Thursday, 25 October 2012

Why Do I Want An iPad Mini?

So yesterday Apple announced the iPad mini, massive shock, not, and, as with anything new in the world of gadgets and tech, I want one. I dont know why I have this impulse to always want the latest things, I've always been like that, maybe because i'm a spoiled brat, dont care, I like to own new things, especially new, shiny technology. There is an obvious appeal to all of this new tech, obviously, as companies probably spend tens of millions during development designing their new piece of gadgetry, there's the smell, the feel, but there's something i just cant put my finger on for why i have this need to have these things, and i think that's why its an impulse, its just an illogical urge to want to own new gadgets. I think the closest i can come to describing what it is that makes me want these things, is when i look at a new piece of tech, it makes me say "wow, cool".

So why do I want an iPad mini? Well, when any new piece of tech grabs my attention, which is apparently way too often, i begin to compose as big a list as possible for why said piece of technology is needed in my life. What use i will have from it, how awesome it will be when other people see you have the latest thing, i have the money and life is short, what the hell just get yourself it, treat yourself, you've had a hard week. It can be an early Christmas present, or its the four week anniversary of starting your second year of uni, you deserve a treat. So naturally, when the announcement for the iPad mini came yesterday the list began, and in all honesty, more often than not there not bad reasons. One, I love reading books and for a good while now I've wanted to buy an e-reader, sometimes certain technology can take a while to grab me, for example, i love reading 'books', i like the feel of a new book and the smell of it and was quite reluctant to get an e-reader from fear of loosing the other charms of bending the pages back and creasing the spine of a good book. So i seen a few friends with the Kindle, it was good, yes, but not jaw-droppingly advanced technology, and then I seen the Kindle Fire, which has finally been released here in the UK now, its got a HD colour screen, large memory, wi-fi with a web browser, front facing camera and not a bad price either, but something still wasn't grabbing me. Same with 3D, i was sort of convinced it was just a passing fad, its good fun at the pictures but again there's something missing, and then i seen it on an actual television set in Curry's using the active shutter technology and that was a genuine jaw dropping moment, it looks great, and seen as me and the wife have just bought a new 3D TV, (still waiting to buy some glasses), I'm actually excited, in particularly to get stuck into some 3D gaming action, games like Gran Turismo 5, Uncharted 3 and Motorstorm Apocalypse, which have all been designed specifically to work for 3D just look awesome.

My wife has an iPad 3rd generation, and its an awesome bit of kit, and although i've wanted one, she doesn't mind me using it, its fantastic for surfing the internet on, very fast and easy to use, but there is no major reason why i should really need one, me and the wife both have iPhone 4S's also and the iPad is basically a bigger version but with no phone capability, this isn't a bad thing, its great for watching films whilst travelling, chatting on Facebook, playing games and using apps but none of these reason's can really justify the high price tag, they aren't really serious uses for the thing. Although one thing i still havn't got around to doing yet is downloading some paint app for it which admittedly I've been eager to do. Then Apple finally go ahead an announce the mini version. Now, this is another thing i've always been a sucker for, i love my tech, but make it smaller, slimmer, 'mini' and im as good as sold, please dont ask why. So yeah, i think an iPad mini would be a good investment for me, I can spend a little more money and better tech and finally have a really decent e-reader as well as use it for magazines and possibly comics such as ImagineFX, at the moment I am also struggling to organise the unbelievable amount of crap being thrown my way from all directions, although I do mostly just depend on my brain to help me with that and if not i use my iPhone, but surely an Ipad would be better for this? I can finally do a bit of digital painting out and about wherever i may be, i can suft the net, chat on Facebook, play some fun app games, download some useful apps on something that fits much easier into my hand and is much easier to carry around but still works as good as an iPad. So im looking at the different models, comparing specs, prices, seeing what I can afford, but there's a but, all the while theres a siren going off in the back of my mind telling me to hold off.

