A revolution is occurring across college campuses everywhere. No, it’s not the revolution your parents dug in the 60s. I’m referring to the Apple revolution— or, “Apple-ution.”
It seems Generation Y, as we are called, ushered in this change. College students are seen by many to be the barometers of what is hip these days, which is strange since our budgets tend to make bank tellers laugh at us when we deposit our measly paychecks. Yet we always seem to be on the cusp of the newest, freshest gear around.
The advertising team at Apple saw a void existing within our generation. We, the “Reagan babies,” lacked a staple icon, a defining part of our culture that explains in a nutshell— or, in this case, with a white pair of earphones— what we are all about.
Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, achieved this with the iPod, a name that may go down as the prefix to our generation. We love music, and we love being on the go, which is the iPod’s motivation. College-age kids in the 1960s had their hippie flower power, the 70s their disco, the 80s their MTV, the 90s had their flannel, and we have our iPod.
The people at Apple have demonstrated innovative ways to get you to purchase said iPod— U2, AIDS, Dylan, Gorillaz, Johnny Depp and oh those silhouettes. Perhaps the most genius aspect of the iPod, and the part Apple likes best, is that it has turned our generation into a Mac Generation, or, dare I say, “Mac-eration.”
Apple’s new ads are the only place you need to go to find evidence of this. It’s their depiction of the generation gap at its finest. You’ve seen them: The prototypical “square” cubicle dweller who can’t seem to understand those wacky kids and their Apples.
The Apple spokesman is equally as prototypical. He’s the hip, youthful antidote that pretty much shoots down whatever ill-conceived technological notion our PC friend, has with a quick wit and some pretty nice tech specs to back him up.
For as obvious a message as the commercials have, they raise the idea that maybe the Apple is ushering in a new generation of technology just as Generation Y is on the threshold of ushering in something new in United States.
It’s a strange connection, but the facts back it up. The Facebook group “Apple Students” has nearly 444,000 members. Microsoft’s student group: A mere 14,000. Apple’s stock has gone from around $11 in January of 2004 to an unfathomable peak of $97 at the beginning of the year. Microsoft’s stock, while still successful, has remained relatively static in the same period. Apple is clearly gaining the ground they had trailed Microsoft for so long.
And since windows-based systems have been ever dominant, so come the growing pains. Here at Pepperdine, they are apparent. The e-mail system, Microsoft Outlook, is expectedly not wholly compatible with Apples. Users frequently get a login timeout when trying to access mail, and often have to enter their passwords multiple times.
Also, despite the craze on Mac laptops, or MacBooks, of late, most divisions of Pepperdine discourage students from getting an Apple. The Business Division of Seaver does not allow it, neither do the Graziadio School of Business & Management, the School of Public Policy, and our School of Law.
Yet, at the Pepperdine computer store, the more price-conscious student would go for an Apple. They run at about $200 to $300 less than their Dell counterpart, and are much more compatible with the new iPod and your friends with other Macs.
This is where Apple’s brilliance climaxes. With a generation hooked, they keep innovation high, prices reasonable, they’ll keep wowing us until Bill Gates has an answer.