Ipad & the commodification of shortcomings

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“Apple’s next-generation version of the iPad, presumably due in early 2011, should ship with improvements that make up for the first generation’s shortcomings.”
says ZDnet.

Words. When what might be regarded as abnormal is rendered normal, words that might incriminate, are replaced with words that excuse.

That’s what came to mind when Apple’s ‘Ipad’s’ ‘shortcomings’ were spoken about in ZDnet’s article, ‘The next generation iPad and what Apple needs to deliver.’

In other words, they are ‘shortcomings’, not oversights induced by the desire to make the most out of a global population of markets and consumers as opposed to cogitating and self-aware human beings. Software improvements and features are one thing, but when it comes to what might be expected of a product given its intended use, and given the existence of technology to satisfy such expectations, to not include them it to simply create a future market via the ‘commodity’ of present ‘shortcomings’. Yes, it seems that purposeful oversights are commodities in their own right. That is, they are able to produce profits.

One purposefully leaves out a particular feature or function, and that which is left out, will ensure that Ipad version 2, or Windows v7, is perceived to be a step up. But what is actually happening here is that one ‘steps down’ from what technology is capable of producing with the Ipad v1, and from there, Ipad v2 seems a ‘step up’. The gap between is the profit-producing ‘commodity’.

Words. When what might be regarded as abnormal is rendered normal, words that might incriminate, are replaced with words that excuse.As I have said previously, there is no reason why a USB port or a memory card slot could not be included in Ipad v1. Without the latter, Apple could beef up the price of Ipads with a larger hard-drive. But if you were to purchase that amount of space through memory cards, it would be far cheaper. And if the people who produced the Ipad have the intelligence to do so, they would certainly possess enough sense to realise that. And, by the way, it isn’t Steve Jobs or Apple that produces the Ipad, amongst others. It is the intellectual property of all those people who work for Apple, along with all those ideas that are produced by discussions amongst people on and off the internet, that produces what Steve Jobs or Apple appropriate credit and cash for.

But I have to wonder after how such ‘shortcomings’ can be commodified. Things tend to be a particular way in one arena when related variables are suitably molded to put up or get along well with it. In this case, we’ll also have to look at the mass of ‘consumers’. What we are talking about here is not only the market for ipad v1 and ipad v2 - which is supposedly going to be released in the second quarter of 2011 - but the market for the deficiencies that is also supposed to be addressed with the impending release of ipad v2. There cannot be as much a market for the ipad v1 if people do not ‘buy into’ the deficiencies of the product and find it acceptable enough to queue overnight for. You could even call the deficiencies of the ipad v1 an ‘advertisement’, or ‘promo’, for the ipad v2 even in the early days of ipad v1. Imagine that. The resolution of the deficiencies of the ipad v1 comprise people’s ‘wish lists’ even as they unpack their band new ipad v1s. But, like the babe in the cot, mesmerized by the suspended carousel, they are blindsided by the gleam and glare of their new toys. And in that, they teach all industries out there a valuable lesson - if we can make more tomorrow by not giving you your due today, that is great business sense. Hence, we could say that the money made by the production of goods (and people) with avoidable deficiencies today enables them to produce further deficient products in the future.

It seems that expecting avoidable deficiencies comprise the masses’ method of contending with the thus-created ‘reality’. One compensates by having the latest toy that is ‘soooo this year’, and saving up for the ‘next-generation’ device which ‘this-generation’ technology can already produce. What generic propensities does this reinforce and maintain amongst the masses that would, in turn, more them more susceptible to compensating for easily avoidable deficiencies? To what extent does this turn the global capitalism-induced culture of these times into a culture of compensation as opposed to an illustration of true human progress?

Interesting question isn’t it.



  1. Herein lies the question that you must answer, Ed. Would you rather have poorly implemented features built upon last minute implementations of concepts not fully developed because they are available now? Besides, software updates provide old devices with the functionality a little later on when it makes sense and a PROPER solution has been implemented. Poorly conceived features are rarely used. Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you will, especially when it's a pain in the ass. Go borrow an Android and try to get a flash applet to run well. It doesn't. You can give folks credit for trying, but they shouldn't get credit for trying and failing. Thinking in the abstract should be done in private.

  2. Memory Card slots and USB ports came after the Ipad?


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