have a point; how much of a point remains open to some question.

If there’s one thing true about technology it’s that things go out of date. Fast. Just like new cars depreciate, newlyweds totally start to get over each other and newly-built houses show fresh cracks on the very day that you move in. We accept this. In a sense we relish this as it means that there’s always something new and interesting to look forward to. But there’s an unwritten contract between manufacturer and consumer, particularly in the high-end, luxury market, that if you’re an early adopter, you can measure the time in which you get to feel superior and self-important in years, not months.

Apple, it seems, are wilfully upsetting the apple cart.

They’re bastardising this age-old contract by spitting out what appear to be little more than incremental upgrades like a rabbit on heat, confident in the fact that the Apple hardcore-massive will go out and blindly purchase them, which to be fair, they usually do.

But where will this cycle of seemingly machiavellian business tactics end?

Each time Apple posts record figures, analysts bemoan the fact that they’re not even more impressive and that gargantuan share price takes a brief nosedive. What does it take to please these people?! Each time a new model is released, waves of normally future-hungry consumers that adopted the previous model throw their arms up in the air, deeply offended by the fact that they are going to be made to feel inferior within an unacceptably short timeframe. What does it take to please these people?!


And did anyone stop to think if Saint Jobs would be pleased about any of this?

Me? I’m honestly not quite sure what to feel about it. On one hand, you’ve got to take your hats off to Apple for having the brazen audacity to milk their target market so fiercely and so successfully and there’s certainly no disputing the quality of their products. Then again, even the most hard-nosed of us should be able to empathise, to a degree, with consumers who’ve shelled out a significant amount of money on a luxury product only to have it ‘devalued’ within a matter of months.

Ultimately, it seems a little futile to hold any particularly strong feelings on the matter as I very much doubt that Apple will do anything to alter their undisputedly successful approach. I mean, when you’ve got more disposable cash than the U.S. of A, you know that you’re doing something right, right?

Perhaps even the ultra-loyalists will begin tire of this approach. Perhaps it will all prove to have been an ill-advised tactic. So be it. Life will go on. Lessons will be learned.

And maybe we could do with learning a few of our own?

Perhaps we could learn to simply not care about how cutting-edge or fashionable our devices are. If they function as we want them to, then what more should we want? Perhaps, in a strange way, Apple are doing us a great favour by leaving us with no other option but to get over our vanity and just deal with it.

Now wouldn’t that be something?

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Husband. Parent. Gamer. Go figure.

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  1. You are right in one sense, as only avid techies could really tell the difference between most iPad and iPhone revisions, and it only hurts their ego to see something ‘better’ released so soon, but I feel that, for those who very rarely buy anything like this, it must be quite annoying to see the thing they have saved up and dreamed of superceded so quickly. Me, I feel people should walk into any big purchase with their eyes wide open, and a simple Google search can tell even the least ‘up to date’ buyer whether a better model, for the same price, is weeks away. I think that six-seven months is the limit for this, however, so Apple are pushing their luck with the casuals…I think Apple are just seeing what they can get away with at the moment.

  2. It’ll be interesting whatever happens. A fascinating case study for future economists whatever the outcome!

  3. The problem is that their sparse release schedule is part of what generates the hype and excitement around their products. If they release them all the time then they lose a lot of their lustre.

    • @RobMortimerVA Agreed – in fact I think that they already have – and without Steve, I’m not sure what real milestones they’ll make in future.

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