“As design innovations go, MagSafe isn’t a big deal. It replaces the standard power cord socket on Apple Computer’s new MacBook Pro laptop. With the old design, you’d send the computer flying if you tripped over the cord. MagSafe is a nifty magnetic connector that simply breaks away. History books won’t celebrate this invention, but it’s an example of the smart touches that distinguish Apple in an industry where design is all about slicing a buck off of the bill of materials,” Stephen H. Wildstrom writes for BusinessWeek.
“There are good reasons competitors such as Dell and Hewlett-Packard have a tough time keeping up with Apple. One is Apple’s rejection of rock-bottom pricing. Desire for big orders from low-end retailers such as Wal-Mart has pushed HP and other PC makers to adopt the cheapest hardware platform, leading to $300 desktops and $700 laptops. There’s no way to hit that price point and match Apple on design. What’s more, PC makers sell to corporations, which insist on the ability to replace components easily. Apple’s beautiful design doesn’t allow that, and home users don’t care,” Wildstrom writes. “Apple has thus turned its lack of access to corporate markets into a virtue. It can focus its energies on what appeals to consumers, especially ease of use and products that please the heart and the eye as well as the brain and the budget. The new mini and the MacBook are just the latest happy examples.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s beautiful design actually does allow users to replace components easily, but the Apple Macs that are designed to be user upgradeable not the Mac minis and MacBook Pro models that Wildstrom covers in his article. Apple’s MacBook Pro is as upgradeable as any portable computer maker’s offering (that ExpressCard/34 slot is going to be come more and more useful, BTW). Other than that quibble, Wildstrom’s right: Apple pays attention to detail in design in both hardware and software in order to benefit the users of the technology, not solely the company. Apple doesn’t compete in the race to the bottom of the barrel by producing what is basically junk as do the commodity, consumer-grade Windows box assemblers of the world. Apple Macs work better, have a much longer useful life, and are simply the best choice for the vast majority of personal computer users. Macintosh. You get what you pay for.
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