I forget who said it and I am too lazy to check but it may have been Jefferson (Thomas, not George) who once claimed: “The people are a great beast.” Well…..maybe not a beast in the literal definition but a beast that will congregate for one to eight hours in sleeping bags or drinking mass quantities of black joe just for the privilege of plunking down $500 to $850 for a new 3rd generation Apple iPad.
It seems kind of sad that people who otherwise have at least an iota of common sense would have to have that item the exact moment it is available. What’s the hurry? If it were children waiting for a Christmas present of a new pair of roller skates (Do kids still roller skate? You know, the kind of skates with a key), I could understand. But, adults? Please!
If it is so important to have the latest in iPad technology, you would think that the pseudo intellectuals who allow such technology to control their lives would at lease pre-order the damn things to avoid the long line of those salivating for the delicious moment they can push that “on” button to begin their descent into who knows where. In Scottsdale the pre order people stood in a line of five people while the disorganized rabble had a line of 60.
So, there they were all over town in front of Apple, Best Buy, and A T & T stores waiting for the big moment when they could get their new iPad with Wi-Fi and 4G wireless data transfer. Don’t ask me what that means; I just report the news, not live it. I’m still cruising all the small office supply stores looking for liquid paper, typewriter erasers with the little brushes, and a print ball for my Remington Selectronic.
Somewhere in computer heaven Steve Jobs is laughing himself silly watching these scenes of people waiting in line all night to give a clerk a lot of money for what is basically a toy. I can imagine him telling Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and the rest of his new buddies how he punched out the iPads for $1.98 and sold them for $500 and up. Recession? What recession?
I have often wondered about the timing for these “latest and greatest” versions of any product. I’m not saying that Apple holds back advances that could all happen at once just to increase sales, but doesn’t it seem a bit odd that there always seems to be a new and improved model ready to sell fairly soon after the latest new and improved item?
The golf equipment business is similar. If you play golf you probably know that there is always a “latest and greatest” set of clubs on the market that will allow you to hit the “latest and greatest” golf ball farther with a lot less effort. It’s all about the merchandising and keeping sales figures intact.
As silly as it is with the iPads, at least the customers seem behaved while in line. It might have something to do with their knowing lots of three and four syllable words and having a college degree or two. On the other hand, don’t get in line for the latest Michael Jordan shoe unless you have no regard for your life!