If I’ve almost arrived in AppleLand, the truth is that I’ve been there before.
Back in the mid ‘80s, I traded in my ancient MS-DOS word processor (which itself had been traded up from an IBM Selectric typewriter) for a Mac Plus. It was slick, but compared to today’s devices had the storage capacity of a gnat. Even so, I could not only type and re-type on it in any number of fonts but also make charts and draw pictures and publish my work right there on my electronic “desktop” (thanks in part to a very expensive, very hefty Apple laser printer that I still have stored in my basement).
Being aboard the Apple train not only made for greater efficiency, it also made me feel just a little bit cool, which no doubt Messrs. Jobs and Wozniak would have been pleased to know had they been able to see into my little office on Fourth Street.
1984 had promised to be a whole lot more creative with arrival of the Mac – presaged as it was by Apples I, II and III and Cupertino's late ‘70s pronouncement that “Soon there will be 2 kinds of people: those who use computers and those who use Apples.” Thirty years on, it still seems that way. For the best part of two generations Apple has managed to maintain the notion that people who use their products are more creative, more spontaneous and a whole lot more fun than the comparative Neanderthals who don’t use Apple devices. In a genius twist of advertising, Apple painted a picture of Mr. Gates’ PCs as clunky, boring, unstable and prone to catch whatever virus happened to be going around that week.
After a few years, shifting circumstances introduced a PC into my business, which gradually claimed the bulk of my writing and publishing work. In time, my Apple Plus got used only by my children to play Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Then became a dust-catcher.
Flash forward thirty years, to the relentless campaign pursued by two of my daughters to get me back on board the Apple Train. They have iPhones and iPads and iWhoKnowsWhat. They perceive me as a modern day Luddite (my battered old flip phone works just fine, thank you – except at home, of course, where AT&T’s signal strength couldn’t blow the wings off a mosquito). A few months ago, I almost bit for a 5S but got entranced with Nokia’s superior camera quality and deliberated between the two phones as if my immediate future depended on choosing the right one but ended up doing nothing.
My four kids then got together and bought me an iPad for my birthday. They also bought their mother one, which she has filled to overflowing with apps and videos. I have not. I use my iPad to check email and the news some nights before falling off to sleep – and as a stand-in camera when I need to take pictures like the one above. I can’t imagine reading a novel on the thing or on a Nook or a Kindle or any other sort of e reader. You can’t fold the pages back on them, underline memorable passages and stuff bits of paper between their pages.
The whole digital-or-die-back dilemma makes me feel like my Dad, to whom being technologically progressive meant switching from black-and-white to color TV sometime in the '60s. One of my brothers still laughs when I inquire whether he’s got any of the newest gadgets, but then again he doesn’t have to because his wife (a retired science teacher) takes care of all that stuff.
Do my daughters have reason to be discouraged about my stubbornness? After all, the iPhone 6 is due out in a few days, and it actually has a screen that’s big enough for me to see. The answer is “Yes.” Because I am a procrastinator -- not because the iPhone 6 isn’t “perfect” for me.
I noticed while flipping through my iPad last night that Apple sales have barely made a dent in Latin America, which is dominated by Android devices, many of which have larger screens more suitable for watching movies. That may be a big untapped market. But I don’t think it holds a candle to the unaddressed sales potential represented by people like me.
Who knows? We just might respond to an advertising campaign that nags at us -- like a pair of lovely and well-meaning daughters. I can see the headline now:
“Apple is for the Rest of You. So Get Serious!”
If I were you, Mr. Cook, I’d get right on it.
Content © by Brian E. Faulkner
About Brian Faulkner:
> blogs to establish you as the thought leader / authority in your business category
> case stories that communicate your sales successes and invite prospect inquiry
> testimonials that showcase customer / client satisfaction in 1-2 short sentences
> positioning statements to guide business development & marketing
> landing page copy to set your business or brand apart in a compelling way
> tagline development to attract the interest of your most qualified prospects
Brian also is a three-time Emmy award-winning Public Television writer and narrator of over 100 segments for UNC-TV’s popular “Our State” magazine series, on the air since 2003.