Newsletter Issue #589: Apple Exploits Our Need for Instant Gratification

March 14th, 2011

I understand the need for wanting something now, and it’s not just an attractive fellow member of our species. Back in the late 1960s, I took a test drive in an innovative motor vehicle that masqueraded as a simple compact car. It was the Mazda R100, the first mass-produced car that contained the Wankel Rotary engine. Had I not been on the unemployment rolls at the time, I would have placed my order then and there.

When I finally found a job, it was in another state, and it took several years for Mazda’s distribution to expand, but I soon took home the R100?s successor, a modest-looking yellow four-door Mazda RX2. It wasn’t so different from the Toyota Corona (a precursor to the Camry) in terms of looks and accommodations, but, oh, that fabulous engine! It didn’t matter that it got lousy fuel economy, and the rotor seals, equivalent to the pistols of a regular internal combustion engine, self-destructed in a few years. I was in auto heaven.

So I do understand why so many of you must have the latest and greatest gear from Apple Inc.. Indeed, it makes sense to see the YouTube and network news videos of thousands of people around the U.S. waiting for hours to get their hands on their very own iPad 2.

It’s not that the first iPad, if you own one, stopped working when the new model came out, any more than a new Mac, or TV set, suffers from a fatal electronic mishap on the day of the next product update — and no, I won’t mention cars that seem to self-destruct when the manufacturer’s warranty expires. My 2009 27-inch iMac, with a quad-core Intel i7 processor, is already a little long in the tooth as electronic gadgets go, but it still works great!

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