UnNews:Lockheed U2 special edition iPod released
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12 March 2006
CUPERTINO, Saturday (UNN) — The Lockheed U-2 special edition iPod combines the functionality of an MP-3 player and the form-factor of a high altitude tactical reconnaissance aircraft. With an engine generating 17,000 pounds of thrust, the device can carry a 30 GB library of songs to over 70,000 feet. The U-2 iPod is part of an effort by Apple to determine whether a market exists for military hardware with hip, fashionable industrial design.
At the press conference unveiling the U-2 iPod, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said, "War is an ugly, ugly business. But that doesn't excuse the fact that modern weapons systems are ugly as well. We here at Apple believe that military hardware can be cool." The fashionability of Apple's design has not gone unnoticed by the Pentagon, who in recent years have begun to fear that the American Armed Forces weapons are rapidly losing ground to more trendy, fashionable weapons systems from Japan and Europe.
As with many Apple product rollouts, this one was marred by the crash of one of the featured product, this time as U-2 iPod suddenly went into a flat spin and slammed into the ground at 500 miles per hour, throwing sleek white fragments of its lucite airframe in all directions. This, and a series of fatal crashes during product testing, have led some in the industry to question whether Apple was really wise to replace all of the U-2's sophisticated avionics and instrumentation with a 2" black-and-white LCD screen and click wheel.
Sales have been disappointing due to the iPod’s prohibitively high cost ($30 million per unit), the iPod’s vulnerability to the new generation of Russian surface-to-air missiles, and the difficulty of hearing the bass over the engine. Other projects, including the Seawolf Attack Submarine iPod and the Iowa-Class Battleship iPod, have been put on hold due to budget cuts.
Soldiers, however, spoke favorably after using a prototype of the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank iPod, saying that the clean lines and sleek design of the shiny white tank, while a magnet for enemy fire, made them the envy of all the other tank crews. Said one tank gunner, “Regime change is just so much more freakin’ awesome when you’ve got the AC/DC cranking full blast”.
Meanwhile, Lockheed has found better success with its U2 special edition U-2, leading Boeing to contemplate a B-52s special edition B-52.