Apple (AAPL) Takes Planned Obsolescence To A Whole New Level

Here it comes.  It’s a moment many gadget addicts have anticipated.  Apple (AAPL) is rolling out a 4G iPad.  That’s nice for those folks who like throwing away $499 on something that is only a marginal improvement over the previous thing that now costs “only” $399.  This does not count the monthly subscription you pay to a WiFi service, which by definition is unsecure and easily sniffed by hackers.  I just don’t get how people can get excited over something that has to be completely replaced when the battery goes out.

I’m sounding a wake-up call that will go unheard but I can’t live with myself by remaining silent.  The genius factory that Steve Jobs built is just another oligopoly pushing planned obsolescence on a buying public that should know better.  The cute little tablet that took the world by storm is just a commodity to this here non-user.  Pretty soon all of the Chinese engineers reverse engineering the thing will have a generic copy out for less than $50.  Electronic book reading is the future but that does not mean the future has to be expensive.  There’s only so much market growth a premium electronic product can wring out of the industrialized West and Apple’s marketers know it.  They don’t waste time growing the nonexistent iPad market among African bushmen who live beyond the reach of a WiFi signal.  Instead, they know the real money is made from selling tiny improvements to existing customers who just have to show off the latest gizmo to friends.  That’s the real genius of the iPad’s adoption.  It’s not the capabilities that matter; it’s the peer acceptance.

Having common sense does not make me a Luddite.  My first computer was an Apple Macintosh because I had grown accustomed to using one in my undergraduate studies.  My next one was a PC because I needed something that was cheaper than a premium product and would translate to what the rest of the world used.  Apple’s technology is great for getting hobbyists excited.  My rose-colored glasses came off years ago.

Full disclosure:  No position in AAPL at this time.

About Anthony Alfidi 128 Articles

Affiliation: Alfidi Capital LLC

Anthony Alfidi is the Founder and CEO of Alfidi Capital. His firm publishes free investment research with honesty and humor.

Mr. Alfidi holds a Bachelor's degree in human resource management from the University of Notre Dame (cum laude) and an MBA in finance from the University of San Francisco. He is a life member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the academic honor society for business majors. He has been a private investor since the 1990s.

Visit: Alfidi Capital

58 Comments on Apple (AAPL) Takes Planned Obsolescence To A Whole New Level

  1. You do realize that “marginal improvements” are standard in the electronics world, right? Even in PCs? Yeah, every few months or a year or so a new version comes out that is slightly faster. Is that the basis for your entire argument? Seems shady.

    BTW I’m not sure you have a solid grasp on what “WiFI” is.

    • What’s ‘shady’ is that you think this is okay and you probably mindlessly submit to the endless stream of electronic waste that forms simply so you can have faster, stronger, bigger, whatever in life. You’re consumerist tool and you will no doubt play a larger role, than the majority humanity, in bringing the world’s ecosystems to a crashing halt. Go back to school and get privy to what is not going to work indefinitely.

  2. What a neanderthal you sound like. Take off your square glasses and look in the mirror. that is one OLD cranky guy in there. Glasses do not help anyone who cannot see in their minds or hearts. Apple is running full speed up the hill and over the top. While you grunt and puff at the bottom, as usual, wondering why do people go up hill.

    • “What a neanderthal you sound like. Take off your square glasses and look in the mirror. that is one OLD cranky guy in there.”

      Here’s a young, educated dude, telling you, you’re one stupid s$&t for brains. Are you so helplessly addicted to a technology that has absolutely nothing to do with life, reality, God, the moment, that you would be willing to call this man out for his critical thinking abilities and side with an extremely large corporation that has used planned obsolescence to profit off of humanity? YOU should look in the mirror and ask yourself, is this something that me and my kids will be able to do indefinitely, this endless use electronic waste? Do you think there are enough metals in the earth to sustain this indefinitely? You have no mind of your own, you are a tool to capitalism and peer pressure. I hope something smacks you over the head so hard it rattles some sense into you’re mindless, soulless, heartless, non-critical, childish existence. I’m probably talking to some 16 year old punk kid that lives off an allowance. Spoiled. Lastly, you’ve mistaken old and cranky for WISE. If this guy seems cranky, it’s because he has to deal with punks like you, asking more of this planet than it can give.

