On the Applelust phenomena

30 September 2003

OK. So I think I’ve sussed why people get quite such fits of Applelust – you know, demanding to replace their last-six-months-model with the next one. And have realised that the rampant desire for upgrade – lust, even – isn’t just down to the shiny goodness of the products.


It’s down to the branding strategy. When, say, the Powerbook is upgraded, it is not replaced by a product with a new model name, but with another Powerbook. Essentially: what you own has been made obsolete. There is a new Powerbook.

Back in the day, upgrading a Powermac 7600 to a 7800 (or whatever) isn’t so big a leap because it’s clearly a different model. Yours still exists in the Mac consumer space. But when your Powerbook or iMac no longer exists – ie, the word Powerbook or iMac no longer actually means what you have on your desk, you develop a feeling of exclusion. And so need another.

And that’s the trick. Everything is advertised as ‘the new X‘. Not another one. A new one. And again, it’s pretty much something that the iMac kicked off, the simplification of branding, which actually leads to an increase in turnover of goods. After all, they’re trying to sell the concept of iMac, the concept of Powerbook, the concept of Apple to you. And surely there’s no better way to prove that the concept has been sold than to have got your buyers so entrenched in concept that they feel the need to constantly replace their superceded model not just out of the desire to upgrade, but simply out of brand and product loyalty?


30 September 2003

Toothpaste for dinner: my master’s degree. Ahehehe.


26 September 2003

Why is it that there’s still a sense of wonder when I change one figure in a spreadsheet and all the other cells related to it change too? Shouldn’t I have got over that years ago?


26 September 2003

The Nokia Medallion: the stupid photo-messaging equivalent of changing your display name on Barbelith, and just about as useful. It looks like something off a crap BBC sci-fi show or something.


22 September 2003

Brilliant: the new Napster ad campaign, in which they billpost fake adverts and then stick Napster stickers over the top. Perfect piece of advertising: it builds on brand the brand reputation and satirises it at the same time.

21 September 2003

Overheard: “I think that ‘Get a blog‘ is a good insult for when people are talking too much“.


20 September 2003

SomethingAwful takes it upon itself to parody the new iPod ad. Most are excellent. Especially the Morrissey one.


18 September 2003

As of tomorrow, I can learn to drive Heavy Goods Vehicles in the UK. I can drink in the United States. And I can have anal sex in Germany.

Tomorrow, the 19th September, I am 21. Which is nice. Sadly, I’m up in London doing work experience and there aren’t many people around to celebrate with, though I’m trying to vainly arrange something at the weekend. My birthday’s always been awkward – at school, it was just after term began and there wasn’t quite time to do anything. At university, it was just before term began and my friends were still scattered around the country. This year I thought I might actually be able to sort something… but I picked up a work experience gig and thus am in the city. So I’m hoping that when I’m 22 I might be free to celebrate it with all the people I want to, rather than having to smear my birthday over several dates like it was rationed. Still, it does mean several opportunities to have fun, and in the end, it is only an arbitrary date on which I decided to come into existence. I’m all for unbirthdays. Like Eeyore.

Finally, tomorrow is also International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Arrrrr!


18 September 2003

Phones4U bans internal email because they were losing 3 hours a day of employee time to it. Crazy – crazy they’re blocking it, crazy that it wastes that much time. I doubt they will be starting a trend.


16 September 2003

It’s official. My computer is obsolete. Apple launch the Aluminium 15.2″ Powerbook (at last) and speed bump the 12″s. My 867mhz 12 feels old. It’s not, though, it just feels it…