Jonathan Weinberg writes…
Hands up who’s going to be buying a new iPod after last night’s announcements from San Francisco? Keep your hands up if you are all fools – and what is it they say about those and their money, yep, it is easily
I’ve touched on this before on Tech Digest when I said why I wouldn’t be snapping up an iPhone but what is it about Apple that makes people follow the firm so blindly without a thought to exactly how sheep-like they are being.
In fact, if Steve Jobs would have last night announced a new product that could only be bought from the special Apple store over the nearest cliff, thousands of fan boys and girls would have Lemming-like walked to the edge and jumped off waving dollars, £20 notes and credit cards in their hands.
Today’s papers are full of the announcements, all buying into Jobs’ “seven wonders of the world” line about the new touchscreen iPod. There’s no doubt it looks great but DO YOU REALLY NEED IT! And yes, I know you can say that about all technology but it’s a serious point where iPods are concerned.
Apple feeds off the hype that follows its announcements and I am surprised they still get away with it. I mean how often do you change your washing machine? Or you oven? Or your TV? Or your digital camera?
We buy those expecting them to last years but far too many people seem happy to splash out a couple of hundred quid or more on an iPod only to “trade up” six months later when Steve appears on a big screen presumably sending out some sort of psychic wave. I can’t think of any other explanation for the cultish behaviour that sees millions seemingly brainwashed into replacing a product that’s perfectly good for one that doesn’t really do anything different to what they hold in their hands.
Take the new Nanos, they’ve had a bit of a colour makeover and they’ve been made wider to make room for the bigger screen so people can “watch” video. A) what’s the point of buying a wider Nano, it’s charm
and raison d’être lies in its lovely svelte form factor and B) how many people actually watch video on their iPod anyway – not that many in percentage terms of those owning one capable of allowing it.
Cards on table now – I have a Nano – a second generation one. I resisted the urge for years to buy into the Apple treadmill but loved the tiny gizmo so much I bought one. But nothing would convince me to get one of the new versions – my eyes are bad enough without trying to focus on a two-inch widescreen – and they don’t look at all as enticing as what’s come before.
Then there’s the latest iPod Classic with its new 160GB of storage space. Let’s get this straight, if you have that much music, then please give up every other aspect of your life and devote the rest of your years on this planet to listening to it. Only then will you get close to enjoying what this gadget offers.
No-one needs that kind of storage on a portable music device but I can be sure thousands decided in an instant of seeing Mr Jobs on the internet to double their memory and move from 80GB – and people wonder why the environment is in trouble when there’s so much techno-waste around.
And so we come to the iPod Touch with WiFi, Safari for internet surfing and YouTube on board. In 8GB and 16GB models it will cost £199 and £269 which in comparison to every other music device on the market is way overpriced. But again, there’s people now dribbling and shaking with excitement this morning at the very thought of waggling their finger at it.
Now, I can’t lie, I think it looks a very sexy device – but it’s a MIRAGE! Want to listen to music? Then buy a normal iPod. Want to surf the internet on the move? Then do it on your existing mobile or PDA. Better still, buy yourself any kind of smartphone and you can do all of it. Slap an Apple brandname on though and they’ll come flocking into stores as if the Red Sea has just parted. Why? Why? Why?
Being able to download tracks from iTunes via WiFi is certainly a bonus, but it’s unlikely you’re going to be in Starbucks or at the airport so desperate for the latest effort from some X Factor reject that you can’t wait until you get to your PC.
As with all technology, it’s smoke and mirrors and the only thing for certain when the fog clears is the bank balance of these idiots will be at least a hundred pounds down if not two very soon and as the clouds disappear it will reveal the massive smiles on the faces of Steve Jobs and Apple’s shareholders as they pull off yet another persuasive PR masterstroke.
And guess what, in six months or so it’ll start all over again – probably with a 20GB Touch. You just see if I am right!