Posts Tagged ‘Apple’


Friday, June 6th, 2008

This article in Wired caught my eye this morning, and made me think about one of my favourite things – gadgets. Their theory is that the iPhone won’t catch on much in Japan because they’re already got supercool phones that do a million things, and won’t be interested in a phone that only does a hundred things, even if it does those things in very nice way.

It’s an interesting question, and one that boils down to one of the age-old dilemmas – do we want quality, or quantity? Some restaurants thrive because their portions are very big, but others because their portions are small, but completely delicious.

So what kind of shopper am I? Well, I think anyone who knows me who agree that I am a bit of a gadget fiend. I like complicated things. While I am shocked and appalled at some of the things that are sold in Japan, that’s generally because of the horror of the marketting (go away Hello Kitty! I am not interested!), rather than not liking the over-engineering of some of their ideas.

As some of you may know, I am no lover of Apple. I suppose some of that was the dumbed down simplicity of some of their products, like the old one-button mouse, which I particularly hated. But that’s old Apple. New Apple computers now run on top of Linux, practically the most complicated way to run a computer on the planet (beaten only by MVS on IBM mainframes I’ll wager). And the new Apple mouse is so over-engineered it’s astonishing. But the result of this is something that at first glance looks simple and uncomplicated, but underneath has enough complexity to make a hacker weep with joy. It’s a killer combination, and has gained them a lot of friends. It’s quality in top, with unexpected quantity underneath.

And so although the iPhone may not go down well in Japan, in the computer world, they’re winning over the gadget lovers. Oh, I hates them. Nasty hobbitses…