Tech geeks everywhere got massively excited yesterday about the release of a brand new Apple product - the 'iPad mini'. The device fits in your hand and does everything a regular iPad does, but on a smaller screen.
Look, I'm a big fan of Apple, so I'm not here to lecture. I'm writing this blog post on a Macbook and I own an iPhone. I also have an iPad that I convinced myself I needed for work (I've probably used it 5 or 6 times over the past two years if I'm honest). I've been using Apple products for years, and I've basically deduced one thing from all the gadgets they've come out with: They all do exactly the same thing but on different sized screens. The iPad essentially does what the iPod does but on a bigger screen, and the iPhone does exactly what the iPod and iPad do, but with the ability to make phone calls.
So now Apple has unveiled a new machine that does exactly what the iPad, iPod, iPhone do, but on a whole new screen size that fits somewhere in between.
This begs the question - why do we keep buying their stuff if it's all the same?
After thinking about this for some time, I can come to only one conclusion - and that it's because we are stupid. Apple are absolute geniuses at exploiting our insatiable desire to buy shiny things that look cool, and they've built an entire business around selling the exact same product in different looking packages. Basically, Apple banks on the fact that people are stupid and they'll keep buying the same thing over and over again if you hold giant press conferences and release ads with shiny objects being rotated in mid air. Apple has brilliantly created a weird consumer cult where people compete to whip out their latest product at social gatherings and lecture all their friends on why the new version of their iPod is superior to everyone elses.
It's a sad state of affairs when people get more excited about buying a computer than the Presidential election as Apple incredibly managed to dominate the news cycle while President Obama and Mitt Romney battle for the future of America.
I sincerely believe that if you own an iPad, an iPod and a iPhone and you go out and buy the iPad mini, you should be disqualified from voting and banned from important decision making in all aspects of your life.
After all, the iPhone 5 is out, and that's much cooler than all of them.