Although most of us at GloNo are de facto supporters of the Wintel cabal, there is a non-insignificant portion of the crew that believes that Apple is the way to go (or actually, Linux is the way to go but it has proven to be such a pain in the ass to master that its relevance is inappropriate—for now). While there may have been some questions vis-à-vis Apple’s use of poor grammar (“Think Different”) or the co-opting of historical figures to shill hardware (does anyone really think that Gandhi would have used a G4?), for the most part it is perceived to be more innocuous than, say, the use of “Start Me Up” by the fine folks in Redmond for the launch of Windows 95 (does anyone really think that Keith Richards would get excited by an operating system?).
Apple, of course, has long been known for its innovative designs and technologies. The iPod, for example, is certainly a clever device. A bit pricey, perhaps, but those whom we know who have them seem to find the unit’s functionality to be worth the deep swallow.
But when you think “Apple,” when you think “iPod,” do you think sufficiently differently enough to think…Madonna? It is a hard stretch. But be that as it may, for a limited time, until January 8, 2003, you can be the proud owner of an iPod with Madonna’s signature laser etched on the back of the case. Imagine! You can find it by going to Apple’s website or at Madonna’s (where, incidentally, you can hear multiple mixes of “Die Another Day”; interestingly, the radio mix is the weakest of the lot: go figure).
What will it cost you for this special Madonnaized iPod? About $50 more than if you were to get one with a blank back.
For those steeped in Apple lore, this signature situation is rather disturbing inasmuch as it, in some ways, is a mockery of something that made the company matter: Back when the original Mac was developed, back when “1984 won’t be 1984,” back when a pirate flag flew over a building in Cupertino, back when the developers were working so hard on developing a new product that there were broken lives and broken marriages along the way, it was decided that on the inside of the injection-molded case the signatures of the Mac’s developers would appear. (As you couldn’t add anything to the chassis of a Mac, you would be unlikely to ever open the case and see the names, but they were put there in testament to the work that had been done “to change the world.”) It was the sort of tribute that would be unthinkable of, say, IBM, a true sign of authenticity.
Now the signature is that of a fading pop star, and simply a marketing ploy.