Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The ipod

Not quite eight years ago Apple introduced the first ipod. It had a 5 GB storage capacity, cost $399 ($486 in 2008 dollars) and looked like this:

The current version includes 160GB of capacity, has many more capabilities including video costs $249 and looks like this:

Improved technology, more features and at lower cost. What produced this? Competition, choice, relatively little regulation (one can only imagine what matters would be like with an ipod czar) and outsourcing to China. We take improved technology and lower costs for granted, but they aren't inevitable as the health care industry demonstrates. Just as regulation didn't produce the minor miracle that is the ipod, yet more regulation won't improve health care.

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