It's time to ramble on…

The thoughts of a young journalist in southeastern Michigan

Close encounters of the “nerd” kind: My first major brush with Apple

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Most journalists are in love with Apple and its products. The iPhone, Macbook computers, and most recently, the iPad, are all fast becoming new media toys for those in the industry.

Over the weekend, my girlfriend and I were at the Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids and stumbled across the Apple Store there. Deciding “why not?”, we wandered into it to take a look.

This was the first major encounter I have had with Apple technology, save the iMac’s I used at Central Michigan Life (The Grand Rapids Press uses Windows XP and PCs for its reporters). I have resisted the purchase of Apple products, save my second gen iPod Nano (and that was a Christmas present) namely for their prices. It’s just too expensive for me to purchase some of the equipment, as I type this on my 2006 aging, slow, Toshiba Satellite laptop computer.

Thus the reason for wandering into the Apple Store. Besides looking at all the new gadgetry, I wanted to look at getting a new laptop. At first, we just walked around and took a look at what there was, tried out the iPad and iPhone 4 (which, in my opinion, weren’t all they were hyped up to be. Cool products, but still clearly have flaws that need to be addressed) and finally, a store worker approached and began talking to us about the products.

After trying to speak to me about purchasing an iPhone 4 (which I would never consider until it goes to Verizon), we began talking about different things, and I mentioned I was a journalist. At this point, he became very interested in what I thought, and began talking to me about his background as a broadcast major at South Dakota State University. Discussion ensued, and I found it interesting about some of the things he told us regarding the products and Apple as a whole:

  • The MacBook, the basic computer, no longer has a FireWire port. They used to, but Apple removed them, he said, because if you were going to be using a FireWire cord, you would want to be using a heavier-duty computer, such as the MacBook Pro. This, I would think, contradicts the idea of “the more options, the better.” Apple’s always been a company catering toward convenience, so the omission of a FireWire port baffles me.
  • He openly admitted to us that many customers come into the store and want to purchase a Macbook Pro for the sheer fact that it has the word “pro” in the title. It’s not surprise, but at an additional $150 for the word “pro” shows me that Apple really does have a tight grip on its advertising. If it can convince people to spend more money on a computer they may not necessarily need, there’s no stopping the power of persuasion.

I’ve always kind of joked that Apple (along with Google and Facebook) is slowly turning into Big Brother, being able to track and convince citizens to do anything it wants. It may, shockingly, be getting to that point.


Written by David Veselenak

July 7, 2010 at 11:39 pm

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