I finally joined the modern world and got an iPad. Got is a generous word, seeing as it was actually a hand-me-down from my younger sibling who’s graduated to an iPad 3 for school. What happened to the days when a hand-me-down meant getting your sister’s worn denim? My sibling’s school replaced textbooks for an iPad bundle, hence my unprecedented gift. It may sound indulgent, but this innovation caused textbook costs to plummet from an annual average of $600 to $200. So my sibling (parent) saves money, and I come into a nifty iPad inheritance. Peachy.
It took me about four days of staring at my iPad from afar to really begin a relationship with it. I wasn’t exactly sure as to what its purpose might be. I have an iPhone, I have an iPod, iHave a Mac. Now, I can add an iPad to that laundry list. I guess this makes me a first world Apple brat, and I’m not sure whether to be ashamed, proud, or scared. Scared because it freaks me out that a conglomerate other than Disney holds such a monopoly over the world. At least Disney pretends to be all about you.
After that preliminary bating period, during which I seriously contemplated my iPad’s future as that of a minimalist, chic coaster, I picked it up and gazed at my reflection in it. So far, so good. Then I realized the iPad 1 doesn’t come with a camera or the Photo Booth application. The idea that I wouldn’t be able to take endless photos of myself imitating Gia Carangi, my friends with Picasso faces, or my dog in reverse monochrome was enough. I might as well have been given a highly non-aerodynamic Frisbee.
This gets me thinking about Apple’s success in technology as both a user-friendly and highly marketable brand. Apple is the number one most valuable brand as of 2012, beating out Google and IBM, according to the BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands study. Surprise. In my living room alone I can count five different Apple products. Five, in one room of an apartment, in one building on a college campus. People have gone as far as to call Steve Jobs the new Leonardo, the “da Vinci of Design.” This would be the perfect spot for a Mona Lisa wielding iPad moment.
Naturally, there is somewhat of an anti-Apple movement among users and competitors alike (and if you’ve been following the Samsung/Apple lawsuit, you’ve noticed that Apple fights back). There are numerous scandals I could get into, if the point of this piece were to conduct a careful expose on Apple, Inc, and not a satirical recounting of my technological first world problems. But whether or not you like Apple, own Apple, eat Apples, the numbers are undeniable — Apple’s sleek little shiny designs have slithered their way into our consumer-driven beds, and we like it.