Today is yet another instance in which Apple announces a new product, much to the delight and dismay of an adoring and dismissing public. At these events, Apple typically announces a new version of an existing device – in this case, most likely the iPad. Sometimes the new version is a striking improvement. Other times, it’s simply the addition of a few features that seemed inevitable in the first place. In either case, the news is met with grumbling from a number of people.
Why the grumbling? The charge is typically that Apple has a clear strategy: produce a technology, make you pay for it, and then produce a slightly better technology, make you dissatisfied with your current technology, and then make you pay for the new technology to replace it. It’s a vicious cycle of covetousness that never ends, and it’s all Apple’s fault.
Or is it? Look, Apple does one thing: they make better versions of existing products. This is the way of technology. The same thing happens in the realm of cars, computers, phones, videogame consoles and televisions. If you buy something with wires or circuits or a screen, you’re going to have to be content with the fact that it’s not going to be the best thing in existence for long. Those who complain that Apple is “generating discontent by mocking the product they’ve been praising for the last year,” are projecting their own discontent onto a company that is merely saying to the public, “That product was good. This one is better.” If the existence of something better is too much for you to handle, maybe you should consider giving it all up for now.