Our office is outfitted with iPads, but they’re for company use only. One co-worker wanted an iPad at home but balked at the $499 entry-level price tag for an iPad Air 2. Instead, she bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab which was discounted $150.
Anybody see the problem there?
Remorsis Emptor, Anyone?
Alright, to be honest, I’m mucking around with Latin so that might not be the right translation for buyer’s remorse, but you get the idea. Remorse came almost immediately when a number of the applications used on my co-worker’s company iPad did not have Samsung Galaxy Tab counterparts.
Remorse can be handed down apparently, and her children became the recipient of the original Samsung purchase mistake. Kids today are not stupid so they complained about it immediately, often, and loud. The response was to buy an even cheaper Amazon Fire HD tablet which my co-worker and children found to be worse than the Samsung tablet.
There’s a reason that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs did not hire or keep bozos. They breed. Bozos hire more bozos. So it is with mistakes. Sometimes we compound the mistake with another one that’s even worse. It happens.
What was my co-worker’s solution to the compounded problem? She showed me another Amazon Fire tablet. Was it the Fire HD 10, the closest item to an iPad Air 2 that Amazon shoves onto unsuspecting customer? Nope.
Was it the Fire HD 8, more the iPad mini’s size? Nope. How about the even smaller Fire HD 6 for $99? Nope.
Somehow my co-worker and friend thought the whole kerfuffle could be solved with a $50 tablet that plays up to 38-million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps, and games. It gets seven hours of usage before a charge, comes in multiple colors, has front and rear cameras, can share Amazon accounts, and can store up to 128GB (with an add-on card).
$50. What is not to like? What could go wrong?
What is interesting about modern technology is how rapidly the changes to mobile devices are coming, and how low the prices are going; hardware is being subsidized by content deliverers and content harvesters.
Amazon sells cheap tablets that do more for Amazon than for the customers. They play movies and TV shows and songs and games and apps from Amazon. They’re essentially Amazon babysitter devices. Basically, Amazon sells the hardware at cost, much as a loss leader in a grocery store, to get customers to buy their content which has high margin and almost no delivery and storage cost.
How does that differ from Google?
Not much. Google sells inexpensive mobile devices which also use Google’s applications which are free. Meanwhile, Google culls and harvests personal information and sells it to advertisers.
In both cases, you get something for free or at an incredibly low price point; especially relative to similar products from Apple. In one case, Amazon’s tablets, you help them make money by buying or streaming content. In the other case, Google’s free apps, you help them make money by allowing access to your personal information.
That methodology contrasts sharply with Apple, which designs and builds high quality hardware which comes with customized software that forms a cohesive ecosystem. A premium ecosystem far removed from the throwaway products from Amazon and Google which infest and infect the industry.
If caveat emptor is to be fully appreciated, one needs to remember to elige sapienter.