Why an iPad Is a Stinky Christmas Gift

It's expensive, and addictive. Plus, Apple's profit margins are too high
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2010 6:02 AM CST
In this April 3, 2010 file photo showing customer uses an Apple iPad on the first day of Apple iPad sales at an Apple store in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)

(Newser) – There's at least one American who isn't hoping Santa puts an iPad under the tree. Lest your jaw drops too far, Brett Arends gives the 10 reasons why he's not hopping on the iPad/Christmas bandwagon:

  • They're going to be a heck of a lot cheaper in 2011: The iPad II will drop soonish, which means this year's model will follow the fate of the first iPhone, which went from $599 to $399 to the cost of a paperweight. "The average middle-class American earns maybe $16 an hour after taxes. So if you save, say, $150 on a product, that's more than nine hours' extra work. Of course, if you love your job so much you like putting in an extra day for free, go ahead."

  • Apple's gross profit margins are outrageous: Last Christmas, they were 41%, which is great for the company, and stockholders, but not for the Americans lining up to get iPads. "I don't want to support someone else's 60% markups. The smarter move is to invest in the Tiffanys of the world—and shop at the Wal-Marts."
  • The add-ons add up: Arends, ideally, would want a model with a 3G data plan that works anywhere. "And those start at $629, plus at least $15 a month. Total cost: at least $809, plus tax, in the first year, and $989 over two years. This I don't need."
  • The games: They're just too addictive. "A friend recently showed me some of the serious news apps on his iPad. I noticed that to get to them he first had to 'wave' us past several screens of games. Is he really using his iPad to read that article about the Indonesian economy, or is he playing Angry Birds? Hmmm."
Click here for reasons 5 through 10, which includes Arends' gripes about the Apple cult.

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