A playful technology that comes to mind that is extremely commercialized is the Iphone series by Apple. I think this is a good example because ever since the first Iphone came out, newer versions are introduced every couple of years and despite the fact that the iphones are pretty much all the same, people continue to be interested in the new ones and purchase them. On the other hand, Apple has a fantastic marketing department; they make every new product appear as if you must have it and the last one is expired. The iphone is in itself a phone, but the device includes many other aspects which can be further useful including: you can watch movies, have access to the internet, download games and applications, access your email, listen to music, an mp3 player, take pictures/videos, etc. It has many distinct features that allow it to have a competitive edge and also be commercialized from different aspects.
Forced/planned obsolescence – As mentioned above, Apple does a great job of marketing their new products and making it appear as if the old ones are “expired”. The old iphones are still usable for as long as you can make it last, but people still want to buy the new iphones because it’s the newer version, even though there are only a few distinct changes such as better camera quality, a few more functions and a sleeker design.
The Profit Motive – Iphones are marketed to death when they are on the market. Apple continues to release new commercials and advertise the current phone to many markets so they can increase their profit. For example, the Iphone had just released the Iphone 4 and not too long later, they released the Iphone 4s. The phone was exactly the same, the only difference was that the camera quality was slightly better and there was the introduction of Siri (a function that allows you to talk to your phone). The 4s was marketed as Apple’s newest and most innovative product, even though it had mostly the same functions as the previous model. Most people were waiting for the Iphone 5, but seeing the “new” version of iphone 4 coming out they had to get it. As Garfield stated in his chapter, “cosmic encounter remains enjoyable because it is constantly new”. And there’s no doubt that as soon as the iphone 5 comes out people will trade in their phones for an upgrade.
Franchising - Something that came out after the Iphone was the Ipad. While it may appear to be a laptop, in my perspective, I see it as a mere bigger version of the iphone (hence the “I_____” similarity). The Iphone did a great job of reaching the phone market, as it steadily became the most used phone in the world. Then Apple decided to expand their market and reach out to the laptop users and develop an innovative laptop with a touch screen. While the computer world may have never seen anything like it before, it seems Apple decided to use their Iphones as the model for the Ipad. The Ipad has all the same functions as the Iphone (except for being able to call people) and it even has the same exterior design and screen style.