  3. sadly, you’re a negative person fighting for a cause that nobody cares about. the iPad isn’t about throwing out your old device and jumping aboard the latest gadget. it’s also about providing the best experience for those who don’t yet have one. by your theory, colour tv manufacturers are money grubbing capitalists. i mean, surely if you already own a black and white tv, why would you need anything more?!?

    for your own good, change careers

  4. if you don’t have an ipad, you are missing out. i have the original ipad, and it is one of my most cherished possessions. buy one, use it for a while, and then tell us what you think. if you travel a lot (like i do), its the best thing ever. books, movies, tv shows, email, long battery life, all in something that weighs a pound.

    after i got my iphone, i bought an ipad, then apple tv, now i am writing this on my macbook air. after that, i bought apple stock. i am a believer.

  5. I love my old iPad and just ordered the new one because I’m looking forward to the increased clarity of the screen.

    It’s not for showing off to friends, it’s to do with how nice it is use and work with. Yes, you can do everything cheap in life, but cheap is often ugly, frustrating and time-consuming. You pay a bit for the latest Apple thing, but you’re surrounded by lovely design, everything working smoothly and just getting on with what you’re doing instead of being distracted by configuring things, dredging through forums to get around bugs and so on.

    I was PC only for years and lost so many days just trying to get things to work. Life got a lot nicer when I switched to Apple.

    Like almost anyone, I bet if you did 3 month trial with the new iPad you wouldn’t give it up at the end. It’s all about the experience, the enjoyment of using it, which you have no knowledge of. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it – Apple have improved since you used your Apple Computer 30 years ago :)

    Dan

  6. I’ve seen this point of view before, and I’d find it more believable if I didn’t personally find products like the iPad so useful, as is the case with some other Apple products I’ve bought. I frankly don’t give a hoot if my friends have one, or like mine, or whatever – it’s good quality, it fills the bill for the work that I do with it, and when I got it there was absolutely nothing else like it although there was a need for what it did.

    As for buying a third one, I probably will because I can see the flaws in my earlier purchases, so by buying another then I can fill in the gaps on the original purchases. That said I’m in no rush to do it.

    Enjoy your PC tablet!

    • Good points Phil, but Apple will soon FORCE you to buy a new one once it goes obsolete. Upgrading and repairing are one thing, but how can PLANNED obsolescence be fair?

  7. Wall Street Pit Takes Distortion of Facts To A Whole New Level………………………….I don’t believe Anthony Alfidi understand anything about what he is talking about. The iPad HD takes performance to a whole new level. Anyone with a computer in their home already has WiFi. And Wifi is only not secure if you are at the idiot level of Tony. The Chinese can reverse engineer it all they want, because like all Apple, the beauty of the product is software based. Which can’t legally be copied and used.

    Tony doesn’t have any common sense which makes him an idiot, not a Luddite. If he would take a few minutes to read any of the major PC reviewers, the Apple compute is considered by most to be the best PC on the market for the price. Virtually any PC’s of with comparable price, quality and loaded with software of comparable easy of use and function cost more than an Apple Computer. The fact is it is as much, or more about the power and security of software and the Apple ease of use experience. Which can’t be experienced on any PC at any Price. Be honest Tony, you get paid by another even bigger idiot, Steve Ballmer, to write this crap.

    You replaced your rose colored glasses with blinders. Other than that it was great review!

  8. I don’t believe there is a fee for the wi-fi. When the battery wears out, I assume it can be replaced.
    Do you know something different?

