We’re not trying to get all wishy washy here on you but Obama’s iPod gift to Queen Elizabeth II actually could be seen to have some deeper meaning.
For any of you that have to do work in Europe, you know that the prices of iPods over there are about 25% higher than you can find in the US. We often get hassled by our European colleagues to bring iPods (and sometimes iPhones and Macs) with us whenever we visit. It is also why, oftentimes, when you see Europeans in the US, they are likely looking for an Apple store or walking out of one.
But that’s not the point. The Queen didn’t ask Obama to get her an iPod to save a few bucks (hopefully).
Obama’s choice of the iPod as a gift represents a lot of what America is good at. We are the world leader in Technology (for the time being). We may not manufacture all of it but we design a lot of it. Apple is also one of the leading brands in the world. It is a very recognizable symbol of ingenuity and creative thinking. The iPod also holds Music and Movies. We are also pretty good at those things as well. In fact, these areas are some of the last where the US still leads the world.
Of course the British press is all over Obama’s gift giving choices. Hiis previous "gaffe" was getting Prime Minister Gordon Brown a set of 25 incorrectly region-coded DVDs. Who knows if this had some sort of deeper meaning or sentimental value? If gift giving is the biggest complaint they can throw at Obama, we’re still in good shape.
We think the iPod Touch makes a great gift, even for a Queen. They even loaded it with videos of the Queen’s last visit to the US and some Broadway showtunes.
It certainly beats a framed self portrait.