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Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

It’s a cheesy title. I’ll grant you that. But it’s cheesiness is appropriate for the emotion this item from Apple elicits in one fortunate enough to have their hands on the almost mythical iPad. How could something possibly live up to the hype and apparent hyperbole about a tablet, a category of device that’s never fared that well or proven to be something people want? And yet January of 2010 arrived and Apple not only announced a tablet but one that fell far short of what anyone expected. Apple announced to the anxious masses of Apple fans and Apple skeptics, a device that was not only not a computer in the strictest sense but was essentially, to observers, a giant iPod Touch.

What no one saw, what no one realized, was that in making a non computer, Apple had gone beyond making a mere tablet, running the same OS X as my Mac Mini. What they made was something new based on technologies that began with the iPhone. The iPad is no more a big iPod Touch, than an F-18 fighter jet is just a suped up Beachcraft. The iPad is your pad of paper and pen plus your organizer with an added amount of research tool and art studio. It’s your portable DVD player (actually more akin to a portable Blu-Ray) with a sprinkling of MP3 player. All this is wrapped into a device that is a little thicker than a legal pad and certainly no longer or wider. It is no stretch to say that when you have one, it will be your constant companion. It will be something different to everyone that has one, and to each it will be an essential, a tool that without you will feel set adrift.

Herein lies the dilemma of the converted. The lover of their iPad is filled with such joy and excitement, such amazement, that we literally feel compelled to not only tell everyone we meet about it, but to describe it in such endearing terms that one would think we must be talking about a puppy, kitten, or small hairless human spawn. It truly is everything Apple claimed it would be and more. In fact it’s my feeling that Apple was rather restrained in their praise of it.

There is a price for my enthusiasm though. As I enthuse about iPad (yes I dropped the article) I am making myself a target of an unlimited amount of derision, mocking, and disgust. I will be labeled a fan boy follower, a Jobs following sheepy fashionista facebooking twitterite with no brain of my own who blindly buys whatever Apple cares to dish out. No one but the converted will believe anything other than the above.

What I find particularly interesting about this criticism is that it is absolute hypocrisy. If we forget for a moment that Apple made good on the promises they made about their product, that it is truly something wonderful, and imagine that I’m experiencing an irrational amount of emotion about a product created by a commercial entity, I have one question. How am I so different? According to stereotypes men experience the same emotional highs about cars and trucks, boats, sports teams, and shooting things. Women; shoes, makeup, jewelry and hairless human spawn. Now I don’t personally believe or hold these stereotypes as true, but we accept them nonetheless. Just look at Sex in the City, we believe these emotions are just fine and more than normal. How then is the Apple enthusiast any different?

The answer, is that the Apple enthusiast is treading on ground that is actually important and can not be ignored. It’s feared that the Apple enthusiast is getting instep not with a product but with an ideology. The derision comes from the fact that people fear change which is what Apple is all about. Apple makes their business one that doesn’t simply create electronics but that shapes the way we conduct our increasingly digital lives. For the naysayers every iPhone in a person’s hand on the bus or train is a sign that things simply aren’t going their way. We, the Apple enthusiasts must bear their ill will and pay for their disappointment

I, and I believe most Apple enthusiasts, do not blindly follow Steve Jobs, joining some cult of Apple, but rather observe a man with a company conducting its business responsibly and according to what they believe people want, not what they think people should want. I and many other iPad owners have not drunk the cool-aid, but rather have seen the evidence, waked the walk for myself, and realized that, for me individually, Apple is laying the path I want to walk, for now. I do so well aware of what I’m doing. I don’t shell out my hard earned money easily or lightly and when I do I tend to make the right decision, for me.

So with all that said, when I say that the iPad is a life changing productivity enhancing digital friend that you will come to love and cherish, it is not emotion but knowledge based on thought, consideration, and experience Apple users are rarely given credit for.