The article is interesting, if I believe a bit off the point. I am a technical rep for a southern university and have been in the industry since 1993, however my personal use of computers goes all the way back to the introduction of the IBM pc in the early 1980's. It is true that Steve Jobs and by extension Apple is about hip and cool. It has been since Jobs' return to Apple in 1997. However the Mac has always been about simplicity, and ease of use. It is the core around which all of Apple revolves.
My personal opinion regarding Apples marketing centers less on cool than it does on selling an "appliance" machine to the masses, and indeed the young masses in their tens of millions, than it does selling a functional machine to a clique of hardware geeks, of which I will include myself. I turned fifty this year. I add this last bit, not to show how hip an old man can get, but because I see the digital music revolution less about hip, than I see it as finally the consumer, the you and me's out there in the world, as finally the chance to listen to what we want to listen to when we want to listen to it. If you are a Jazz fan, you can load up 20 or so albums on a single new iPod Shuffle or listen to literally thousands of songs, categorized by artist, period, geographic taste of Jazz or Rock and Roll, Blues, Christian Gospel, Country and Western... or whatever.
It is about listening advertisement free, to not being at the mercy of what some radio station thinks we want, or what the promoters tell them to play. Not traveling cross country only to find, five hours out from your city that the station goes to static and now you have to wonder if the locals here in the north really listen to my brand of Jazz?
It is about personal freedom, for the young and old, for the non-geeks in the millions, and those of use who carry our databases and backup tools on digital harddrives or flash memory. It is about interns carrying medical data from one medical lab to another, or backups of Grama's pics of the grandkids.
It really is not so very much about hip and cool and fashion. Although, it makes sense to sell to the biggest market. When I see a machine, I like to scope the specs and see what it will do. But if you notice all the new Apple ads don't sell specs. They sell appliances... Do you want to save music? Do you want to save you pictures? Do you want to dabble in movie making and make a student film, or a home movie of the kids in the backyard pool? Or maybe be the next Quintin Tarrantino? Its not so much about memory or hard disk size or processor speed or all the things I'm used to looking at to make a decision. Its about what am I going to use it for.
The author or the article says twice that he has no need for either the Apple Mini or the iPod. Perhaps he is less inclined to listen to music at work. But I am sure he may like music, perhaps even classical. Can you imagine having the complete symphonies of Mozart on disk any time and any place you want ot listen to them? Or perhaps he is more inclined to business persuits and is of a serious mind. If so, then what if you could record all your impressions and articles on disk or flash memory? Play them back and edit them on the way to work in the car in the morning instead of having to wait to get to the pc at the offic or at home? What if you could upload them wirelessly? Or Begin an audio Blog of your articles which could either be listened to or read at the discretion of the visitor?
There are a lot of uses beyond simple music or being hip.
I suggest you get one. I myself use an iPod, both as a tool during my work during the day, and as a pleasant way to relax on the drive home at night. Both seem useful in our hustling bustling modern world.
Thanks for listening,