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.