Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Success of Apple's iPad Signals Recession's End or Actual Nonexistence

With all the sales of Apple's iPad and iPad 2, one thing is abundantly clear: The recession caused by the meltdown and insolvency of the financial markets is clearly over. If you don't have a job right now, you're just not pounding the pavement hard enough. It hate to say it, but it must be true. The iPad is a cool device, but no one really needs it. It's as if America bought 15 million fancy Cuisinarts between 2008 and 2010 when everyone already owned a cutting board and a knife.

I'll take it a bit further. Apple's choice to develop and release the iPad during the worst recession since the 1980s makes me wonder if we were ever actually in a recession. Apple is a smart company with a huge, albeit trendy, stock price, and they had to know what they were doing. The notion of creating cool new technology that no one really needed and then selling close to 20 million of them during a recession, many of which cost around five hundred dollars, should make most people think long and hard about whether that whole "recession thing" ever happened. Did it?

Ask anyone who owns an iPad why they needed to buy one, and they'll give you a variety of unconvincing answers. "My laptop was too clunky" is a good one for starters. I guess it depends on your definition of clunky, but most laptops weigh around 3 pounds or much less. If you happen to own an Apple laptop, this sounds even more ridiculous, and if you own an Apple laptop, you probably ran out to buy an iPad right away due to brand loyalty and your addiction to all things Apple. I remember being a kid, pulling my iEniac around in my Radio Flyer. I'm just glad it didn't have portable power because those vacuum tubes would have been really hot in that August sun! That iEniac was truly clunky, but today's laptops being called "clunky?"

Another unconvincing reason people often state for why they need an iPad is that it's "intriguing" or "interesting." This reason is in line with "just having to have something" or "I want it." If there really never was a recession, this reason is the best proof. During a real recession people need stuff like bread, milk, gasoline, and jobs. They don't need Steve Job's latest reason to get on a stage dressed in a thousand dollar black turtleneck with the result of his most recent voyage as a time traveler.

Whether you own an iPad, or two, or none at all, we all have reason to celebrate. Actually, we all have reasons to celebrate. Take your choice. Celebrate because the recession is over. Celebrate because there may never have been a recession. Celebrate because you own an iPad. Celebrate because Apple will soon release yet another novelty product that will denounce the existence of a recession. Who knows, maybe Steve Jobs is putting on that black turtleneck right now.

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