Tag Archives: diminishing returns

Tuesday Talk ~ iPhone X or ex iPhone?


(Image from Wired)

iPhone X … I guess I’ve made it pretty clear I think it’s too expensive. Even if the technology it encompasses is worth it, I’m not sure it’s worth paying that much to have that technology. On the bell curve of the law of diminishing returns, I find this is well over the hump, although who knows, if I actually had a play with one, instead of just reading about it, I might think different. (Apple used to come over here and show us such things; this seems to have been suspended or at least curtailed, these days. Having an expert show you how things worked made a huge difference to how tech journalists comprehended, and responded to, its gear.)

I remember back when the iPhone first came out, people were saying ‘that’s a ridiculous amount to pay for a phone’. At the time I sanguinely pointed out that the phone part was almost the least-used part of the device for me. It was a camera, a searcher, a maps provider, a recorder, an email and text communicator … I probably made and took one or two calls a week in those days.
Sure, iPhone X represents another leap forward, but it feels like a leap forward for the select few. Even though I earn good money these days, by my standards, it feels like a leap too far for me.
On the other hand, of course, you need real power to serve AI and VR properly in a convincing manner on a pocketable device. But iPhone 8 ticks these boxes.

However, I haven’t joined the ranks of the haters. Far from it. This group of, essentially, tech biggots likes to proclaim the sky is falling in every time Apple releases a new product. You know how it goes: just because they want something doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
But I do feel really critical of Apple’s responses to tax complaints, as I have always made clear, and I feel increasingly critical of the glib Jony Ive, Apple’s rather amazing designer who likes to craft solid gold examples of Apple’s wares for oligarchs. For it looks like Apple is starting to create what appear to me to be Gucci-level geegaws for the ultra rich. We don’t all need or even want a Rolex – I just need a watch to tell me what time it is, actually.
And time is moving along. I feel Apple is skating ever closer to a critical tipping point –once the hoi poloi abandons Apple, a few ultra-rich and sanctimonious tax-avoiding a-holes like U2’s Bono (an Apple favourite, and also implicated in the Paradise Papers) won’t be buying enough Apple products to keep the company afloat.
Tim Cook’s responses that Apple hasn’t done anything ‘illegal’ doesn’t mean Apple hasn’t done anything clearly, and by most people’s standards, immoral.

Apple’s direction looks like it’s increasingly dictated by shareholders. An expensive product gives them higher profit margins.
Taking the vision from the visionaries and handing it to the greedy is a terrible idea, Apple.

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