Just read this letter in the SCMP and if you’ve seen it, then you probably guessed already that I’d have some comments.
The much anticipated Apple iPad finally went on sale in the US on April 3. Many people stayed up all night and joined long queues at stores in major cities like San Francisco and New York, so they would be among the first to purchase the new computer.
I fail to understand why people become almost fanatical about what is just a gadget. It does not even have “a built-in camera or support for Adobe Systems’ Flash” (“iPad draws crowds as debut weekend sales top 300,000″, April 6). Yet analysts predict sales will be in the millions over the next few months.
I think a lot of people bought iPods and iPhones because they were the first of their kind. Also, some consumers bought them because they look so chic. But we have so many new models, like the BlackBerry and also the MacBook Pro. With all these new hi-tech fashion items, surely we have had enough.
We don’t have room in our bags for any more of these toys. Why do people feel the need to buy a new computer because it is a little bit smaller than the model they already own?
I think consumers should stop going overboard when these new models come out. It is important to appreciate that we are not yet out of the economic recession.
Siu Chi-yui, Sha Tin
Mr. (or Ms.) Siu clearly falls into the group of people who think, “What’s right for me is right for everyone else; what’s wrong for me is wrong for everyone else.”
At any rate, no camera and no Adobe Flash are clearly not issues for many people. As has been clearly stated by many analysts, the iPad is a device for consuming content, not creating it. I wish the Flash support was there. I’m not going to hold up this huge thing to take a photo.
“I fail to understand …” somehow becomes our burden. Mr. Siu doesn’t understand and seems to infer that no one has a right to any activity that he doesn’t understand? Why do people become fanatical over anything? Gambling, drinking, sex, toys, politics, religion … everyone has their own private point of fanaticism and for most people, there’s no harm in that. (Okay, not so true for those who decide to blow themselves up in a crowded market.) Anyway, I’m sure Mr. Siu has his own personal fanaticism, even if it extends no farther than writing letters to the SCMP.
“People bought iPods and iPhones because they were the first of their kind.” Um, no, they weren’t the first of their kinds. The iPod was not the first portable MP3 player. The iPhone was not the first smartphone. And people continue to buy them in huge numbers even though they’re no longer the firsts that they never were in the first place.
“It is important to appreciate that we are not out of the economic recession.” Well, no, we’re no longer in the midst of a recession, even if the economy has yet to fully recover. And if we were, and people wanted this and had the money in their pockets to buy it, they shouldn’t because of that? Of course people should spend responsibly and stay within their budget (I actually do, though some may not believe it). Of course I’m not suggesting that one should spend just for the sake of spending. But unless consumers show some confidence in the economy and the future and spend some money every now and then, retail dies … and then wholesale and manufacturing and logistics and marketing die with it, and those people have no jobs and no money to go out and buy some groceries or eat in a restaurant or have a beer with their friends … well, you know the drill and I’ve probably pushed the point too far. But I find it exasperating that someone thinks one should not buy an iPad because the economy is bad.
And yes, I know there are much bigger issues to deal with in the world and in Hong Kong today.