Missing the Point

Thanks for all the comments on my Disposable Computing post. Alas, I’m beginning to see why sites like Daring Fireball don’t allow comments. Not that anyone was rude; it’s just that everyone missed the point. Every last one of you. (Well, except commenter “John”, who pointed out an inaccuracy in my post.) Here’s what that post was not about:

  • How many iPhones I’ve had over the years
  • The economics of owning an iPad vs. owning a Kindle
  • How long any given Apple product lasted (yours or mine)
  • How durable previous generations of Kindles are
  • The inherent value of the iPhone 3GS or iPad 1
  • The difference in quality between E-ink and LCD displays

Here’s what the post was about:

  • Apple products tend to have great build quality and durability
  • Marco Arment’s $79 Kindle review used the terms “cheap” and “disposable” to describe the Kindle.
  • The last thing I want in my life is cheap and disposable objects
  • I’d rather have objects that are more durable and likely to last
  • So I’d rather have an iPad than a $79 Kindle.

Contigo thermal mug

That’s about it. I’ve never used a Kindle device, just the Kindle iOS app. I don’t know how crappy the new Kindle actually is. Maybe Marco’s wrong, and the $79 Kindle is actually incredibly well-built and durable and will last for years. I just know that if it appears to be cheap and non-durable, I don’t want it. And I think Marco is a pretty reliable source. So I don’t want a $79 Kindle.

Perhaps my analogy of the $79 Kindle to a Dixie cup was a wee bit overwrought. Sorry about that; it occurred to me as I was writing the piece and I felt that it captured what I wanted to day. Because, you know, I’d rather drink my coffee out of a Contigo thermal mug than out of a Starbucks paper cup. Maybe that’s not fair.

Starbucks plastic mug

So how about this? The $79 Kindle is a Starbucks plastic mug. Not quite Dixie-cup disposable, and the advertising helps keep the price down.


Jenda wrote:

So instead of a cheap plastic mug

you'd rather buy a beautiful carved glass goblet that you either throw away wasting all that money or have to carry with you until you finally get home and add it to your collection? Kindle is a means to an end and as such it is pretty good. As you'd find out if you tried one .. and if you tried to read something on your durable iWhatever while sitting in a tram or bus or something with the lighting changing all the time and compared that with readons on something e-ink based.