Apple has now sold over a million iPads, and a new survey reported that one in five consumers plan to buy one. It is further proof that Apple has become more than a technology company: it is a cultural vanguard. Steve Jobs lets everyone know what’s next. And those that buy his devices often define themselves by their allegiance to the Almighty Mac.
With such influence comes power, and sometimes that power is wielded in strange ways. In matters of the heart. Occasionally, in matters of the nipple.
There is, for example, the new dating site purely for Apple lovers. The site, called Cupidtino (a clever wink at Cupertino, site of Apple’s headquarters), aims to connect “Machearts” and other iPhiles. Where once potential matches were predicated on such deal-breakers as religion and desire to have children, we have added a new criterion: Operating System. The site essentially separates the Macs from the plebian PCs – ostensibly matching people up as the first step in creating another generation of avid Apple consumers. I expect that the site will do quite well. I also expect lame double-entendres to be rampant (“hardware” and “port” may be among the euphemistic onslaught).
It’s clear that, perhaps more than any other brand, Apple has made technology sexy. And yet, interestingly, the company appears only marginally comfortable with sex.
The iPad has been noted as the potential savior of a newspaper industry in precipitous decline. Yet access to this wunderpad requires certain sacrifices. It was reported that the German newspaper Bild (as well as other European media outlets) are upset because iPads will not carry their content as-is. The reason? Nipples. European media is famously less puritanical compared to its American counterparts, and many newspapers have no problem with nudity. Apple, however, has a policy against tawdry content—even fashion magazines must remove any trace of errant nipple exposure. Yet according to a report in Business Insider, the policy isn’t the same across the board.
For small, independent sites, the policy mandates no ‘overtly sexual content’. More established brands like Playboy and Sports Illustrated may have sexual content, but no nudity. Still others, like Netflix, may stream R-rated movies to your iPad. So it seems that Apple’s aversion to sex is elastic, and accommodations are meted out according to the size of a content provider’s, ahem, assets.
Hey, Apple may be sexy. But it isn’t stupid.