Continued from page 1
The Top is the New Bottom
This of course leads to another major realization about computing technology in general. And that is that the leading edge of computing technology is making a tectonic shift, from the world of big business to the world of the consumer.
Much like how leading-edge computer graphics shifted from places like Boeing and SGI to Sony and ATi, the market shift in information technology will continue its trek towards the consumer and their device and information needs. Apple may have been ridiculed in 1984 because the Mac and its graphical interface was so easy it was “like a toy” but now it is actually electronic toys themselves (Wii’s, iPods, iPhones, Garmins, etc.) that rule the day.
Except we don’t call them toys now, do we?
Toys are things we can live without. But the ease-of-use of a toy is something we are finding we must have with the electronic devices we rely on each day.
Life in the 21st century is a pressure-cooker on a global scale. People work harder today than their parents and grandparents did 25 and 50 years ago. Society has gotten more complex, more competitive, and more difficult. Thank god there is Apple. No other tech company seems to understand this — that what we really need, is a kind of new relief.
Apple is Easy
But Verizon tells us in its entertaining commercials that relief from the 21st century is not entirely possible. Can you hear me now?
And can you tear your teenager or college age daughter away from Facebook, for even a day?
The answer is yes and no. Life in the 21st century is about connection.
To everything. All the time. The Net is the “new city.” And Apple is Central Park, a sharp contrast to all its neighbors. Soft, inviting, comfortable and warm. Apple’s famous “ease-of-use” is where the fresh air is. And people are flocking to it.
What Lies Ahead
So what lies ahead for Apple is sort of easy, in a way. Just ask yourself: what in life is just too stupid and more complex than it needs to be?
Let’s start with the TV. Sometimes I just want to throw the thing out the window. Why? Because finding content to watch, in situ, is utterly frustrating and time consuming. Wading through 200+ channels on ultra-slow cable box interfaces is agonizing. The TV is for people who are time-rich. But those who usually hold the money are time-poor. Those who hold actual purchasing power are walking away from the television because the television is too damn slow and complex.
But Apple will begin fixing this issue with the AppleTV device, version 2. They will start with renting movies and fix the other issues in the fullness of time. Mark my word, this is ripe Apple territory.