Like a lot of geeks and a lot of people in journalism, I paid close attention to the weeks of hype and rumors, and then the official announcement yesterday, of Apple’s potentially “game-changing” new tablet computer, the iPad. For weeks, the tech media have passed along rumor after rumor about the device and its features, but the most vexing of all rumors was the name. Blogs tracked down trademark filings and obscure documents and the main contenders for the name were “iSlate” and “iTablet.” At the last minute, “iPad” was proposed.
And during Apple’s hour-and-a-half media event unveiling the gadget, Steve Jobs immediately announced it would indeed be called the “iPad.”
Then I immediately thought, “Wow, I wonder how the Japanese are going to deal with this name?”
The iPod has been long-established in Japan as the premiere digital music player, as it is all over the world. I saw “i-pahd-do” everywhere in Tokyo, in shop windows and being used by music fans, with those iconic but crappy white earbuds.
Now comes the iPad. And I predict there will be some major consumer confusion stirred up in Japan. Continue reading →
I’ve been a fan of Apple’s TV commercials for the iPod since long before I got my own iPod.
The instantly recognizable campaign, with the silhouetted figures dancing with their iPods in hand and the “iconic” white earbuds and wire flopping around are just plain cool. A couple of weeks ago, Apple launched its latest TV commercial, which features “pop-lock” dancers doing their robotic, hip-hoppy thing to their ‘Pods.
Then, I realized that I never see people in real life listening to iPod and moving along to the music like the silhouettes in these commercials. Continue reading →
When Barbie was â€œborn” into the Mattel family of toys in 1959, she wasnâ€™t just a doll. She was the epicenter of a retail revolution.
When parents bought their baby-boomer girls a Barbie, they were agreeing to an unspoken but implicit contract with the toy store to return time and again and buy stuff â€“ lots more stuff â€“ for Barbie.
Thatâ€™s how Mattel envisioned her. A kid wouldnâ€™t be happy with just the Barbie and some clothes like any earlier doll would offer. Nope, Mattel created an entire fantasy world, with price tags attached to every damned thing in that world, from friends like Midge and sister Skipper, and of course, the sexless boyfriend Ken (whose irony-drenched advertising slogan was â€œKenâ€¦. Heâ€™s a Doll!”) to Barbie houses, Barbie Sports cars, carrying cases, closets, apartments with Barbie-sized furniture, picnic sets and even a tiny Barbie Doll for Barbie to own! Continue reading →