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Screw You Steve

by Moby Mayibuye / 16.11.2010

Stores have display windows to appeal to our subconscious desires. Things we want, not need. Consumerism is largely based on lust. That’s how I feel about Apple products. Lust. Like Adam in the garden looking at that ripe, juicy apple. Apple. Such stunning design, those smooth lines.

I admit to being a techno nerd. I’m the guy who pre-orders a gadget and stands in the freezing cold to get it first. I did for the iPod. Then the iPod Nano followed by the iPod touch. There was a small sense of accomplishment. It was my Russian Revolution. Then something happened. My iPod Nano broke and not long after, the iPod Touch. I suddenly felt swindled by Apple. Then the bubble burst. Their beautifully designed products appeal to our raw senses not logic. I had assumed the role of brand ambassador and indoctrinator. So I rid myself of Mac products. Never again. That was two years ago.

When the iPhone was introduced to world acclaim, I sniggered and got a Blackberry. Fast-forward to a New Delhi bound flight. Next to me is a lovely English lady flicking through Hello magazine. She soon pulled out a leather bound iPad. I looked away as if Medusa was trying to catch my eye! My heart rate shot up. I could hear Steve Jobs whisper in my ear. “Take a peek, it won’t hurt.” Sensing my uneasiness she enquired if all was well.
“Its the iPad… I mean I’m fine.”
”Have a go,” she said, placing it in my lap.

Can an alcoholic locked in a bottle store not be expected to have a sip?

The device is really a giant iPod touch. The screen is essentially the structure. Simplicity personified. A touch here and a touch there. The thrill of tactility takes you back to kindergarten. Boy is it fun.

Apple iPad

In true Apple fashion, the hood reveals a 1 GHz A4 system; a single Cortex A8 core along with a power VR SGX GPU. There’s a Wifi model kitted out with 3G. Storage ranges from 16GB, 32GB and a maximum of 64GB. Since we were on a flight with the new wireless enabled feature, this was a good time to test the iPad. Free applications and an even greater library available online. The Adobe app allows you to physically sign the iPad electronically. Harmony happens as you touch and push the iPad. It could make the most uninspiring work seem like a Picasso. It exudes that “be brilliant today” vibe.

There are drawbacks. No Adobe Flash. No camera! In the age of instant noodles, Twitter and Facebook updates, you can’t possibly expect people to invest without a camera. Apple have heard the dissenting voices and the next generation iPad will address that matter.

I notice I’m attracting covetous glances. Hawaiian shirt guy, the cute student with the LSE hoodie and even air hostesses. When Jobs said, “we really understand this stuff!” This is what he meant. I’m sitting in Cattle Class projecting the same vibe as Mr. Suit in First Class.

I got no illusions. The iPad won’t replace my laptop. Its just not a practical day in day out tool. Typing is painful after a few minutes. But once we landed in Dubai, duty free shopping was a no brainer. I succumbed (again). That’s how Apple do you. The iPad is irresistible. Been down this road and I’m none the wiser. Screw you Steve!

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