Random Rants: That fruit company…you know the one

July 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm 1 comment

appleIn the classic movie Forest Gump Mr. Gump made millions by investing, “in some kind of fruit company.”  That fruit company was Apple.  Not the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree but the ostentatious in-your-face marketing machine known then as Apple Computer and now as Apple Inc.  Apple’s market capitalization surpassed Microsoft’s and is now second in the world behind only Exxon Mobil.  Their products are everywhere, their advertising is everywhere.

Quite frankly, I’m sick of it.  I’m sick of turning my head only to see white earphones protrude from every wandering pedestrian (watch out for that meter!).  I’m sick of seeing Apple’s blindingly white billboards and posters plastered around our otherwise beautiful city.  And I’m sick of riding elevators with imbeciles who fumble with their iPhones to check Facebook (really, nothing has happened to your friends in the last 20 seconds; they don’t care you had lasagna for lunch and are now ready for a snooze at your posh office where your nano plays nature sounds to facilitate your nap).

Don’t get me wrong, Apple has invented some very innovative and useful products.  They essentially invented the mobile mp3 player.  Their iPhone is a hit taking market share from other providers such as RIM (BlackBerry).  These products used to be cool, novel, and highly innovative; a good way for you to show off to your fellow hipsters down the street.  What grates me is that this innovation has stopped, yet people still blindly flock to Apple for the “cool” or “wow” factor.  Here’s a news flash for you: owning an iPhone does not make you cooler than the 100 million other people that own an iPhone.  It makes you a follower.  Owning an iPad does not make you cooler than the 15 million other people that do, or the 6.685 billion people whom don’t.  This wouldn’t be the case if you were buying a premier product with unique features.  But, I ask, what is particularly unique about the iPad?  It can browse the web.  Can’t your iPhone already do that (since you know you own both)?  It can access e-mails, download apps, play games (check, check, and check also for your iPhone).  It’s an oversized iPhone without, wait a minute, the ability to make calls.  Genius!

Yet Apple has millions of supporters willing to pay hundreds of dollars for their products.  As a staunch supporter of capitalism I say, “well done, Apple.”  Make as much money as you can.  I’m glad your followers keep blindly lining your pockets so you can surpass Exxon Mobil.

The opinions expressed in Random Rants are solely those of the author and do not represent the opinions or viewpoints of NAIOP Minnesota, its leadership or its staff.

Entry filed under: Random Rants.

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1 Comment

  • 1. Andy Hunt  |  July 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    It’s hard to believe I am about to defend this company, but I believe Apple, Inc. deserves more credit than you are willing to give, capitalism and your general annoyance put aside.

    Apple has truly captured the “friendliest user experience” award for all of its products since the first generation ipod. In my opinion, this is the greatest contribution it has given to the tech world. While personally I operate in both an Apple and non-Apple world (i’ve owned both Blackberry and iPhone smartphones, as well as Macbooks and PC’s – and my next laptop purchase will almost certainly be a PC), the ease of use for Apple products has been significantly higher than with PC competitors. And, one could argue, has set the bar very high for all Apple’s competitors to make using technology easier for everyone.

    Regarding innovation, it appears Apple, Inc. continues to set the standard here. You say that the “innovation has stopped,” but in the minds of many, Apple, Inc. has created new markets for both touchscreen smartphones as well as tablet computers. And although I am not an owner of a tablet computer like the iPad2 or the Motorola Xoom, they appear to be the way of the future for not only personal enjoyment (music, movies, browsing the web, news, pictures, etc.) but business as well. In fact, at the ICSC national conference this year I observed more tablet computers than I could count being used by brokers, developers, contractors and investors. All of a sudden 500 page building plans are all easily accessed with a small tablet, or an extensive marketing piece for a new development could easily be configured to attract an investor’s eye. Crain’s Chicago Business even profiled top-business applications (apps) in their paper today, (http://www.chicagobusiness.com/section/issue02?date=20110716). You’ll notice one of them comes from a tenant rep broker who wanted to increase efficiency and mobility by going paperless with his business, and has found success with the strategy. Reading articles like these are great because they help all of us understand why this new technology can be so helpful to all of us, especially in the business world where if a new technology doesn’t make your job easier you won’t use it.

    I understand your annoyance – people are constantly on their phones these days and seem disengaged with the rest of the world (whether it’s checking Facebook, reading the news, or listening to music). But this is part of moving forward: some people will be bothered with the “new ways of doing things,” and some will embrace it. Ultimately, we all move forward either way.

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