  9. After reading this article I think you put the rose colored glasses back on, or just some reading glasses! Let’s start with the “WiFi” that you have to pay for…If you did your research you would know that it is the “Data” services not “Wifi” service that you pay extra for. The Data service or as some may call it 3G and now 4G LTE is what you pay the cellular company for internet connection everywhere and that is OPTIONAL. The WiFi model you do not pay anything more because it uses the same technology as your laptop. I know you cannot replace the battery yourself, although Apple can replace it for a small fee, you will not need a new battery for years. So you DO NOT have to purchase another devices for $500+ each year. You are being quite wreckless with this story

    I totally comprehend your statement about Planned Obsolescence, but all Tech companies use that same philosophy, you are right we do not have to buy the latest and the so called greatest revisions to a product. In this case if you wanted top speed for the cellular data or a much better that crappy camera or better yet the sharpest pictures/video on a tablet you would purchase this device.

    Now to say the Asian Markets are going to “reverse engineer” this tablet and sell it way cheaper. Well they have been trying to do that with the MP3 player market for years….we see what happend there. The iPod is still the best quality and highest selling MP3 Player in the market. Plus if you haven’t noticed we are in a recession in the US. We would like to keep the $.60 per dollar kept here in America. (the other $.40 going to the Asian manufacture and parts. Instead of $.90 cent for lesser quality products going back to foreign countries.

    Now just to wrap up I agree… I would like to have the device at cheaper price. Maybe I would like to change my own rechargeable battery, But I have never had to change it on my 5 yr old iPod yet. I bet you cant say that about that PC you use to write this story.

    Don’t Quite your day job, and use the research dept. a little more!

  10. Well good thing everyone is not as cheap as you. People will continue to pay mor for higher quality, and AAPL will continue to dominate its market share.

  11. Dude, encrypt your WiFi already. But don’t think that will solve your security problem, any traffic over the web that isn’t HTTPS (or other encryption) is vulnerable to sniffing. If you care about security, remember that.

  12. As I have said many times, an iPad is the most useful, useless device I’ve ever owned. Sure I can take notes with a notebook, watch movies on my TV, surf the Net on my laptop, play games on my Wii, take pictures with my camera, make calls with my phone, listen to music with my iPod, read books and magazines (yes via books and magazines) all without an iPad. But why do that when one device can do them all? Own one and you’ll see how useful it is.

  13. Aww… this is cute! Obsolescence? What a big word! Though I admire your efforts to go against the grain with a negative response to the new iPad’s unveiling, your tactics are neither original nor informative. Obviously, you’re a neophyte in this field, because A) 3G/4G LTE is the monthly bill, not WiFi, and B) over 100 tablets have come out since the first iPad, and none of them have, as Tim Cook said in his Keynote, “gained any traction.” So those reverse-engineered copies you mentioned? The ones for $50? They already exist, and no one’s buying them. Also, WiFi is not “unsecure by definition” (solid neologism, though); live 256-bit (or greater) encryption allows for even bank account transactions to transpire safely. Pause for a moment. If WiFi (or even 3G/4G LTE) were unsafe, then why are there so many thousands of banking and investment applications available on Google Play and the App Store? And why are smart people using them?

    Like a stupid, modern Joseph Conrad (I know you’ll have to look him up, it’s OK), you vividly display your racial ignorance by assuming that Africans are so primitive that they cannot get a WiFi signal, and that they are so destitute that a $499 device does not fall within their budgets. Au contraire! Apple is actually pursuing their developing markets MORE than the US, as they have the cash necessary to open stores worldwide (362, by yesterday’s count). China, Japan, South America, and Africa have become key targets for Apple’s continued growth, a fact you’d know if you listened to any recent end-of-quarter calls.

    Overall, a solid piece of writing for a high school student. However, do remember that when you are trying to argue your opinion, falsifying data and stacking the deck against your opponent are fallacies of logic that invalidate your argument. Also, if you’re so sure of your opinion, why don’t you stand behind it with a rating on AAPL?

  14. whoever wrote this is an idiot. first any battery can be replaced by the apple store. they make it built in because it allows them to get longer battery life. secondly if you had a clue about the cost of the bill of materials you would know that it’s impossible to make anything even remotely close to it for $50 let alone factoring in r&d and software development costs. get a clue before you talk about things you obviously know nothing about.

  15. “This does not count the monthly subscription you pay to a WiFi service, which by definition is unsecure and easily sniffed by hackers.”

