No Thanks

by Kiko Matsing

Why I Don’t Want an iPad for Christmas (from Wall Street Journal)

This isn’t a technology company. It’s a luxury brand, like Hermès or Tiffany. And it’s wooed customers so they’ll pay almost anything for its products. Last Christmas, Apple’s gross margins were 41%. That’s incredible. It’s good for Apple, good for stockholders—but not so good for shoppers. Me, I don’t want to support someone else’s 60% markups with my own dollars. Generally speaking, the smarter move is to invest in the Tiffanys of the world—and shop at the Wal-Marts.

I went to the Apple store in downtown Chicago yesterday to buy my dad a spare battery for his 13″ Macbook Pro and maybe an iPad for Christmas. I was told they did not carry those spare batteries on the store. I’d have to bring the unit in to their “Genius” Bar or order it online. What lousy customer service!

While there at the Church of Apple, I tried again to play around with the iPad to try to convince myself to get one for my dad. And once again I have been underwhelmed by the boondoggle. The product just doesn’t make sense to me. Maybe it’s because I’m not into time-wasting game apps. But it also feels just like an oversized iPod touch without what I love most about it–the portability.

10. The Whole Apple Cult is Starting to Creep Me Out

OK, I already knew about the fans. Last summer, three-quarters of the people standing in line so they could buy the new iPhone the moment it went on sale already owned an iPhone. But now it’s the company, too. Look at how it reacted last spring, when a Silicon Valley blogger scooped an early iPhone 4: Next thing he knew he was being handcuffed on his lawn in front of his wife while police ransacked his house. And think of Steve Jobs, complaining that news coverage of the iPhone 4’s troubled aerial had been “blown so out of proportion that it’s incredible.” Hmmm, out-of-proportion media coverage—you sure you want to go there, Steve? This is the guy marketing a new telephone under the slogan “This changes everything. Again.” Maybe this stuff shouldn’t matter to me, but I have to confess it’s turning me off.

I love my iPod touch and my 13″ Macbook Pro, but they’re just toys to me, not a religion.