Saturday, November 18, 2006

The meaning of Apple - will it always stand alone?

I sigh when I look upon my Samsung PalmOS phone. It's almost good, the last of a discontinued line that was within spitting distance of Apple elegance. Alas, Palm fumbled, Samsung floundered, and the moment passed. Every phone on the US market sucks. Spectacularly sucks.

I wait for the iPhone. It may not be what I want, but I know I will respect it. I may change my wants to suit it. It will not suck.

My toaster sucks. I've looked for its replacement for years. I figure I'll pick one up the next time I'm in Germany. I find myself wondering if Apple will make a toaster. I'd buy it ...

Then I read this Mark Morford SFGate column (I've added him to my bloglines collection)...
When Apple Rules The World / What does it mean when you really, really want to lick a new MacBook Pro, and swoon?

....I don't mean [Apple] they've solved world hunger or cured cancer or ended racism or muzzled Ashlee Simpson. But I do mean something that, in its way, is nearly as profound: They've managed to make the world just a bit more pleasurable, tasteful, beautiful. They've added a dash of that rarest of human qualities, especially when talking about factory-made tech crap: They have added a touch of grace.

You know it's true. Apple has done more than perhaps any other mass-market consumer line on the planet to affect the look and feel of nearly every gizmo made today. This cannot be underestimated. It's a George Bush world, after all, one that values sameness, mediocrity, intellectual and spiritual laziness. But merely rub your hand across the top of a MacBook or whip your thumb around the click wheel of an iPod and notice: Feel that throb? That's your id saying mmmmmmm.

What? What's that you say? Why yes, other tech companies have changed the world, too. Microsoft, for example. They invaded the global cube-farm and made everyone's workday a bit more bloated and annoying and sad and just a little uglier, buggy as hell, frustrating, virusy and lonely and numbing. Truly, it has been quite an impressive accomplishment...
Read the whole thing. It's a funny, slutty, paeon to Apple. It's over the top, and yet true. No other company, save Google on a good day, actually delivers elegance (Aperture excepted). Apple really is different. I can only pray it won't be alone forever; I could sure use a new toaster.

Microsoft? It's far less than the sum of its excellent people. Some corporations can do that.

PS. My new MacBook is due this week ...

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