Are Big Brands Always Better?
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Last week, I acquired an iRiver Mp3 and was somewhat sceptical to say the least.Last week, I acquired an iRiver Mp3 and was somewhat sceptical to say the least.

Having never heard of the device, let alone the brand, I wondered what I was letting myself in for.  

Although far from a die-hard Apple fan, I have owned a couple of their iPod models, back when the 80GB version was first out in 2005.

When I say a couple, I mean Apple replaced my original purchase when it broke six months into the year-long warranty.

A lousy battery was the problem there, although countless friends of mine also had similar experiences.            ; 

When my 8GB broke again, which at the time cost me more than $400, just outside the warranty I swore never again would I give Steve Jobs’ company a penny of my hard earned cash.                     ;   

The reason I bought it? iPods were seen as the coolest thing in town five years ago so as a teenager I was dying to hop on the ibandwagon.  

So how long it would be before it be before my iRiver suddenly decided to go kaput or the headphones wiring snap off.  

However, from the moment I turned it on, I was very pleasantly surprised.   

The sound was crisp and clear – a far cry from the Sony Walkman Mp3 I previously owned – and could never remember my iPod being so easy to use as this little wonder-device.


So why do we buy pricey brands, is it reputation, prestige, innovation?

I recently read a blog in the New York Times which flouted the idea that buying technology is essentially a subscription, in other words that consumers are subscribing to the notion that they will inevitably have to replace the model in a matter of years. 

But is it more than that?

Tech consumers are in my view subscribing to a way of life, a lifestyle, a belief in better technology and the benefits it (supposedly) brings.

But unfortunately these products don’t always live up. Where do they turn to then?

I’m turning to my trusty iRiver and vowing to look before I leap before buying big ever again.