    I’m sorry, but do you know a thing about technology? And please tell me how a “WiFi Service” (by which I believe you mean a cellular data plan) is such a security risk?

    Furthermore, the battery is covered for at least two years if you get AppleCare (http://www.apple.com/batteries/replacements.html) which is more than I can say for any $50 Chinese knockoff tablet.

    And it’s not planned obsolescence – it’s called progress. You are faulting Apple for working all year on making an improved product and then trying to sell it? What kind of business just rests on their laurels. If Apple didn’t release a new product every year, THEN you’d see stock tanking!

    If you don’t want to buy a premium product, don’t. But if there are so many cheaper options out there, obviously they’re not good enough to merit purchase, because otherwise iPads would just be far more marginalized.

    Apple is producing a great, polished product that *just works*. That’s the premium. And it seems that people are willing to pay for it.

    Please stop writing about technology. Obviously your understanding is far too limited to say anything worthwhile.

    • HC, the products they build don’t “just work.” They stop working after a period of time and become unsupported by the manufacturer. How is that fair or good business?? Wait, I take it back…it’s great “business” in this day and age.

  16. Haven’t car makers, detergent manufacturers and a host of other companies been doing the same thing for decades? It’s what makes the consumer-based economy we live in tick. After all, folks don’t have to buy these upgrades and improvements, but they often do.

    • FALSE! I bought a product and mastered it. Now I have to buy, learn, and use an inferior product. Not fair, but Apple is laughing all the way to the bank as most people think it’s “progress.” They’ve duped you all.

  17. This does not count the monthly subscription you pay to a WiFi service, which by definition is unsecure and easily sniffed by hackers.

    You pay a monthly subscription to a 4G service, not for Wi-Fi, which is usually provided by some piece of equipment you or your employer owns. 4G is secure, and Wi-Fi is as secure as a wired network if your equipment is properly configured.

    I just don’t get how people can get excited over something that has to be completely replaced when the battery goes out.

    False.

    The genius factory that Steve Jobs built is just another oligopoly pushing planned obsolescence on a buying public that should know better.

    There are really only two options here. You can build a better device and expect people to take advantage of its new capabilities. This necessarily obsoletes older devices, since they don’t have these capabilities. Or, alternatively, you can build the same device, maybe for slightly cheaper. Apple did both of these things. Apple has a better track record as far as supporting older devices goes than any of their competitors in the mobile market.

    • Simon, good point. Please explain though why Apple has decided that Appleworks, iMovie HD, and iDVD won’t work on Mountain Lion. Why is that okay? Why should I have to use something that’s inferior when I’ve already mastered three great products. Why can’t I have the choice?

  18. Who in their right mind would market a technology product to ‘bushmen living in Africa.’ When the battery goes out they replace the battery… not the ‘whole thing.’ How does Apple continue to sell millions of more (than the previous year) iPads, and iPhones if they are simply selling to the same customers every year? I am sure these customers are not buying hundreds of iPads each. Has anything generic you’ve boughten performed as well as the real thing? You don’t pay a subscription for a Wi-Fi service unless a customer decides to pay for AT&Ts Wi-Fi service or comparable other service. Most schools, offices, restaurants have free Wi-Fi already; but if wireless connectivity is a must for a customer they should purchase the 4G version which runs through cell phone service providers.

    Terrible article, terrible arguments; but well-written and provoking. The rose colored glasses may be off, work on not looking directly into the sun for extended periods of time.

  19. You post is full of errors, and you are only highlighting that you have a strong opinion without a deep understanding of what you are talking about.
    * There is no subscription for WiFi
    * WiFi is not easily sniffed if you are on an encrypted network (most everybody is)
    * The device does not need to be replaced when the battery goes out. Only the battery is replaced.

    Etc.

    You are painting yourself in a poor light and misleading those who listen to you.

  20. I just replaced my ten year old Mac Powerbook. I don’t think gong obsolete early is anything you can suggest is a particular Apple fault. They support the old systems forever and they work fine. Just because they constantly improve what they sell is hardly a fault either. I just don’t get the gripe here. I suppose using the same Mac and software for a decade doesn’t cost as much as buying a new PC every other year.

