So a buddy on Facebook trashed Apple owners a couple days ago and it took but a moment for the thread to reach over 50 items. Most of the post were three people: two apple apologists and my buddy egging them on.
I love my Apple items. I’m writing on my Macbook Air and my iPhone is in my pocket. What I love the most is opening the box of a new Apple product. It seems to unfold from the box – friendly and waiting for use. They have the best packaging of any product I’ve ever purchased.
I’ve fallen a bit behind on Apple gadgets. I don’t have an iPad or the new iPhone. Even though I have a new job on the horizon, I’m not really planning on running out to get either one.
What struck me most about the FB thread was how defensive everyone on both sides became so quickly. I blame marketing. Marketing used to tell us that we NEEDED things we WANTED and that we WANTED things that we had NO USE for. That was pretty bad. But once we bought whatever was advertised we could ignore the ads. Nowadays marketing tells us not that we need or want something, but that a new product will help express our personality. Genius and evil. Since we will likely always wish to have a personality we will always be needing the next product.
Of course, the products do nothing of the kind. I’m not sure how my personality is reflected by having the same gadget as 50 million other people. It might mean that I like their ads. The relationship formed works both ways too. When my product is insulted it is an insult to me personally. Garbage.
And so we have articles about the kind of people Mac haters and lovers are (independent thinkers vs. elitists, BTW. Bollocs.) When Apple does something stupid like push forward on the release of a flawed product the haters jump out and the lovers rush to buy to show their loyalty. I figure they are both right. It is a stupid engineering error. It is also so easy to workaround as to make no real difference. (I’m speaking here of the iPhone 4.0 antennae issue.)
Alternatively there was an article not long ago that Microsoft has stopped being innovative and their market share will slowly melt away. Hard not to see why. Vista and 7 are only iterations of XP with more useless features and slicker interfaces, but not much innovation. But Microsoft was never innovative in their products. Windows 95 stole the GUI concept from Apple. Windows 2000 put in a directory that wasn’t as good as NDS. The XBox is just a PC in a XBox case. Their lack of innovation won’t kill them anytime soon. Additionally their product line is so broad that it might not matter. Normal consumers might not care about cloud computing, but if the Microsoft Azure platform works it will generate profit.
But the value of the product, its slickness and even its innovation don’t matter as much as their perception. Marketing shapes that perception. Marketing is telling us not to go get the best or the cheapest, but the one that completes us (until the next release anyway).
Whether the product is golden or garbage matters less than whether we are an Apple person or an anti-Apple person. Silly marketing. Can’t I just be the type of person who really likes the way things are packed in boxes?