Apple, iPods and why the guy from Slate is wrong

Jack Shafer, in his recent Slate piece describes what he calls a “crush” held by media outlets over Steve Jobs and all things Apple. He cannot understand why significant updates to one of the most loved and popular consumer devices ever would cause a stir. He suggests that Fortune, Globe and Mail, San Francisco Chronicle, Detroit Free Press and others are just blindly slathering unearned adoration on what amounts to a collection of ho-hum products. I mean, if it weren’t for catchy ads and Steve’s undeniably dynamic personality, why there’d be nothing to talk about.

Personally, I think he may have just a tiny little bit of a point in there, but let’s not forget that we are after all dealing with a raging success. We don’t buy iPods because Jobs tells us they’re cool. We buy them because they are cool. Mr. Shafer wants to see articles “… comparing the V-iPod’s technical specs to those of competing brands.” I don’t know anyone who bought an iPod because of it’s technical merits. They bought them because they’re damn sexy and dead simple to use. Hold any of the competitors in your hand, then hold a nano – no comparison. Hell, I don’t even want one, yet I want one. Know what I mean?

And then…

“When the V-iPod’s super-duper, long-lasting, big-screen replacement shows up in 12 months, the press will have forgotten this second-rate box, too.”

No shit. Do you know why? Because the new one will be a super-duper, long-lasting big-screen replacement that everyone will probably love. Not because of the reality distortion field or some sort of Apple fan boy mentality. It will be because it’s still far and away the best damn player out there.