  21. Huh? What have you been smoking?

    o Cell data capability is optional on an iPad, and superfluous for someone who has a smartphone already. The mass market demands “4G” because the telcos tell them that it’s better, when in fact real-world speed increases could be slim if present at all, and service areas are limited. What it does is just let a user hit their monthly cap faster. Blame the telco’s, not Apple. Apple is just giving the masses what they want.

    o I have a WiFi network set up at home that my wife’s iPad uses. Why would I charge a monthly fee?

    o If you care that much about a battery, get a laptop, and deal with the fact that it’s bigger and heavier.

    You should be the poster child for sophistry.

  22. Hello Mr. Sour Grapes! The fact that you hold no shares says it all.

    The masses will pay for minor improvements and when China does what you say, they will pay for that too.

  23. You should probably stop posting about technology if you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not really an apple obsessive, but your first paragraph is ridiculous.

    1. Just because the two devices look the same does not mean that there are some major diferences, the display, quad core processor and camera are all major factors that differentiate the product in the market.

    2. “This does not count the monthly subscription you pay to a WiFi service”, 4g is not wifi, and the subscription is month-to-month not monthly.

    3. You don’t have to swap out the entire device if the battery goes down, that’s just a flat out lie.

    Regardless of what your background is with Apple, have some journalistic integrity to check your facts.

  24. Fine point, Anthony. But that’s how this world works. To sit back and say how silly people who jump onboard doesn’t really, can’t really, change anything. I own apple stock (have for 5 years now) No I’m not a fanboy. I have a mac I bought in 2007, my phone is a motorola razr (not the new smartphone, the old flip-phone) My point there is that people don’t have to run out and buy the next version of anything every time a new version comes out. Some do (bully for them) many don’t. I see it along the lines of new cars… new cars come out every year. I don’t buy a new car every year, but when I’m in the market for a car, I look for the newest and the greatest. Same with when I finally get a new phone… will probably be an iphone 6. (I figure the stock gains have more than paid for it) Take advantage of the good times. Brace for the bad times. Let the lemmings do what they will and invest accordingly.

  25. Utter, nonsensical drivel. No doubt you’ll generate a lot of page views.

    The new iPad is in no way a marginal improvement. Every specification has been improved, most notably the display. If the iPhone is any indication it may take competitors a year or more to ship a comparable display. What you are essentially saying is that because the device looks the same as the old one it is only a marginal improvement. And you’re mocking consumers for being dumb and succumbing to marketing? Really?

    And I seem to remember this argument somewhere. Oh, right. It was the same reaction to the iPhone 4S. What an utter disappointment that product turned out to be. If only the rest of the consumer space was as smart as you are!

    Another hilarious oversight on your part is the notion that the iPad is somehow over priced. A Dell monitor with similar pixel density (though not quite as high) is more expensive than the new iPad. Repeat: a monitor is more expensive than a tablet with a processor, GPU, battery, 3G/4G connectivity, internal storage, and operating system. Perspective, my friend. You are lacking in it.

    “Apple’s technology is great for getting hobbyists excited” And “hobbyists” also called regular people are driving the market forward. Contrary to your elitist view point, the majority of the market doesn’t need a desktop computer to enjoy technology. The iPad caters to these people quite nicely, offering an excellent tool for basic interactions. It just works better. Ironically, the iPad also appeals to professionals in a variety of fields for virtually the same reason. It works better.

    You’re clearly embittered that you didn’t buy $AAPL when it was affordable. That much is clear. But why you choose to disparage the market and general consumers for buying the product they actually like is a little ridiculous. Your post streams of a teenage fanboy on a forum. You might as well have titled the piece “crApple takes…”.

  26. I like throwing away $499 on a compact portable computer with a 326 dpi touchscreen that does everything I’d want it to do.

  27. While I agree that the planned obsolescence model by which Apple has come to operate is a little ridiculous, your criticisms of the actual device, and its users, are unfounded.

