Two things here.
First, this is just awful. The Awl usually has a fairly high standard for its articles, but this is a hot mess. When it isn't rambling to the point of incoherency, it's just plain wrong. For example, the first line of the second paragraph, where the author launches into the actual thesis:
The widespread admiration for Apple’s design ethos is in two parts: one functional, the other aesthetic.
Wrong already. Stephen Fry put it eloquently
Only dullards crippled into cretinism by a fear of being thought pretentious could be so dumb as to believe that there is a distinction between design and use, between form and function, between style and substance
(Although I don't think anyone who feels like dropping a bit of irrelevant trivia about John Ruskin into an article about Apple's design philosophy can legitimately invoke the 'fear of being thought pretentious' defence.)
Secondly, I don't know if this is happening to anyone else, but I'm getting this thing where a flash ad for the Chevy Volt is actually hijacking my entire browser session, reloading the entire article in an iframe on the Chevy site. This completely breaks Instapaper and means you can't send someone the URL without giving the Chevy site an extra hit. Earlier this week, Brent Simmons wrote a terrific article about how certain publications have become almost hostile towards their readers with the amount of intrusive ads on their pages. It's genuinely disappointing to see The Awl going down the same road.