Apple’s Aesthetics are short-lived

Rumored iTab or iSlate

Apple, Inc. has a reputation for being innovative, creative, and design savvy. Their products (not just computers anymore) stir a journalistic rumor industry that creates the best of free advertising for any business. The word of mouth marketing works among Apple loyalists and PC users.

Apple, Inc. is known for its aesthetic designs of technology that woo the world.

From the user-friendly interface of its operating systems (Mac OS X, iPhone, iPod), to futuristic looking hardware, Apple knows what attracts its customers.

However, when one looks at the history of Apple’s successes, the uber-hyped product announcements are what consumers of Apple’s products live for. What was once attractive and beautiful in 2001 (think the clam-shell MacBooks) is now unwanted.

Aesthetics of this kind are temporary. The need to constantly renew designs and keep a loyal customer base is nothing more than a Brave New World approach to creativity. What is truly beautiful and appealing in today’s culture, will become yesterday’s fad tomorrow. This philosophy of what aesthetically attracts us is not true beauty at all.

True creative beauty surpasses time. It is not short-lived.
Even once in a lifetime expressions of beauty attract through memory long after the initial creation.

Think of the masterpieces of Rembrandt or Picasso. These master works of art continue to attract  art viewers year after year. This is what makes them masterworks. Their beauty is strong long after their creation. These pieces were not seen in a media rich digital world and then tossed aside.

Steve Jobs will unveil his latest creation today in, of all places, an Art Museum. The invitation only Apple Media Event is at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Rumors speculate the device will be called the iPad. All the world knows is that it will be a computer tablet device, much like the iPhone, only larger.

Based on the aesthetic design of the iPhone, speculations on the Apple Tablet, will cause swarms of people to buy this product. Yet in a few short years, this miracle machine will be in a pile of other technology wonders in a Goodwill store.

Now, I am a long time Apple loyalist. I have used Macintosh computers exclusively since 1988 when I entered the business of Graphic Design. Even I admit to being mesmerized by the appeal of something new from Steve Jobs.

I clearly remember when my first Mac G4 arrived at the Marketing Firm I was working for at the time. The newness of the design was intoxicating. The thrill of using the fastest computer of the day was overwhelming.

Yet, the computer system froze within two hours of coming out of the box. Devastation overcame me. The newness was gone. The aesthetic appeal dampened and this beautiful machine was only a machine that needed to be re-booted. It had let me down.

When I think of what the Bible says about beauty and what is valuable,  the only thing that is truly beautiful is God’s glory. Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” – Ecclesiastes. 3:11 (ESV)

Everything man creates is temporary. From Rembrandt to Apple Inc., manmade objects will fade away in time. Yet what God creates is glorious and that glory lasts forever. He placed eternity into our hearts.

Let us remember that although the media buzz is all around Steve Jobs and Apple today, the glory of our Father in Heaven will be appealing tomorrow and forever. Jesus Christ is HIS glory.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” — Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)


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