As of yesterday evening (local time here), people in the US have been able to pre-order the iPad. Apparently.
The Apple Store worldwide was taken down for about an hour, and the only one that was reopened with the ability to pre-order the iPad was the US one.
And yet it seems like everyone is falling over themselves to shout about this like it’s the next great event! All the websites are proclaiming this new fantastic piece of news, shouting it from the rooftops!
But what does it really mean?
It means nothing has changed since the day before. The only difference is that the people who have a postal address in the US, and a US credit card, can now give money to Apple.
Well excuse me, but I could give them money right now if I wanted to: I could go to a local Apple retailer (we don’t have Apple stores here) and hand over some hard-earned cash … but the difference is that I would walk home with something I actually purchased!
So if I were in the US and had the requisite funds, would I pre-order an iPad? No. I don’t think it makes much sense to hand over money a month in advance of receiving something, when instead I could wait for the day it is actually released and then hand over the money and receive it in a couple of days. Or even go pick it up in the store.
The Global Village
But the thing that annoys me the most about this whole episode? Just imagine for a moment that you are the same person you are now, but that you are not in the US. And that you only have access to a “foreign” (which is what “local” means to you right now) online Apple Store. For the sake of argument, lets say that the “somewhere” is the UK or Australia, because culturally it’s not that much of a leap to imagine. And they don’t speak funny. Much.
We hear about globalisation, and how nowadays we all live in the “global village”. The earth is flat now, remember?
Well yeah – if you (like me) were an English speaker, who likes his tech news as much as the next man, and who has an interest in Apple products bordering on the unhealthy … you would be sitting there wondering why these people in a far-off land were getting so worked up about being able to pre-order an item that has been announced around the world, but can still only be pre-ordered in the US.
Worse than that – here in the unfashionable end of the global village we don’t even know how many of our Dollars, Pounds, Baht or Dong this thing is even going to cost. Or even when it will be available to buy.
So … to answer the question all the excitable Apple-chasing websites are asking: no. I am not particularly excited about the pre-order non-event, and no I did not pre-order one.