“Apple, do you care?”

Apple, do you care?

Foxconn released another iPhone today. It has none of the features you wanted, like better battery lifei or an unbreakable screen,ii and plenty of features that you’re getting anyways because fuck you that’s why.iii What, like consumer choice rules the world ? That might be a comforting story to tell yourself but the fact of the matter is that the dancing colours of aurora borealis have more of an impact. Regardless, you’ll be pleased to know that Foxconn (please stop fraudulently calling it “Apple“) still doesn’t give a shit about you nor the begging of 203/213 “people” like you who think that you can beg your way to salvation as if no old world peasant knelt on the edge of the market at any point in the last eight thousand years ever tried that one before. Foxconn only cares about Foxconn, which means employing as many Chinese as possible for as cheaply as possible. You don’t enter into the equation for as long as you replace forceful action with mere words on a page, particularly when that page is owned in whole by your enemies.

Carrying on.

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  1. While the iPhone X model claims “2 hours greater battery than the 7,” bank on that benchmark being the 7-normal not the larger-batteried 7-plus with which the X roughly shares dimensions, and furthermore that the X won’t have better battery life than the basic 8. The OLED’s 458ppi in a 5.8″ diagonal frame will unavoidably hog stored electrons. []
  2. This latter desire, an unbreakable screen, speaks to one of the key drivers of plastification for the ape generation. Glass is too fragile for spear-chuckers (even if it is less brittle than metal*) and wouldn’t the whole world just be a lot safer and more one-click-shopping friendly if it were plasdique ?

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    *Quoth the ever-varied and ever-enlightening logs:

    mircea_popescu: glass is a kind of porcelain for the needs of this discussion
    mircea_popescu: as you’d use lead-alum-borax-doped glass
    mircea_popescu: (also “not brittle” item in same sense, at that)
    asciilifeform: but yes this deserves to be settled experimentally. nao how to make pistons, cylinders, flappers…
    mircea_popescu: (for the curious : porcelain is heat-rearranged Al2 Si2 05 (OH)4 ; glass is more generally heat-rearranged Si + metal)
    mircea_popescu: the microscopic reason it is such a strong material is the oxigen-linked silica crystaline patterns that form.
    mircea_popescu: the reason steel loses out is that the carbon is a shittier oxigen (more valences, weaker valences) and iron a dubious silicate.
    mircea_popescu: a fine example : porcelain does not swell. metals dilate significantly. suddenly, a different sort of brittle emerges.
    asciilifeform: ductility is not ‘different sort of brittle’ omfg
    mircea_popescu: i was discussing the above “intuitive notion of brittleness is useless”
    asciilifeform: take iron, and get fatigue — vs — take ceramic, and get brittle – is a very real engineering tension
    asciilifeform: sorta why we have ferrocement
    mircea_popescu: your definition of “ceramic” is not mine.
    asciilifeform: ( these are not even fully disjoint concepts; there is even such a thing as ‘metallic glasses’ )
    mircea_popescu: yes.
    mircea_popescu: the important categories in this discussion are metals (ie, materials where the electrons don’t sit with their atom ; form cloud. these — always conductive electrically) ; porcelains (or glasses, or ceramics, or how’d you call them) and then plastics (polymerized item).
    mircea_popescu: in this discussion wood is a plastic. and other such intuitively-surprising items.
    ben_vulpes enjoying the surprises

    I’m with Ben here! []

  3. Or perhaps more accurately given the new infrared camera + “secure enclave” facial poopognition, “because fuck your face that’s why.” Either way, what you want doesn’t enter into the equation. To take one very choice quote from an earlier article :

    This is partially true but not quite all the way there. While it’s certainly the case that (Tier-X) component suppliers (ie. of microphones, speakers, LED screens, gyroscopes, CPUs, etc.) make such production targets and are largely bound to them by the simple size of the capital investment, what comes out the other side and into the consumer’s home is rarely confined to the initially intended market segment simply on account of fundamentally unpredictable market demand. Do you know which pair of Allen Edmonds you’ll wear the last Friday of next February ? It’s for the same reason that economic predictions are so fragile and so painful when they go wrong, as the Ukrainians under Stalin found out only too well.

    So whereas the aforementioned components might have originally been intended for smartphones, as demand for such devices peaks and then ultimately wanes, those component supplies, with the help of the front-line companies we know and love, will simply invent themselves whole “new” classes of products that are really product lines that previously existed (ie. cars, watches, TVs, etc.) but are now sold as “feature-enhanced”, “connected”, and “smart” devices, when in fact they’re little more than dumping grounds for (mostly) Chinese component manufacturers who’ve achieved such economies of scale and have so much skin in the game that they must offer their widgets to vendors for “almost free.” The net result is that the product market of almost every consumer category is flooded with so much pointlessly “improved” crud that it’s damn near impossible (and if not yet, it will be before long) to buy a basic dishwasher with a manually rotating settings dials that will last for 30 years, for example.


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