Apple’s iPhone 5 has been released with mixed reviews. Many people are outraged at the fact that Apple has released a new cord, which will force most to buy adapters at around $30 a pop, just to make their new phone compatible with their accessories. And according to senior analysts from ABI research, Apple stands to make roughly $40 million in revenue from the adapters alone in the next fiscal quarter. Over the next year, the adapters will make Apple a minimum of $100 million in revenue. And despite consumers largely being outraged at this switch, and underwhelmed with the latest iPhone, many will still devotedly follow Apple because they are blindly faithful fans.
Which makes this old Apple commercial from “1984” a bit ironic, and somewhat prophetic:
The commercial aired only once, during the Superbowl in 1984, and it introduced the Macintosh for the very first time. The commercial was a take on the book, “1984,” and shows masses of sheep-like people, or “sheeple,” all dressed alike in drab colors, watching a Big Brother-like man on a large movie screen, in a seemingly drone-like trance. A woman (presumably symbolic of Apple), dressed in bright red shorts, runs up and throws a huge hammer at the screen, breaking it and freeing the masses from their trances. The commercial ended with a message that said,” On January 24th, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh. And you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like “1984.”
But with all of these reports emerging about how much Apple stands to make on the adapters for their new cables alone, it is ironic that Apple is now not much different than what they were bashing in this commercial 28 years ago. The Apple sheeple are going to spend $100 million to use a new phone that has not really improved on itself in a revolutionary way in years. The fact that Apple is essentially slapping their users in the face with new cables on a marginally improved phone almost seems as if they are smugly testing just how rabid their fans are for their product. If Apple was still innovating and standing behind the consumer, like they seemed to be years ago, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. But with offering few upgrades and the added audacity of introducing completely different cables, it’s as if Apple is slapping us in the face with our own hands. Because despite how much Apple users are grumbling about this change, they are still going to buy the phones, and the adapters, if not for any other reason besides the fact that they are fervent followers of Apple. Without even questioning it.
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Nothing proved this more than a stunt recently pulled by late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. Jimmy Kimmel took to the streets with an iPhone 4 and told iPhone users that it was the new iPhone 5, asking them what they thought of the new model. The video showed countless people rattling on about how this “updated” phone was superior to the last, and many of them were owners of the iPhone 4! They owned the very phone that was being shown to them as the new model, but went on and on about how much faster it was, how much thinner it was, and how much sleeker it seemed. For those who missed it, here is Jimmy’s street stunt:
We hate to point out that the emperor is not wearing any clothing, but when we look back on the situation, we cannot help but reflect on the facts that Apple: has brazenly changed the cables on a subpar “updated” phone, they govern their app store religiously, and they make small updates to their devices to increase revenue over time. In a twisted way, that commercial was prophetic. Apple followers are now the sheeple in matching drab clothing, mindlessly following the company, and eating whatever is spoon-fed to them about Apple’s so-called continued “innovations.” We are just wondering when that lady in the red shorts will finally come up and throw a hammer through that screen.
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