Did Apple CEO Steve Jobs fail to deliver the market’s two most-requested products?

“At Macworld 2008, Steve Jobs once again strutted across the stage like a prize peacock, this time claiming to have learned from past mistakes by listening to Apple customers. Well if Apple and its boss have indeed been listening to their customers they have a funny way of showing it because customers are still waiting for their two most requested products,” Stan Beer writes for iTWire.

Beer’s first product is 3G iPhone, despite the fact that 3G chipsets are still too power-hungry (although that’s about to change quickly) and most of the U.S. (where most iPhones are currently) doesn’t have 3G coverage (meaning a 3G iPhone would be sucking battery life while connecting to slower 2.5G towers anyway).

MacDailyNews Take: The 3G iPhone will come when it makes sense, not just because Stan Beer, the self-appointed stand-in for all Apple customers, has classified it as one of the two most-requested Apple products. If you read tech articles all day long (and we do), you’d think that a 3G iPhone is the holy grail, but if most U.S. users had one today, they would rarely benefit from 3G and would instead be constantly griping about how the iPhone needs a better battery. iPhone didn’t sell an average of 20,000 units per day for the last 200 days for nothing.

After screwing up his understanding of Apple’s iPhone sales goals and how far ahead of them they are today, Beer has better luck with his second product, writing, “For the past 18 months, loyal Apple users have been practically screaming for their beloved vendor to release a smaller form factor notebook than the MacBook. An ultra-portable with a screen around 10 inches or smaller, maybe a tablet style device, something they can easily take with them on a trip, is what they’ve been asking for. What do they get instead? A pancake. or to be more exact – a weak ultra thin crepe.”

MacDailyNews Take: Beer has a point here. MacBook Air is not a 10-inch ultra-portable. It is an ultra-thin MacBook. It makes sense for a certain market which, we presume, Apple believes is a larger market than the one for 10-inch ultra-portables. It would be nice if Apple offered both, we suppose, but it may not be worth it for Apple to do so. Or maybe they’ll address it in the future. As for a tablet-style, multi-touch device, we probably have to wait for the iPhone SDK next month and apps to be released, before anything like that would debut.

Beer continues, “The MacBook Air may ultimately prove to be a useful computer for some users but it’s not what the market has been asking for… Some analysts may postulate that the market will come to appreciate the MacBook Air when they touch it and feel it. However, the market knew what it wanted and it didn’t get it.”

MacDailyNews Take: Again, who named Stan Beer the portable computer market’s rep? Apple’s portable sales are growing faster than HP’s, Dell’s, etc. Obviously, Apple has a good handle on what the market really wants. That’s not to say that Apple may be missing it here. They have done Mac designs in the past that didn’t have a large enough market to adequately support them (see: G4 Cube). Again, we’d like to see what Apple would do with a small-screen ultra-portable MacBook Pro, too.

Beer continues, “The iPhone was a perfect example of what can be achieved if a company listens to the needs of its customers. Hopefully Apple hasn’t forgotten how to listen.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wait, we thought the iPhone was one of two of the most requested products that Apple is failing to properly deliver, not “a perfect example of what can be achieved if a company listens to the needs of its customers.” Which is it, Stan?

76 Comments

  1. What was really missing was Apple TV with a screen or even better with a remote control that has a screen and functions like an iPod so that music can be put on a NAS and listened to in every room where there is an Apple TV but no TV available. But since the product contains the word “TV”, it was a useless hope. I guess I will be buying a Sonos system this Spring. The second thing that was missing was getting rid of DRM for all iTunes songs.

  2. @ PowerTone
    Yes, you are right. That was the third missing product. Apple has such a fine touch technology. Why not replacing the nipple on the mouse with a touch sensitive spot. (I hope this sentence doesn’t sound too erotic!)

  3. While Air is cool I don’t see it as something that was really needed. It isn’t smaller then the Macbook (thinner doesn’t help much), it’s slower then the Macbook, and cost almost as much as a Macbook Pro.

    Non-removable battery? Unless this is some kind of super breakthrough battery technology does anyone really want a notebook that they can’t switch the batteries?

    Air is cool but I’d rather spend my money on the next Macbook or Pro that comes with the Air’s trackpad.

  4. When Apple heard that their iPod Touch customers wanted full eMail and Google Maps apps like their iPhone cousins, did they also hear that those same customers wanted to pay an extra $20 that new customers wouldn’t have to pay?

  5. Steve Jobs saying Apple does what customers ask is just part of the show. The fact is, Apple is great because it does NOT do everything customers want. If it did, we’d have Apple of the ’90’s with five dozen different Mac models and configs catering to every perceived customer “need.” And we’d have an iPhone with and without a physical keyboard. And the iPod mini would still be in the lineup, along with both the fat and skinny nanos.

    Today’s Apple is focused, sometimes to a fault. But I wouldn’t want it any other way…

  6. >Unless this is some kind of super breakthrough battery technology does anyone really want a notebook that they can’t switch the batteries?

    1) How many people actually HAVE two laptop batteries? Not only have I never had two batteries, but also all but one of my laptops are ones I’ve bought used and the people I’ve bought them from have never had two batteries. Really, I’m interested, is there any market research on what percent of laptop owners have two or more batteries?

    2) The battery life on the MBA is quite high. Even if you shave off 20% as Apple puffing, that would make a 4 hour battery life. My crappy Gateway celeron “bought it so I won’t care if someone steals it” gets only 2 hours, and no one can point to a laptop in the MBA’s class that gets significantly more than that. This thing with one battery gives me as much uninterrupted non-powerplug time as if I had a spare battery for the Gateway, so what exactly is the downside? Besides, when I really want battery life I pull out the dinosaur clamshell iBook. Now that’s got battery life.

  7. Tell me Greg… just how often does anyone replace their laptop batteries in the first place?

    Apple sent me a replacement. Many people carry an extra battery or two with them. Batteries do go bad and need replacing long before the notebook needs replacing.

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