Purely marketing, I believe. Apple is nothing if not master of the glitzy sales pitch, and there's never been better proof of that than the iPad's current success… It's a fancy new toy, and--in the case of the iPad--one from Apple, at that. Never underestimate consumers' desire to impress each other with the latest and greatest gadget, especially if they're Apple fans.
Classic. Noyes is aware that Apple sold 15 million iPads in nine months, but because she doesn't personally see the appeal, she constructs a reality in which millions of hard-working people will part with $500, $600, even up to $800 simply because of a slick 30-second TV ad. That's a bold claim. To put it extremely charitably.
Listen, I don't understand NASCAR: I really don't get it on any level. I don't know why people care. I even give my NASCAR friends a hard time about it. "Drive fast, turn left, repeat" and all that. But what I don't do is suggest that the only reason they like it is because some Don Draper type in a Nashville office put a spell on them that makes them want to spend five hours sitting on the couch making "vroom vroom" noises every Sunday.
You know what I did instead? I asked my friend Tim, the biggest NASCAR fan I know, to tell me a little bit about what he sees when he watches a race. It turns out there's a lot more to it than I would have guessed: strategy, technique, engineering, and more. I still don't really care to watch it myself (and yes, I still make the "drive fast turn left" joke occasionally), but I learned a little something about NASCAR. And more importantly, I learned a little something about culture and about my friend Tim.
And not to turn this into a sermon, but this actually does contain a lesson that we could all stand to learn. It's a lesson about humility. There's something in all of us that wants to assume that anyone who sees things differently than we do must be under some kind of spell: that Apple fans are all unwitting victims of Steve Jobs's marketing acumen, that your buddy's girlfriend doesn't really love him and is playing him for a fool, or that people who believe in a particular doctrine have surrendered their minds (and souls) to nefarious religious propaganda.
And it's not just lazy and insulting to think about people this way. It's also deeply arrogant. It comes from an assumption that you are always right about everything. This is quite unlikely, you know. It leads to arguments and bitterness in your relationships, frustration in the workplace, and alienation from God. So the next time you find a person or group of people who disagree with you, try to understand why they think they're right instead of coming up with some explanation for why they're wrong. But be careful, because you might end up changing your mind.
Or worse, buying an iPad.