Apple and Consumerist Culture [BBC Programme]

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by cambookpro, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi

    Just wondering if anyone watched 'The Men Who Made Us Spend' on the BBC? It's about, well, the people who try and make us part with our hard earned cash. An iPlayer link is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p01zxmrv/the-men-who-made-us-spend-episode-1

    It profiles a lot of companies, most notably Apple and IKEA. The presenter basically is arguing that these companies are driving our want for more products, and making us upgrade quicker than ever.

    However, I think his argument is deeply flawed. According to him, the 64-bit A6 processor and TouchID made the iPhone 5s 'basically the same phone as before', and criticises Apple for launching a better device... All because some people may end up upgrading :rolleyes:

    There's a great interview at 53:23 that basically takes apart his argument. By his logic, we should all be using Nokia bricks, as they make calls, don't they? You don't need to upgrade that!

    He does make a few good points - for example, Apple could make it easier to replace the battery in an iPhone, even if it wasn't directly removable via an access cover. And yes, lightbulb manufacturers were sneaky 40 years ago, but does that apply today?

    The programme is OK - I find the presenter condescending (he berated a man for lining up to buy a phone. Maybe it's my capitalist side coming out, but it's his time and money - he can spend it how he likes!) and his logic is often flawed, making it seem like Apple and other companies are putting guns to our heads and forcing us to upgrade, but it provides interesting interviews with iFixit at around 50 minutes, a former designer for Apple, and Apple consumers.

    Have Apple mastered the art of selling new things? Sure. But are they at fault for people wanting to buy their products? Well, yes, but that's no reason for them to be criticised. They're just doing their job.
     
  2. Jessica Lares, Jul 14, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014

    Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #2
    Apple doesn't make us upgrade. It's all in people's minds. And honestly, there are tons of people on tech message boards that shouldn't be on them, because they're pathetic. You know, the people who are always asking if it's a good time to upgrade, and if it's worth it etc.

    I've only had the original iPhone 2G, iPhone 4, and now an iPhone 5S. And before that, I only had an iPod 3rd gen, and an iPod Video. I only upgrade when my stuff breaks, which is really how it should be. There are too many people who think that they have to have the latest and greatest around here, and it's like ugh. Enjoy your tech for what it is, use it, and stop trying to pass yourselves as journalists.

    I think we've moved away from removable batteries because consumers don't know how to buy them properly and or are open to accepting third-party counterfeits. They put price over safety.

    I'll check out that program in a bit, even though I disagree with it too. :p

    EDIT: I thought it was really good, and it does fit in with my thoughts exactly - Companies do this to us, and it's really the consumers fault for falling for it.

    The lightbulb thing was pretty ironic, I can't believe they would fine companies for not complying with the rules! :eek: In my case, my dad doesn't allow us to use the lights during the day, and instead tells us to open the windows instead. Even during the night (like right now), I rely on the light coming from my computer and device screens.

    It's sad that that guy could still use the printer cartridge after resetting it three times. That's just sick. I don't know about the car thing though, if people were updating every year like they wanted them to, then that's just crazy. But then I know someone who just rents cars and has actually never owned one.

    I never had heard about the iPod battery issue campaign. I knew that some people had problems with their battery though. My hard drive on my 3rd gen was the thing that made me upgrade.

    As for IKEA, that ad was just bad (and was sad, up until that guy interrupted the moment, then I just laughed). I think IKEA has its place though, and that's with the apartment crowd, and people like me who still live with our parents. We're not ready to blow $1,000 on a huge bed set, a leather couch, and nice tables. If you're married with kids, it doesn't seem like a bad idea to have the same furniture for years and years (the kitchen table we have is older than me even, and so is all the furniture in my room). The only thing that needs replacing generally is the couch and outdoor furniture.

    I really am breaking in this new keyboard, aren't I? :D I'm going to watch the other two parts now.
     
  3. cambookpro thread starter macrumors 603

    cambookpro

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3
    I agree - it's definitely our fault for falling for it, I don't think companies can be blamed for making better products.

    Yeah, there were lots of good points (and shocking truths!) about the printer, lightbulb and to some extent the automotive industry. At least with LED bulbs now, they're meant to last 20 years+, though the ones I've had only seem to last a fraction of that time...


    I didn't really mind the ad, but agree that IKEA definitely has it's place. I mean, my desk cost £17... :p And I have no plans to throw it away any time soon!
     
  4. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    #4
    I watched the two other parts this morning. Really good (I didn't know it was a part of the Open University, love their iTunes U stuff).

    The medicine stuff scared me. I knew they were doing it, but I didn't know how far they were actually going.

    ----

    Going back to the electronic waste stuff... I think it's sad that they have to discard most of it, but then so does the majority of other industries. My mother was even telling me how at Blockbuster they had to set unused inventory on fire before they'd throw it out.

    Someone in another thread here was saying how one of the first cars he gave away as a donation was given to a lady who then went to go trade it in for a better car with a payment.

    And that's exactly why they can't just give unsold stuff to whoever. Because if THEY can't sell it, the next person who gets their hands on it, is going to do whatever they can, to do so. Charities will most likely want to create their own storefront for donations, and whoever finds one at Goodwill will just throw it on eBay for easy money.

    It's sad, but that is the truth.
     

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