Apple Perfects Its Mind Control – Convinces Blogosphere That Retail is Great Sale Price

I just read the strangest post over at The Verge. It seems that Apple has marked down the refurbished iPads slightly; they now cost a few bucks less than before. You can now get the original iPad for $350, a refurbished iPad 2 for $400, and so on. The strange part here is that The Verge seems to think this is a good deal. WTF?

I’m not sure quite what is wrong here, but I wouldn’t buy these iPads. That $350 original iPad is a terrible deal, and the refurb iPad 2 is an even worse deal, given that you can get a new iPad 2 for only $400.

Folks, if this is the first time you’ve seen it, let me introduce you to the Apple effect.

There’s something I’ve noticed in the several years that I’ve been watching the blogosphere. It looks to me like Apple long ago perfected a mind control technique and they’ve been using it on bloggers. It’s why the tech blogs report on Apple innovating instead of adding features already found elsewhere. It’s also the reason for the unequivocal reviews some have posted as well as the root cause behind the belief that no matter how small of a discount, any Apple sale price is a good deal.

I don’t have any proof yet, but I suspect that Apple is releasing some type of chemical into the air at their press events.  That would be the best explanation for some of the gushing audience responses I’ve seen while watching from home.

It’s also been going on for quite some time; I first noticed the effect in fall 2009, when Engadget reported that $20 off the price of a refurbished iPod Touch was a wonderful price cut. That was also the last time I fell for the con; now I check prices carefully. And if Apple was successfully applying the mind control then, they probably started using it years before.

Did you know that I’ve never  been to an Apple event? I just realized how lucky that made me. While all the big guys go and drink the kool-aid I stay at home and note the effects. Do you suppose that means I’m in the control group?

Update: Scroll down for the comments. One reader is arguing that the iPad 2 refurb is a good deal because it has extra Flash (I disagree). Another is pointing out that there was a cheaper model offered with this sale which have since sold out. This is true, but that was long gone before The Verge posted this story.

Folks, aside from that one cheaper model the prices mentioned in this sale aren’t all that good. I stand by my post.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Hudin8 May, 2012

    That chemical released in to the air would be a hot gas comprised of mostly methane. It’s really tiring to see how little Apple has to do in order to get the press that it does.

    Also tiring is when people ask me advice for which laptop to buy and all they’re really asking me to do is confirm their desire to buy some Apple machine, which I refuse to do as they’re overpriced and far too fragile.

  2. andrea f8 May, 2012

    It could be argued the control group is too small for statistical evaluation.

  3. monopole8 May, 2012

    Good! you got the sunglasses

    The RDF is very strong

  4. burger flipper8 May, 2012

    Strangely written post, but the crux is in the final sentence (and that is the deal people are getting excited about elsewhere): a refurb iPad 2 with a full year warranty is being sold by Apple for $319. That is a very good deal for someone looking to pick up their first iPad.

    1. Nate Hoffelder8 May, 2012

      I’m not seeing the $320. I’m seeing $400 for the iPad 2 and $350 for the original. Click on the link and tell me what you see.

      1. burger flipper8 May, 2012

        The very last thing in the post you linked is the price $319.

        They are referring to this deal (which looks like it sold out):

        1. burger flipper8 May, 2012
  5. vaughnmr8 May, 2012

    I think burger flipper has flipped… I see 1st gen ipad starting at 350, ipad 2 32gb at 400.

    1. Nate Hoffelder8 May, 2012

      No, I think the other blogs got old news and didn’t bother to confirm it. I checked before I posted.

  6. Alvaro8 May, 2012


    I think you are right about the Apple effect, but completely wrong in your article. The iPad 2 selling at Apple website costs $399 for a 16GB model. And the refurb model selling for $399 is the one with 32GB, so it’s actually a good deal, since this Ipad is not available anymore, and if it were, it would cost at least $499.

    What is even more, the 16GB iPad was available for $319 (already sold out), which was actually a great deal.

    Pls check your info before posting. I don’t love or hate Apple, but we have to be fair when informing the readership.

    1. Nate Hoffelder8 May, 2012

      When I read The Verge article the $320 iPad was long gone. The same goes for the Gizmodo article that was posted a few hours later. In both cases the cheaper iPad was gone before they even posted.

      And I don’t see the iPad 2 with 32GB at $400 being a good deal. It’s the same price as a new iPad 2. It is at best a trade off of extra RAM in exchange for a better CPU.

  7. R. E. Hunter8 May, 2012

    I guess Jobs passed on the secret of his Reality Distortion Field before he died.

  8. Alan8 May, 2012

    I just went to the website and saw iPad 2 refurbished, 16 GB, white or black, $319.
    Not sure where you were looking, I used the link from your article. Here it is as well:

    Seems like a great deal to me, $80 less than you reported.

    1. Nate Hoffelder8 May, 2012

      Did you notice that it said out of stock?

  9. Alan8 May, 2012

    The Black is still in stock now, as was the white when I wrote this.
    Apparently it’s going in and out of stock.
    Black reads 1 to 3 day shipping.

    1. DavidW9 May, 2012

      No it doesn’t. It is out of stock too.

      This only seems like a great deal because some bloggers don’t understand that the release of a new ipad has greatly diminished the value of the older models (since they have inferior hardware). It is not worth the December price anymore, and so their “great deal” assertion is deeply flawed.

      This would only be fair pricing if they were new and not refurb, and still not great pricing.

  10. Sagar16 May, 2012

    FYI: The deal is back in stock. This is the ONLY good deal going on because it comes with the same warranty and return policy of a new iPad.

  11. Apple Perfects Its Mind Control – Convinces Blogosphere That Retail is Great Sale Price | The Passive Voice13 June, 2012

    […] that $20 off the price of a refurbished iPod Touch was a wonderful price cut.Link to the rest at The Digital ReaderClick to Tweet/Email/Share This Post wpa2a.script_load(); Apple10 Comments to “Apple Perfects […]

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