    First of all, if the battery goes out, you don’t have to replace the entire iPad. Second, factoring in your “monthly wifi” cost is absurd; wifi costs don’t change with the addition of another device to your “easily sniffable” network. Third, people buy iPads for many reasons other than narcissism. For example, it’s the best product on the market in its category. And finally, calling something “planned obsolescence” is the glass-is-half-empty perspective compared to something like “continuous innovation.” You cannot deny that Apple has made the most impressive advancements in putting the most “brains” in the smallest “box” and making it look the best.

    Having common sense does not make you a Luddite, but you being a Luddite does.

  28. “the monthly subscription you pay to a WiFi service”
    “African bushmen who live beyond the reach of a WiFi signal.”

    You should not be writing about mobile technology if you are not aware of the difference between 4G/3G and WiFi. They are very different.

    Also, the $499 model you reference is NOT a 4G model.

    “I just don’t get how people can get excited over something that has to be completely replaced when the battery goes out.”

    Quote directly from apple’s website: “Your one-year warranty includes replacement coverage for a defective battery. […] If it is out of warranty, Apple offers a battery replacement for $99, plus $6.95 shipping, subject to local tax.”

    “the Chinese engineers reverse engineering the thing will have a generic copy out for less than $50.”

    Apple, because of its massive buying power and sturdy supply chain, pays less than most of its rivals for components. The off the shelf prices for the iPad 2 components come out to over $320 (http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/iPad-2-Carries-Bill-of-Materials-of-$326-60-IHS-iSuppli-Teardown-Analysis-Shows.aspx), and I wish very good luck to any Chinese knockoff company that can source enough 2048×1536 panels to rival the iPad 3. Even Apple has had difficulty getting such a massive quantity of such high resolution screens.

    A recent poll showed that 30% of mobile web users were intending on buying an iPad 3, many of whom have never owned a tablet before. Almost half of all survey respondents wouldn’t consider a tablet other than the iPad.

    Apple is going to be in VERY good shape for the next several years – especially if they release, as expected, an iTV before the end of the year.

    You’ve made a shocking number of very basic mistakes which show that you don’t feel it necessary to do even a brief google search to check the “facts” you pull out of thin air. No one should take you seriously as a financial advisor.

    Disclosure: I’m currently long on Apple and plan to be for the foreseeable future.

  29. Mr. Alfidi,

    Rants masquerading as analysis have no place in business discourse. If you have a point, please make it. If not, buy a pc and keep your bitterness to yourself.

    Thanks,
    David

  30. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Worst. Article. Ever.

    Who pays a monthly fee to access a ‘WiFi service’?

    I have a 1st gen iPad (battery still lasts 10 hours), an iPad 2, and just ordered a new 3rd Gen iPad this morning.

    Not a ‘Luddite’? I bet you actually are.

    I’ve been working on computers for the majority of my life and I can’t remember a device I’ve been happier with. My MacBook Air runs circles around my top of the line HP, and my iPads get more use out of them than any other device I own (and I own over 30 internet-connected devices). If the iPad were a vaporware product that only fans purchased, why oh why are they selling like crazy around the clock, around the world? Why did the world slam on the brakes yesterday and look towards California to see what Apple was releasing?

    Yeah, the iPad is obsolete. yep. just like you.

  31. odd opinion…. I’m wondering what your motives are…. Also, the majority of people getting this new iPad are people who had the original.. This is such a common thought, that everyone buys the brand new thing all at once. These devices are easily good for more than two years….. Come on…

  32. Samsung updates their devices 3 to 5 times a year. Apple does it every 12 to 18 months. Macs are updated one to two times a year. The mac pro has gone about 18 months now without a new model. For electronics, that isn’t much in the way of constant updating.

    Plus they’re made great strides in making their products more recyclable. Additionally, there is a robust resale market for apple products.

    You sound bitter than a consumer company updates and improves their products every year. What should they do, release one product per decade? Why does BMW improve their cars every year? Why do clothing companies scrap all of their designs and release new things 4 times a year? That’s capitalism. I think you’re in the wrong industry.

