Arrival of the Future: Part 4 of 3 – On the release of Apple’s Ipad

The new apple product exists. It’s had projected existence for months in the form of internet speculation. But now, it’s real. “The future is here”. “It’s the next iphone”.  It will transform the way we relate with the internet, the way we communicate, the way we integrate technology into our life (doesn’t that phrase sound archaic now? Technology is already integrated – now we’re just talking about different manners for that integration to manifest in).
What is amazing about the ipad is apple’s ability to make a product which is both totally revolutionary, and which everyone already knows how to use. They really are the best capitalists the world has ever seen. Just watch the ipad video – you’ll feel as if you already own one.
Is anyone bored yet? Of course, I’m sure they will succeed – I’m sure that the Ipad will be just as much of a revolution as the iphone, ipod touch. The tactility of surface experience will be further radicalized. Already, my laptop feels old hat – why isn’t this screen a touch screen? The next generation (or perhaps the one after that) of normal laptops will all have touch screens. But this cycle, anticipation-realization-onto the next thing, is already becoming transparently just another instance of object fetishism (your desire for a commodity-fetishized object is never satisfied by its acquisition, so you shift your desire towards another object, which also fails to satisfy, etc…).
The truly amazing thing about the release of this device, is that precisely after watching the promotional material, I’m bored with it. I want to know what’s coming next (i-glasses?). Wait, turns out someone already makes those. Actually, the fact that they are already available makes me infinitely less interested in them. Who wants what is already available? I want what is not available yet – and perhaps precisely because it is not available. That is the way the commodity form sustains itself – by constantly  tarrying ahead, but being ungraspable, by remaining at the horizon.
It turns out, then, that the ipad is not only the device which “you don’t have change yourself for, it fits you the way you are”, but also the device which you don’t need to buy to enjoy, because it’s already part of your life. It’s a revolution precisely because you’re already bored with the ipad – but apple will still make a fortune because the world now needs to catch up and fill itself with them.


  1. You have to buy these for temporary satisfaction, while you lust after the next “revolutionary” version.

    Just hope they do in the pulp and printing industries. Why are they still printing phone books?


  2. I’m already satisfied – that’s what I mean by being bored. The product’s release is my consumption of it – there is no need for me to consume it physically.

    I’m not sure if phone books are a series problem. I think they are printed on recycled paper. A more serious problem is glossy magazines, which are toxic when they rot, and are less useful than phone books.


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