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Apple Targets My Wallet With iPod

Just A Thought - Apple Targets My Wallet With iPod

by , 9:00 AM EST, November 8th, 2002

I want an iPod.

I can say that now and feel really good when doing so. When the iPod first came out I honestly couldn't see what the big deal was. I mean, come on! It's just an MP3 player, right? Admittedly, a very cool MP3 player, but what price are you willing to pay for cool? US$400 for a little, admittedly cool device that plays MP3s was asking way too much in my book. Of course, I am a man of modest means, an MP3 player costing US$100 was stretching the limits of my ability to own music playing coolness.

All of that has changed now. I'm still poor, but not miserably so, I can elevate my sights to perceive a costlier range of delightful digital devices to include MP3 players that cost US$200. The iPod is not on my gadget landscape yet, but it is just over the horizon; I can get an refurbished iPod for about US$240, and a new 5GB model are now US$299. So close I can almost hear it playing strains of Sing a Mean Tune, Kid (Chicago III. 1971).

I want an iPod.

I've been good. I've been saving my pennies, my garage is full of empty soda bottles, and in a few months my hair will be long enough to sell again. It's not easy trying to save money instead of giving my credit card a workout, and its even harder to avoid buying what I want now on a credit plan. Apple has this '90-days Same As Cash' deal going on now and it is sooooo tempting, and the thought of instant digital gratification is alluring. So far, I've resisted. It was good that the closest store that sells iPods was at least 1/2 an hour from me. It was far enough away that I could avoid temptation, I could be strong.

I think Steve Jobs is psychic, I think he knows I want an iPod. I think he also knows that there's a shiny new Super Target barely 2 minutes from my front door. In fact, when I do a long jog, my route takes me right past the glowing red and white bull's eye. Steve Jobs knows this. I don't know how he knows, but I have to believe that he knows I visit Target at least once a week, whether I need to go or not. He knows that I like Target's cool stuff that's just that side of being cheap, but just this side of being slick. Steve Jobs had to know these things because Apple is now selling iPods at Target stores across the US.

Before iPods came to Target, the thought of owning one rested comfortably in the back of my mind, like old lazy dog who may perk its ears and wag its tail when you call it, but otherwise it just lies around content with the knowledge that you'll get around to petting it eventually.

Now that iPods are being displayed just outside of spitting distance from my front door, the idea of owning that little white and silver digital jewel ricochets around my psyche like a Chihuahua on a triple dose of speed. My wallet spontaneously combusts the instant I walk by the electronics counter. If I balance my credit card on the tip of my forefinger it will slowly rotate to point in the direction of Target. When I jog by, even though the Target is locked up tight at 5:30 in the morning, I break out in a cold sweat and I feel a strange tug in my jogging shorts where, if they had pockets, my wallet would be.

This is not good, not good at all. You see, I believe that, if the iPod does well at Target, soon I'll see an iBook winking at me fetchingly at some counter when I make my weekly stop, far too close for comfort. Whatever electronic wonderment Jobs and crew offers up in the coming months may find its way to a Target near me also. No more being good, no more saving up for the gadgets I want; the attraction will be too great and I'll just have to buy it. My kids will go without shoes, my wife will have to make do with a tree branch fashioned into a crutch, and that eviction notice will be thought of as just a suggestion.

Man! I really want an iPod!

Curse you, Steve Jobs! Curse you!!!

Vern Seward is a frustrated writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He's been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

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