  33. So for 100$ more you get a way way better screen, a way way better camera (in terms of optics and megapixels), a little bit longer battery life, higher quality video recording and picture taking, faster speed over the cell network, faster processor, etc. That’s what you called marginal? I guess. I’d say it’s a pretty nice improvement. But if those aren’t that important, then you’re right, save your money.

    The monthly data subscription is an option (an option that MANY portable devices sold through cellular companies don’t give you). But you’re right, not very secure. But what does that have to do with Apple? Why don’t you say that about Verizon and their Motorola Xoom tablet? It’s because Apple is high target for people who right articles ilke this mainly because they are always setting the bar and leading the way. It’s easy to throw stones at a giant.

    I will also give you the fact that there is no EASY way to replace the battery like some devices have. Saying the device has to be completely replaced is quite an exaggeration. That’s like saying once a transmission goes out in your car, you have to completely replace the car. Yes, people do. But depending on the cost (many times it can be cheaply done, wether we are talking about a car, or an electronic device), it can be replaced. I’ve done it with my iPhone. It stopped holding a charge. For about $5 you can replace it. I’ve done it with a car. I replaced a transmission in my car for $400. I’d say money well spent on a $5,000 car.

    Having a generic copy of an iPad for $50? That’s a bit of an exaggeration as well. Having a generic iPad is like having a generic sports car. Sure the Hyundai/Saturns can look nice, but it doesn’t feel and handle like a Mazerati. Just because you can look like something, doesn’t make operate like something else. There’s so many reasons why I wouldn’t spent 20$ on a generic iPad and $400 on an iPad I won’t get into. You get it, or you don’t.

    Electronic book reading? Expensive? Is that what you think the iPad is for? Book reading? You sound like all the people when the iPhone came out and said it was too much money for a phone. I rarely use my iPhone as a phone. Not everyone gets that. I know that you know it’s more then an eBook reader. You’re obviously smart. But some people need to be reminded that it allows you to do so much. Especially when you consider the cost of JUST an eBook reader.

    On the other hand, when you look at how often Apple is releasing products now, I can see how it can be a bit much. I completely agree it seems like planned obsolescence. That’s why I usually wait until at least two revisions. An iPhone 3G to an iPhone 4S was a huge jump for me. If I had an iPhone 4. I wouldn’t have gotten the 4S. No need to sound a wake up call, just remind people to be patient. No need to run out and get the new iPad if you already have an iPad 2 and are really happy with it. If you had an original iPad without a front facing camera. I’d totally get one of these.

  34. Maybe you should try putting those rose-colored glasses back on every now and then. They just might help keep you from becoming quite so bitter as you age. The iPad rocks. It commands only a modest premium price over rivals which offer a similarly high level of functionality, such as the Asus Transformer Prime.

    But you really miss an important point when you suggest Apple (or anyone else) should be marketing cheap tablets to African bushman who live outside the reach of WiFi… or even electricity. I hope you’re just having a bad brain day, or something.

  35. ur day man seriously only dude who spoke what we all know
    …BTW I just got Samsung android with the big screen and it blows iphone4 away…give

  36. How does an ignorant non-user of an ipad have so many strong opinions? The fact that you dont have shares of AAPL stock is further evidence of stupidity given your supposed knowledge of Apple. A small investment in the company would have paid for an ipad many times over. You’ve doubled down on dumb and loud about it to boot. Sshhhh….

  37. that has got to be the shallowest and baseless article about apple i have ever come across. i guess the whole world is wrong, and the author, Mr. Alfidi has us all outsmarted. Grow up, dude, it’s a modern world!

  38. Dear sir.

    Although I read technology articles almost daily, I have never responded to one. After reading your article! it is obvious that you wouldn’t know good technology if it smacked you upside the head. I found your post to be nothing more than unmitgated balderdash and unsubstatiated heresay.You have embarrased yourself claiming that you possess common sense. Let me guess…. you have no Apple stock but are long on Rimm. Perhaps you should write about something you actually know about.

    This email was sent from an iPad 1, battery still going strong.

