Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Article: Everything great must fall.

Anyone who knows me is well aware of my strong distaste of Apple’s new ‘magical and revolutionary’ device. I’ve read a number of pro-iPad blogs and just as many anti-iPad articles, and I’ve come to find that they’re arguing the wrong points entirely.

We all know about the iPad’s good features - The ARM processor, the oleophobic Multi-Touch display, Apple’s commitment to replace the entire unit upon battery failure, the sleek and sexy design that is indubitably Cupertino’s fine handiwork and the non-BFR, non-PVC, arsenic and mercury free construction. Most of all, the device is smooth, fluid and really easy to use.

On the other hand, we’re also well aware of it’s immense lack of features. The system is running the iPhone OS, there is no webcam integrated into the system, Apple is still refusing to integrate flash into their browser, the screens resolution is laughably small and 4:3 in a 16:9/10 world, the device requires the purchase of several additional dingles and converters in order to fully use the device and the price truly is unbelievable. Unbelievably high.

Now, this is the point I want to drive home with everyone who reads this - it doesn’t matter if you’re a CEO of a fortune 500 company or an 18 year old college kid trying to pay scrape together rent money - the price on this device is too high. The price tag isn’t high because Apple is trying to make a profit off the system alone; the sheer number of extra cables, docks and dongles you’ll be purchasing just to use USB and an SD card will take care of that. The apps, books, music, and [horribly cropped] movies you buy will take care of Apples monetary concerns.

The price tag on this featureless system is so high because Apple is attempting to market to a price bracket instead of a demographic. Instead of creating a full-featured, powerful, market-changing, truly revolutionary tablet device that cost who cares how much, they decided to make a $500 device that does as much as you can with $500. 

Every single person who has ever purchased a MacBook Pro has had ‘that friend’ who goes out of their way to point out how overpriced the system is. When I bought my MacBook for $1300, my friend purchased a Dell XPS with similar specs for just under $1000. I didn’t mind the cost of the system because it had all of the features I wanted - a powerful enough GPU to raid Icecrown Citadel twice a week, a built in webcam so I can videochat with my friends who live out of state, a full aluminum chassis with easy access to the internal components, back-lit keyboard, and, most of all - the ability to run OSX, Windows 7 and Gentoo in perfect tandem.

Apple understands the market that the MacBook Pro belongs in. When they create a new rendition of the MacBook, they design it to have the features that MacBook owners want it to have. Students, designers, professionals, anyone who has ever had to disinfect a WinAntiVirus2009 Trojan, and all of the other little niches that Apple has found home in. When all is said and done, their products cost more, but nobody gives a shit. They pay more for a better product that does what they want it to.

This is why the iPad is an abomination of technology. The entire design of the system, from the dismissed hardware to the restrictive operating system, is not created for their market - or any market. In all reality, the device is an insult; it was designed to forgo the the ‘complexity’ of current computing, to make the interface of computers ‘friendlier’, to ‘revolutionize’ technology, literature and application dispersal. Apple created a device for people who want someone else in control of their computing experience. With the iPad, you no longer own your device, you own a copy of Steve’s device.

Computers are more than a technology, they are a philosophy and a way of life. For some people, computers are just too hard to deal with - no matter if it’s a Windows XP based Gateway or a brand new MacBook. Some people honestly want a very, very simple device for simply doing one thing at a time. For these people, the iPad will probably find a cozy place on the coffee table.

Others, however, understand that your computer is your sanctuary. It’s the nation in which you’re the president; you make the laws, you run the show and do do whatever the hell you feel like. With great power comes great responsibility, and sometimes you’ll haphazardly fire your pistol into a crowd of innocent system files and the mighty segfault gods will strike you down with great vengeance. This is the world of computing, it’s a place where you are free to open as many applications as your hardware will handle, a place where you never have the think “do I have the hardware to run this program”, a place where you can fully unleash your creative and intellectual potential. A computer should be a tool for opening a closed door, not a deadbolt keeping it shut. 

Some aspects of ‘desktop computing’ are difficult, but that’s the lay of the land. Having control over your computer is a necessity, it makes you free and it gives you the power to do amazing things, whether you chose too or not. There are many forms of government that are more effective, more controlled and easier to manage that Democracy; despite this, we choose to have freedom at the cost of a convoluted and insanely complex government.

I’m sure the iPad will sell well. I know plenty of families that buy every single new revision of the iPod, just because they enjoy new toys from Apple. There are some people that don’t mind the oppression of a single-application interface and have no problem with Apple’s holocaust on Flash. Some people might just crave the nostalgia of their old 4:3 television sets and wish there are a way to still buy full screen movies.
Myself? I would have gladly stood in line on April 3rd to buy an iPad with the following specs:
  • A screen resolution of 1280x720
  • A built in webcam
  • Just one single USB port (integrated, no ridiculous dongle)
  • An option to buy the system with OSX instead of iPhone OS
  • A price tag of $1500, $2000, $eleventy million for all I care
A revolution should be about creating a freedom, not about taking it away. I’m sorry Apple, I love you to death - but I won’t stand for the injustice of the iPad’s technological fascism. If you want my business, make a product that lets me be who I want, not who you want me to be.


  1. Fuck the iPad. Oh wait, it doesn't have a cock port either? Tsk, tsk, tsk. Should have seen that one cumming.

  2. Yeah, I don't think the Ipad is a really good product: lack of feature for a too high price.

  3. i agree the ipad needs a few more things to make it the best