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Life’s complex enough. I fear your next iPhone will make things worse

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It was just before 10am, Pacific time, yesterday, and as the crowd gathered at the new Steve Jobs Theatre in California for the launch of Apple’s latest products-cum-miracles, they were serenaded with the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love. It had been chosen, presumably, as a signifier of the boomer supremacism still built into Apple’s culture, the company’s boundless ambition – John Lennon’s first line, let’s not forget, is “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done” – and its senior management’s apparent belief that making billions of dollars is a serendipitous byproduct of the company’s mixture of philanthropy and art.

God knows, capitalists have always been at pains to assure us that they are in the business of selflessly helping the rest of us, rather than turning a profit. But the giants of Silicon Valley are in a league of their own, as Apple competes with Facebook for pole position, and anyone with any sense boggles at their hubris. Apple Stores, said Angela Ahrendts (the company’s senior vice-president of retail), are now nothing less than “town squares”. At one point it was implied that the Apple Watch’s cutting-edge biometrics were going to save humanity from heart attacks and strokes.

At the event’s end Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, quoted the omnipresent Jobs: “One of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there.”

In the build-up to the launch, another Jobs quote had been rattling round my head – uttered in 1998, and long held up as another embodiment of what Apple is all about. “Simple can be harder than complex,” he said. “You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move........

© The Guardian