I love Apple Computer. Love it. Love every little bit of it –

But I’m becoming confused.

Before Steve Jobs died, he began steering the company toward thinner, lighter products, and, as the Word of Jobs decreed, so has it been done. Take a good look at the image above.  That’s not marketing. It’s not the “computer of tomorrow” … that is a current model Macintosh iMac …

The screen is 27″ long, and, at it’s edge, thinner than the stand that supports it! And, yes, PC users, there is no tower: the entire computer is built into the back of that display …

It’s been going on for ages. At least the last 8 years. The first all-in-one Mac design since the original, came out in August 2004 … and since then, things have gotten skinnier at a rapidly accelerating pace. Not just desktop Macs:  the entire line of Macbook, and Macbook Pro laptops, beginning with the Macbook Air in 2008, the iPad, and now the darned iPhone – one of the principle complaints against it is that the damned thing is TOO thin and light … people are afraid they’ll break the little fucker!

And it’s a good bet they will: make anything lighter and thinner, and you’ll also make it more fragile.

It’s not just the drive to thin-ness: for decades, Apple has been THE leader in innovation in the computer industry – and wherever Apple goes, Microsoft, and the big computer manufacturers soon follow …

iTunes came out – an entirely new way to market music: buy it online for a VERY low cost, digitally download it, mix with other music, burn to your own CD. Next came the iPod, followed by the iPhone, followed by the iPad, followed by the App Store. Each of these a crucial, industry-changing innovation – and each to be quickly followed by others trying to cash in on Apple’s effort, aided by a series of old, bad impressions “Macs are too expensive”, “Macs don’t work as well as PCs”, and half a dozen others, only the first of which is true.

But then Steve died.

Now everyone is looking at Tim Cook and wondering whether he has what it takes to KEEP Apple at the forefront of innovation. So far, it’s been dicey:  the new iPhone has lots of critics, the new MacOS has some decided PC-like ‘features’ which are annoying as all hell, the new iPad’s revolutionary retina display is soooo sharp that websites not designed for it look like crap, and NONE of the new Macs have either optical drives, or firewire ports. As for the iPad mini … well, yes, it’s smaller than the iPad. Good job, Apple.

Ultimately, of course, there must be a limit.  Eventually, I can foresee an iPad that’s the thickness of a sheet of paper, which flops over when you try to hold it in one hand, and which can be crumpled up like an old to-do list and crammed in your pocket … perhaps an iMac that has to be thumb-tacked to the wall to get any work done, or a Macbook Pro that folds up and fits neatly in your wallet …

Perhaps they’ll even make an iPad that you can make phone calls with?  Nah, never happen …


~ by dourscot on January 28, 2013.

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