My response to Alan, who wrote about Apple ignoring the needs of the poor or ill-connected when needing a fast internet connection for a software update to get iTunes functioning on his new machine.
The demographic that can afford to buy Apple products is the
demographic that has a fast internet connection. Apple does not target
the poor, at all. Have you ever seen an Apple product priced to compete
with cheap products? The only one I can think of is the shuffle, which
is a lead-in for getting people to spend money on iTunes.
Alan, you speak of poverty, but people in actual poverty do not buy
Apple products. They do not fit; you need to buy the product, and then
pay for all the expensive stuff that goes with it – the fast internet
connection, the expensive upgrades, the pay-for iTunes downloads. If you
live on $100 a month, when are you going to buy into that kind of
expenditure? Even the western poor on state benefits are likely to
struggle. No, you buy a cheap PC, second or third hand, ideally with
some linux flavour on it which will cost nothing to update bar the net
connection, and which permits you to share music for free. Illegally if
necessary. If I have a choice between a 5-year old run-of-the-mill car
or a 12 year old Merc, I would be foolish to buy the Merc because it
will cost far more to fix, far more to fuel etc. Particularly if no-one
else around me owns a Merc.
Apple do not target the poor, because they are poor. They do not have
the money that Apple wants, nor do they have the cachet that Apple
makes use of. Its products are aspirational, status items. I suspect
that any community whose internet connection is slow and/or expensive
will share music via mp3s on usb sticks, not by paying a track at a time
on iTunes. Just like we used to, when we had slow and expensive
Apple is an immediate choice in your world, so your problem is the
fragility of it. In the world of the poor, Apple is Prada, Gucci,
Alienware, Steinway. Hey, Prada have a fashion event on, and the dress
code is strings of pearls.