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Confessions of an Apple Sheep

Today millions of seemingly rational people fished a fully functional iPhone from their pockets and contemplated hurling the device out the window. I know, because I am one of them.

Like many, I committed to the iPhone 5 upgrade even before Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the new device with the usual burlesque slideshow presentation. It’s not that I have any major complaints with my iPhone 4S — sure, it occasionally freezes up and the battery doesn’t always make it through the day, but it’s probably the best piece of technology I’ve ever owned. Nor do I think the thinner, faster, bigger-screened and brushed aluminum iPhone 5 will do a substantially better job of delivering email, locating restaurants, playing music, or distracting my four-year-olds at restaurants with unusually slow service. But I want it anyway.

This isn’t like me. I tend to drive cars into the ground, my laptop is an ancient three years old, my Nikon camera is five years old, and my toaster is at least seven. In fact, last week when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos showed off his new line of e-readers, I felt no similar urge to ditch my nearly two-year-old Kindle, perhaps my second favorite gadget.

On this I’m not alone, by the way: Just one in six e-reader owners will upgrade this year, versus one in two smartphone owners, estimates Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics. “Smartphones are more fashion-oriented than e-readers, so they are perceived to age faster and get replaced sooner,” he says. In other words: The iPhone is sexy and multi-talented. The Kindle is a screwdriver.

Apple counts on sheep like me. In the first month after the iPhone 4S was released, 70% of the buyers already owned an iPhone, according to a study by Michael Levin of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. After the initial hoopla, that number dropped to 35%, he says. “But given the reports about how many people waited to buy the iPhone 5, we’d expect history to repeat itself here,”says Levin.

In a way, Apple managed to put into effect an idea espoused 80 years ago by real estate broker and amateur philosopher Bernard London in a famous paper titled “Ending the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence.” London’s zany idea was to fuel the economy by limiting how long one could legally own a toaster or radio. “I propose that when a person continues to possess and use old clothing, automobiles, and buildings after they have passed their obsolescence date, as determined at the time they were created, he should be taxed for use of what is legally ‘dead.’”

Apple didn’t need government intervention, however. Due to the way iPhones are subsidized by the wireless carriers, it may be crazy not to upgrade. On a resale site, I locked in a price of $251 for my iPhone 4S. This means, that by upgrading to the new $199 model and paying the various upgrade fees, I may even make money on the deal.

 

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    • By WebOsPublisher

      I know I know. You hid it! I’m using a penis here as it’s a bigger example than a vagina,but the basic message is the same – people DO walk around with Highlight Transparent on and they DO snigger at your meat. I’m sorry,it’s true. Well maybe not everyone does,but I have…
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      Filed under: Clothes — ziggyquirk @ 11:03 am
      I know I know. You hid it! I’m using a penis here as it’s a bigger example than a vagina, but the basic message is the same – people DO walk around with Highlight Transparent on and they DO snigger at your meat. I’m sorry, it’s true. Well maybe not everyone does, but I have been known to.I know it’s easier to just leave things on, but if you’re not actually having sex, stripping or involved in some other activity that requires body bits then you really should detach the bits you don’t need. Hiding, as you can see, doesn’t really do much and you’re still running a script that need not be running. Even a low lag penis (this one adds a low 258 to the avatar rendering cost) may add less than a head of hair, but if it’s not required it’s better to ditch it for the time being, because every scrap of rendering counts in SL.And ladies, when you pop your pants on, you might be interested to know that your vagina does show through, because clothes in SL don’t work like RL clothes and it’s like belly button rings – they sit on top of shirts, well your vagina sits on top of your jeans. Which basically just looks hilarious.And that ladies and gents is why I highlight transparent in crowded places – because it cracks me up.
      Like this:LikeBe the first to like this.
      Comments (2)
      2 Comments »
      LMAO!!!!!!! *picks self up off floor*
      Comment by Faery Sola — June 2, 2009 @ 11:08 am
      | Reply
      So I turned on “Highlight Transparent” and was amazed at what I saw. There were things sticking on people all over the place. One fury looked like he had a torpodeo through his chest, and a woman was carring a sub-machine gun. Then, one guy seemed to be enveloped in a 6 foot red sphere. Even on my own av, I had a blob on my right foot. Seems it was my flight booster. Interesting to peek into the hidden world of Second Life. So are there any other little “peeking” settings I should know about? Maybe I need to experiment.
      Comment by Matthew Kidomen — July 5, 2009 @ 12:49 pm
      | Reply
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    • I know wasn’t that a great comment!It will be quite a lot of money but it does dneepd on what carrier and what time you cancel. Adding a new phone line is dirt cheap though and you could also find a buddy to use the other line or have it for emergency

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.

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