10 December 2015

Angela's (risen from her) Ashes

Regular, gentle, reader should recall my musings in the wake of Angela's induction into the Apple pantheon, as uber-marketer. In sum, I said that such an appointment was a tactical and strategic mistake... if Tim and Angela believed, and acted on such belief, that her stint with Burberry, and strategy employed there, made a bit of sense for Apple.

Burberry sells coats to the 1%. Burberry has a built-in plan: sell the Burberry coat appropriate to each occasion. Even the 1% aren't, on the whole, stupid enough to buy the idea that they should have an iPhone for the office, one for at home, one for the Hamptons, one for ... Nonsense, of course. What I proposed, and also in the macro world, was that an economy with massive, and growing, right skew of income and wealth required ever more differentiable bits of bling to entice moolah from those with more of it than brains. Kind of like buying Manhattan, but day after day.

Well, it's widely reported that Apple has annointed another source of bling for the Apple Store. The Times story mentions that the website offers up the execrable B&O products; heavy on odd design, light on good sound. The Apple Way.

Angela&Tim must be reading here, since they've done what I said was needed; ever more different bling items. We've had such high inequality America before, almost the entire history of the country from inception to the end of WWII. Equality and voting democracy are really the exception, just the couple of decades ending with the OPEC oil embargo in 1973, rather than the rule. As to the latter, the Supremes are about to hand the country over to the right wingnuts through the expediency of redefining how population is counted for apportionment purposes. And, once again, the Dems have been asleep at the switch. The case asserts that only eligible voters (and such are not explicitly counted anywhere) should be counted as population in the enforcement of one-man, one-vote. The rural states, being mostly mad, old, exploited white people, are the heart of rightwing-ism. The urban states are younger with larger families, and more semi-legal residents. Nevermind that such has no historical basis. That's never stopped Roberts and the rest in the past. Bring back the good olde days of the Gilded Age and negroes counted as only 3/5 of a person.

Just fur instance:
In 1793, for example, Southern slave states had 47 of the 105 members but would have had 33, had seats been assigned based on free populations.

What all this means to Angela&Tim is clear: while they've been able, so far, to get really, really rich on one device, those days are numbered. China, so far, hasn't moved the iPhone needle all that much. So long as the Angela&Tims of the world focus solely on the upper X% of a market, they've explicitly limited their, well, market. In order to grow in the presence of a stagnant, at best, TAM, they must provide to that TAM evermore intoxicating bling. That's not an easy job, and until the iPhone, one might believe that Apple hadn't yet done it.

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