Apple Passes Billion Milestone, Prize Wasted on Kid

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[UPDATE: Seems we need to start adding a graphic of a cheek with a tongue planted firmly in it for articles like this. Lighten up folks.]

My opinion might be slightly skewed, thanks to jealous rage, but I can’t help but think that Apple’s big billion-app prize could’ve gone to someone more deserving than the 13-year-old who finally took it home. Like me, for instance.

Connor Mulcahey of Connecticut is the official grand prize winner, though, like it or not, confirmed by Apple this Friday. He’ll be taking home a $10,000 iTunes gift certificate. The app he downloaded to win was Bump, which allows you to share contact information wirelessly between iPhones or iPod touches.

First of all, why does a 13-year-old even need a contact sharing application? Is he networking? Does he have that many friends with iPhones? Actually, why does he even have an iPhone or an iPod touch in the first place? One thing’s for sure, the kind of 13-year-old kid who has an iPhone probably isn’t so hard up for cash that he needs Apple to give him a bunch a free stuff. And what’s he going to do with a MacBook Pro and a Time Capsule? Edit and back-up skateboarding vids? OK, I’m done venting.

In all seriousness, Apple probably couldn’t have asked for a better winner. The teen market is one area where they still have lots of room to grow, as a recent survey indicates. Which is partially why I’m so baffled that one could actually win, since the odds seem stacked against it, percentage-wise. Also, it shows that kids like using Apple products, too, even if Microsoft stuff does appeal more to the highly lucrative 4-year-old girl demographic.

Besides the prize-giving, Apple also introduced a new online video advertisement trumpeting their own achievement. The ad, which appears on the New York Times web site, among others, is basically an extended, animated version of the “Thanks a billion” graphic that they’re using on the Apple homepage. It dominates the header and sidebar of the Times’ site, and Apple probably wishes the news would also blot out the nasty black mark their reputation has suffered at the hands of the now notorious Baby Shaker app.

I wonder what effect the promotion and giveaway had on download numbers. Only Apple will probably ever know for sure, but if we see more sweepstakes and similar sales tactics in the future, that’s a pretty good indication that the campaign was successful. Here’s hoping it was, because Daddy still needs a new Macbook Pro. Maybe I can catch a late flight to Connecticut and intercept a delivery from Apple en route to a certain 13-year old’s house…

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