"Love is not in our choice, but in our fate." Dryden
Apple [AAPL] is developing an iWatch -- and it seems pretty clear this will be next year's hottest Valentine's Day gift. Why? Because if you want to impress your sig.other this year you can skip the diamonds, chuck those flowers in the trash and cancel that 'Valentine's Day Lover's Set Meal' reservation at the local restaurant, because 2013's hot gift for lovers seems to be -- an iPad.
It's a love thing
Don't shoot the messenger! That's data from the latest MyDeals UK poll which asked 2,073 people in relationships to list what gifts they and their partners have requested from each other.
It appears modern love's expensive: 62 percent of the people who responded said they wanted an iPad. Indeed, more people seem to want the Post-PC posterchild than lingerie (58 percent) or jewellery (54 percent).
Flowers and chocolate made eight and tenth place, suggesting that if that's what you were planning to hand over on the officially-sanctioned day during which couples have to, you know, try to talk to each other you may well be sending a mixed signal.
It's interesting that new cameras, phones and a laptop made the list on the same day Apple cut a few hundred dollars from the price of the MacBook Air.
If you've read your Erasmus ("Love that has nothing but beauty to keep it in good health is short lived, and apt to have ague fits") or spent a little time pondering Dobson ("Love comes unseen -- we only see it go") you probably want to up the ante on what you're going to do to maintain the affection of your true love/sig.other/'it's nothing serious, but' relationship.
Interface and singularity
In a sense it makes sense to woo the object of your emotion with a high value consumer product like an iPad -- if you ordered one already you probably got it engraved with a message akin to Keats' famed lines:
"Love is my religion, I could die for that."
That's assuming you didn't spend quality time considering if something that's as insubstantially magical and challenging as love itself should really require the exchange of some consumer durable in order to truly learn to speak its name.
Is the performance-anxiety-inducing social pressure of Valentine's Day actually any good for people's relationships? Are that stony-faced couple on the next table still feeling it, or simply going through the socially dictated motions in hope of re-igniting a passion that, like youth itself, has gone?
[ABOVE: Roberta Flack nails it.]
If we choose to avoid these difficult questions and existential musings, should you feel affection but fear you lack the dexterity of tongue it takes to warm the heart and win the attention of the one you love, an iPad may be the way to go -- though you could also try a pampering spa break or romantic weekend in some faraway place.
Quintessentially, it's an all-in thing, as so ably articulated by Mary O'Hara, who wrote: "Love cannot survive if you just give it scraps of yourself, scraps of your time, scraps of your thoughts."
Integrating the OS
Giving attention doesn't seem to be a problem when it comes to people using their iPads. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, noted this at his pre-Presidential Goldman Sachs appearance yesterday, when he pointed out:
"On Black Friday the product there was the most online shopping done on was an iPad. It was twice as large as the total of every Android device …The data is very clear that customers use them a lot more… I'm not sure what people are doing with those other products."
One thing they're not doing, according to the survey cited here, is hoping to get an Android tablet this Valentine's Day. Though it might be wiser to remember that, "Love is above all, the gift of oneself," as Jean Anouilh wrote in his classic black comedy, Ardele.
There's no hardware without software, after all, and ultimately when it comes to expressing the essence of your own humanity, the only user interface that really matters is you, yourself and I -- and how well you integrate with the OS inside of your sig.other. Good luck with that.
Got a story? Drop me a line via Twitter or in comments below and let me know. I'd like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know when these items are published here first on Computerworld.