A few months back, Apple’s co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs introduced the world to a strange device with a silly name. With the unveiling of the iPad, many critics around the world immediately, and somewhat gleefully, proclaimed Apple finally had made a technological blunder.
These critics surmised the iPad was flawed because the name was more suitable for a feminine hygiene product than a revolutionary portable computing gizmo. Also, an initial perusal of iPad features left many experts wondering why Apple’s latest revolutionary gadget was, in fact, revolutionary.
The less than impressed began to refer to the iPad as just a bigger iPod or a larger iPhone without phone capabilities. The ambivalent or confused simply saw the iPad as a technological enigma, particularly since no one seems to be able to clearly articulate why anyone would actually need an iPad. Frankly, most people couldn’t even really describe what an iPad does.
These initial criticisms certainly would have worried other companies in a similar situation. Anyone other than Steve Jobs might have had a few sleepless nights leading up to the iPad’s launch. Fortunately for Apple, they exist in their own world of seeming invincibility. While the world was predicting a misstep, Apple leaped over every critic and expanded their reach and dominance in the portable computing arena.
The naysayers were wrong. In the first week of sales, Apple sold 500,000 iPads. If current demand holds steady, analysts predict 4.8 million units to be sold this year and 8.7 million to be purchased next year. In just a few weeks, the iPad went from “What is it?” to “Gotta have it!” This is the genius of Apple.
Apple can make anything attractive. With the tremendous success of the iPad, Apple is eager to expand its reach and influence. Even so, Apple also is keenly aware of the unique strength of its branding. People who purchase Apple products want to feel special and different from their contemporaries. Consequently, Apple has just announced a new product geared to its most loyal supporters. The company is calling it the iWorthless. I’ve included the press release below.
“Apple is proud to announce their newest product, iWorthless. iWorthless is geared to the Apple aficionado that has everything. We understand our core demographic values feeling of being unique or even technologically superior. Most iPhone, iPad users want to believe they are just a little bit better than their friends.
“Unfortunately, the popularity of the iPhone and the iPad has made many Apple users feel normal. Some are even beginning to feel they are just average. To calm these fears, Apple is proud to introduce our new product, iWorthless.
“iWorthless is the first Apple product to have absolutely no functional value. That’s right, the iWorthless has no functional value.
“It exists solely to make you feel better than other people. By purchasing the iWorthless, you will know that you are among an elite group of technologically special individuals. Individuals who distinguish themselves from the masses by owning special technological gadgets with cool post-modern aesthetics.
“The genius of the iWorthless is it has no value whatsoever. Except for the fact that it is made by Apple. Because the iWorthless has no value, the masses will avoid purchasing this revolutionary product. However, true Apple followers like you will buy this product in droves. Thus making you special.
“iWorthless, coming soon to your nearest Apple store. With just a swipe of your credit card, you can defend your worth.”
I can hardly wait to see the demand for this one.
By the way, I wrote this on my MacBook, listening to iTunes on my iPhone.
“Live from Seattle with Doug Bursch” can be heard 4-6 p.m. weekdays on KGNW 820 AM.
Doug Bursch also pastors Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets at 10 a.m. Sundays at 2407 M St. SE next to Pioneer Elementary School. He can be reached at www.fairlyspiritual.org or email@example.com.