This is probably because im quickly reacting to an impulse, the other reason is that all of a sudden im getting the urge that i'm being ripped off here. Now, if you look around mine and my wife's flat it looks like a set from the Big Bang Theory, we both, me in particular as i've mentioned love gadgety things as well as you could say geeky things, nothing wrong with that. I actually owned the very first iPhone, the one with the aluminum back which i still think was gorgeous to this day, i then had the 3G, didn't get the 3GS due to my contract skipping that generation but my wife had that one, the i had the iPhone 4, and now we both own the 4S, which is awesome by the way. But when the iPhone 5 was launched just a short while ago i felt nothing, literally no enthusiasm for the thing, no checking to see when my contract next ran out. Now im no Apple fan, i've just always liked the iPods which is one of the more appealing sides of the iPhone for me, but this is the first time where i've really felt like when my current phone contract runs out I will not be upgrading. I've felt like this is getting a bit silly, Apple have now updated every product in its range in just seven months, i really dont think even the most hardcore of Apple fans can keep up, and i really felt like a lot of others would feel the same as i do, apparently not, iPhone 5 is the fastest selling phone in history, during a global recession, whaaaaa? Considering the amount of other iPhone model sales to date, surely the majority of these sales aren't people buying who currently have no iPhone or who have never had and iPhone, so the only reason is that these sales are coming from mostly people who already have iPhones. Where the hell are they seeing the appeal? I'm not denying that the iPhone 5 is beautifully designed, or has amazing technology in its belly, i'm just saying so has my iPhone 4S. Its clearly not the leap we got from the first iPhone to the 3G, or even the 3G to the iPhone 4 for that matter. For me the iPhone 5 is better than my 4S, its just not that much better.

What i can gather from these observations is what seems like exponential growth, that the leaps in the technology involved with Apple's iPhone is getting less and less apparent with each iteration. This cannot be the case, technology, not yet anyway, does not work like that, it keeps getting better, and even if it doesn't seem so right now, just look back at the technology we had just five or ten years ago, its a vast improvement over what was available just that short time ago. The other reason is maybe now that Apple have sadly lost Steve Jobs they are too frightened to take too big a leap forward, to be pioneering and different and beyond innovative  but this is what Apple represents, surely they aren't just 'giving the consumers exactly what they want', cant be, i've always been under the impression that Apple 'shows the consumers what they want', so it cant be that reason either.

So here's the conclusion I've come to. And here's why i think i'm being ripped off. The iPad mini looks great, and although apple claims 'there's less of it, but no less to it', upon further inspection this doesn't seem to be the case at all. At this point I've not even mentioned that alongside the announcement of the iPad mini Apple also announced a fourth generation iPad (and this is only two and a half years after the launch of the original iPad), but you may want to re-read through my last paragraph and just replace the word iPhone with iPad because i'm not going through that rant again. But, this new iPad has some new features, as well as existing ones, which i'd expect the iPad mini to come with but doesn't. The main points here are that the new iPad mini does not come with the new iPad processor in it, in fact im pretty sure it doesn't even have the 3rd gen's iPad processor in it and it does not come with Apple's now famous retina display, again im pretty certain its screen is, if not almost identical again to the iPad 2, now 2 generations old.  Quote from Forbes "Google’s Nexus 7 Android tablet has 1280 x 800 resolution in a 7” screen. Notably, the Nexus 7 display packs in 216 PPI (pixels-per-inch) compared to the iPad Mini’s 163 PPI. I find it baffling that Apple is aggressively pushing their Retina technology (and rightly so), while simultaneously producing what is clearly an inferior display experience for their iPad mini. Newcomers to the iPad will not be impressed, and existing iPad owners will be underwhelmed should they choose to purchase the iPad Mini as a second device.". Heres where i begin to feel as though i'm being ripped off. Apple have no problem demonstrating the fact that they revise their products every six months now and i'm beginning to get the feeling that they are DELIBERATELY holding back on the technology in their products intentionally planning on a better version in six months time, how is that fair? The reason i loved the Playstation 3 when it was first released, and the reason why i picked mine up at a midnight launch, is despite the high price tag at the time, I actually thought I was getting good value for money, it really seemed as though Sony had put together the best available technology they could at that time and it showed. I get the sense that Apple are blatantly demonstrating the stupidity of today's consumers, I haven't a leg to stand on then it seems, I have no problems with the advancement of technology  but i read somewhere once that technology doubles in advancement around every eighteen months or so, apparently Apple have cut that down to a third? I dont think so. 

So what do i do? Clearly consumers are stupid, and if they are willing to pay out for minor adjustments at best, every six months, I cant blame Apple for wanting to take their money. But what do i do? I still want an iPad mini, so do i buy one when they are released so I have the new latest and greatest thing, or do i wait for six months for the iPad miniS or mini2 or do i wait till 2014 for the next one, when eventually i know Apple will include the better processor and a Retina display. Right now my argument is pretty clear, and i cant really argue with myself now can I? This would no doubt be a major purchase for me considering the price, so I want it to be perfect and not be outdated in just half a year, so I'm sorry Apple, looks like i've talked myself out of this one this time and for now, my money stays with me.

Just thought I'd also share these articles with you, they dont 'back-up' my argument here, but are along the same lines as where i am coming from with it;

Ahh the pangs of indecision. Lastly I would also like to note that my decision is not yet final, you probably all know by now that naything could change when I get my mits on one for the first time.

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