The Power of the iDevice

Last week in class, we learned a lot about what constitutes power by definition and in terms of various power relations.  In Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, he states that power is “the multiplicity of force relations immanent in the sphere in which they constitute their own organization”(92).  Power itself can relate to the hierarchy of a boss to his employees or even the more traditional teacher-student scenario among others.  Whatever the case, it exhibits a relationship of inequalities in which one or multiple groups are below another in a system of the “ruler versus the ruled”(94).

When it comes to technology, however, the aspect of power through strategic relations arises where “others that are quick to compromise, interested or sacrificial; by definition, they can only exist in the strategic field of power relations”(96).  The concept of power in terms of this definition made me think of Apple’s dominant power to attract the consumer and its supposed power to attract more customers simply off of sleek designs and its name brand logo.  For instance, news of Apple’s iWatch has swiftly been taking over various tech review sites and many are projecting the new product to be a success, as according to USA, the watch has already tallied 1,000,000 pre-sales!  Samsung has always been a close competitor, but always seems to falter to Apple’s powerful and ultra die-hard consumer fan base.  Even when Apple has blatantly copied the product line of Samsung, for instance with the Galaxy Tablet versus the iPhone and now the S6 versus the iWatch.  In another tech review article I read, the S6 and iWatch were briefly compared and were described evenly but concisely and had comparable flaws and advantages.  Nonetheless, in the end of the description, the Apple iWatch prevailed over the Samsung S6, even though these watches have been out for years.

Why is Apple such a powerful force in technology market and why are people so quick to pre-order devices they aren’t even sure will serve a real purpose in their daily technological needs.  How did Apple come to establish such power and can it be taken away in the emergence of another tech company? What do you think?

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