The Onion- Apple Products and Obsolesence

By Lara
Apple Fans Chopping Off Hands In Anticipation Of New iHand

I came across this the other day after a friend sent me the link and laughed it off. The insistent  following that Apple and the Steve Jobs empire has developed is often poked fun at- while it continues to comprise an important part of our technological landscape. It was not until reading Vance Packard’s piece on obsolescence that I began to think about this issue seriously. If kitchen and household wares were the obsolescent market of the 50’s and 60’s- technology is perhaps on the forefront of our concept of the obsolete today.

While investments in commodities such as washers an  mixers and furniture remain for many  (and I am speaking strictly in the context of certain areas of the US) an act of long term investment, technology is considered increasing disposable, as we see tv’s and computers outdated in a few months as newer models emerge, and what is considered compatible is forcibly changed by manufacturers. Apple is perhaps the most known for this, coming out with new models of their products every few months or so, changing the paradigm of function so that products older than a couple years are all of a sudden not only by their standards stylistically obsolete but also functionally.

Which brings to question in the matter of manufactures and marketers have the ability to control obsolescence in our society, the power that by determining what is produced they are also determining our conception of what is worthy enough to be considered waste.


1 Comment»

  cindypound wrote @

equal parts hilarious and totally biting social critique. that’s the onion for you. these guys are brilliant.


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