Marcuse and the iPhone

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This image depicts the range of colour options for the iPhone 6, and may be examined through Marcuse’ theories on the role technology plays in ‘the new forms of control’. He argues that technology has moved beyond a mere means of production and notes the commodification of the novel. This he describes the modern obsession with the newer and better as constituting “subjugation through desire”, in the service of contemporary capitalistic economies. The iPhone brand has included 12 models released since 2007, with each boasting improved capabilities and superior hardware. This can be seen in the colours included above, with ‘Space Grey’ seemingly emphasising the advanced technology within. It is an example of what Marcuse identified to be the manufacture of needs and it plays into the personal attachment which we often feel toward our belongings.

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