Ho Ho Ho, Half-Price iPods (10/29/01)
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It's just two days before Halloween, and you all know what that means, right? You got it: most stores have had their Christmas displays up for about three weeks now. With less than two months to go, the holiday is bearing down on us like a runaway freight train-- and frankly, we fear for the welfare of our favorite red letter day. If you're one of those freaks who thinks that Christmas is all about peace on earth and good will towards men, then by all means, prepare to roast those chestnuts and sing those happy little songs. The rest of us, however, realize that Christmas is all about loot, and with the economy in its current state, this coming holiday may wind up being one of the grinchiest in recent memory.

Hey, here's a good one for modern times: what do you call a computer-industry worker who expects to remain employed come December? Give up? An optimist. (Ba-dum ching.) By extension, any computer-industry worker expecting a raise or some sort of holiday bonus this year is flirting with the possibility of spending the holidays in a padded cell, sucking fruitcake through a straw. What we're trying to say (in our oh-so-subtle way) is that things are bad out there, people... and despite the constant reminders that it's our duty to capitalism to spend money like water in an effort to jump-start the economy, the odds are pretty good that there just aren't going to be as many presents under the tree this year.

This dire set of circumstances raises two vital questions that burn in the hearts of every sentient being populating the earth's crust: what fate shall befall those unsung heroes, the employees at Apple? And how the heck does the company expect to move a ton of holiday iPods in an economy in which most of the few remaining families with $399 in the bank are trying to decide between buying heating oil or a winter's supply of generic kibble for the young'uns?

But fear not, true believers, for Apple has both situations well in hand. First of all, Apple has remained relatively unscathed given the Layoff Fever that infected most of its industry brethren this past year; yes, there have been pink slips at the mothership, but certainly nothing like the thousands of cuts announced by just about every other major computer manufacturer out there. While the vast majority of Apple's staffers will remain gainfully employed through the holiday season, however, faithful viewer Lola Starr informs us that His Steveness has issued a royal decree that his loyal subjects will have to live without raises or profit-sharing bonuses this time around-- a blow, to be sure, but hardly surprising given the times in which we live.

So where's the holiday cheer? Well, folks, rumor has it that Apple employees are getting one little perk this year (in addition to keeping their jobs, we mean): reportedly the Stevester announced to staffers that as a token of the company's appreciation, employees are eligible to purchase iPods at the low, low price of 50% off. When all's said and done, of course, a half-price iPod in the Christmas stocking is loads better than either a sharp stick in the eye or a pink slip in the pay envelope, but we're still slightly surprised at the alleged cheers that arose from Apple's elves when Santa Jobs delivered the news. But maybe that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown...


 
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The above scene was taken from the 10/29/01 episode:

October 29, 2001: About the iPod-- it turns out you have to use it to appreciate its finer points. Meanwhile, demand for the music player seems "iffy," and Apple employees aren't getting raises or bonuses, but at least they can score some iPods for a great price...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3358: And It's All Shiny, Too (10/29/01)   Okay, no more fence-sitting from us... at least, not as far as the iPod is concerned. We're still going back and forth on lesser issues, like whether moral absolutes exist in a universal sense, or whether the advent of non-strawberry-flavored Twizzlers is a major contributing factor to the breakdown of society...

  • 3359: Strong Demand, Or Not (10/29/01)   So, uh, just how is demand for the iPod? On the one hand, most pundits agree that it's the best MP3 player ever; on the other hand, it costs a whopping $399, which is a fair price for what you get, but may still be too rich for most Mac users' blood...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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