  39. Slightly perturbed that I 1-uped this thoughtless articles read count. The doublespeak, coupled with the lack of knowledge is astounding: 1) What for-profit electronics maker (Apple or otherwise) would focus its marketing efforts on “African bushmen” that are struggling to afford clean water? 2) Apple offers to replace your iPad with the same device with a new battery for $99. What other electronics maker allows to trade in your whole device for a new one for less than $100? and 3) What is a ‘Wi-Fi service’ and how would its lack of security or monthly service fee differ on any other device.

  40. Mr. Alfidi: Thanks for your opinion. Your article lost all credibility to me when I realized that you don’t know the difference between “WiFi” and 4G. You don’t pay for a monthly WiFi service, you pay for the monthly 4G service. African bushmen do not live beyond the reach of WiFi if they have installed a router within 100 feet. Your ill will towards Apple is noted, but you lack the technical wherewithal to support your opinions.

  41. You know, I think it would help if you explained what planned obsolescence is.

    On a related note, there are simply too many people in this world who just don’t do their own research on these kinds of things, it’s disheartening. No wonder Apple’s able to steal from them so easily.

    Hopefully more articles like this become headlined so that people can wake up and recognize the consumer-based exploitation techniques utilized by Apple and other such profit-driven companies.

  42. I completely agree that Apple is playing dirty pool with it’s dedicated consumer base.

    I’ve been a Mac user since the company’s inception. What I’m seeing now though is out of control. The planned obsolescence business model is just ridiculous.

    For example, I’ve mastered Appleworks, iMovie HD, and iDVD. All of these, however, are totally unsupported and won’t work on Apple’s latest operating systems. Apple couldn’t give a hoot and makes no effort to create machines that will run these “ancient” programs. WHY?? The consumer should, at the very least, have the choice to use the old stuff…no…Apple has had their eyes on my wallet. They get you by the you-know-what by forcing you to “upgrade” (a.k.a. buy their new stuff).

    I looked at the new iMovie. I hate it. Why can’t I use the one I’ve mastered?

    I looked at Pages. I’m not alone in saying that Appleworks was far superior to this program.

    iDVD is no longer available in Mountain Lion and you have to purchase a third party piece of software to burn DVDs. Nice.

    So, not only do I have to spend more money if I want to use their stuff, I now have to spend time learning something that’s not so great if I want to use their products. Yeah, yeah, caveat emptor, my ass. I thought tech was supposed to make our lives easier. Apple’s planned obsolescence business plan isn’t exactly a refreshing concept…anything but….in fact, it’s just nasty.

    Why doesn’t Apple stand behind their machines. I have a six-year-old iMac. For the second time in two years, I had to bring it in for a new hard drive. The guy at the Apple store laughed and told me if it had busted in another month, Apple wouldn’t have been able to fix it. What?? How can they just toss this machine aside after I spent a couple grand to purchase it just a six years ago? They won’t even fix it? No. In fact, they’re PLANNING on it to go down the tubes, so I can spend more money with them. This is WRONG!

    While I understand this happens to an extent in other industries, I don’t understand how Apple is getting away with creating products that will be OBSOLETE…in just five or so years! What the heck? If I buy a car, I don’t expect a mechanic to tell me he or she can’t fix it, even if it’s a 20-year-old car. Yes, some parts may not be the modern standard, but to force me to scrap it is again WRONG.

    Now I hear Apple will change their adaptors. Chargers won’t fit and people will be forced to update, yet again. Nice. They’ll give you some bogus excuse like “it’s greener” and “saves space” or some ridiculous excuse. While that might be okay on one hand, it’s NOT OKAY to make my iPhone obsolete! NOT FAIR!

    I’d be first in line for a class action lawsuit against this conglomerate. At the very least, Apple should be forced to either support product less than 10 years old OR put big warning labels on their products telling you they’ll probably be obsolete in five years. Yeah, yeah…don’t buy their stuff. Well, it’s not that easy when jobs and communications are so highly connected to these machines.

    I believe, at some point, a tipping point will emerge and Apple will have to change their ways. In the meantime, their stores remain full with people willing to drop loads of money in order to stay current. It’s wrong.

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