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How Apple could have avoided much of the controversy (chuqui.com)
21 points by Philipp__ on Nov 1, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 17 comments

This was a really smart article.

It seems to me that a lot of the exaggerated angst around HN about this announcement (visible nearby) is due to the fact that the professed desires of high-capacity hardware users (diverse ports, lots of RAM, expansion) have been ignored by Apple's new product.

Some of this is real (i.e., SW developers are not Apple's main audience for this machine). But much of it is people who have never used the product extrapolating what they feel they need, and finding the machine wanting. People appear to be forgetting that Apple clearly does a lot of research into what is possible, and usage patterns with new hardware.

> SW developers are not Apple's main audience for this machine

I'm not too sure about that. Almost every startup software developer I know uses a company-issued Macbook Pro. I'm not sure what it's like in some of the older, larger companies, but that's definitely the case at most startups.

I just mean Apple is not prioritizing devs with their hardware. They are aiming at a larger target that happens to include devs.

I think it's a cop out to say that these complaints are exclusively "nerd issues" or power users issues. I hear the same complaints echoed by non techie people year-after-year, but the only difference is that they don't complain about it on the internet. It's easy to claim sampling bias when you're reading about it on HN.

Here is an interesting statement from the article that rings true for me:

"A lot of it boils down to this concept: We demand Apple innovate, but we insist they don’t change anything."

That's the part I thought was completely out to lunch.

The people who really drone endlessly about "innovation" are the finance section people.

The pro and dev customers who are complaining now - ie: the ones who cheered for "no new features" back when 10.6 was announced - generally want better computers, and they generally focus on speed and stability.

There are two pretty simple ways this could have been avoided.

1) A 12 and 14in macbook ( / air) instead of what they released.

2) A 13 and 15in macbook pro that put power ahead of battery and thinness.

2b) Pros having the option to get 32GB RAM, which I am sure will be part of next years model. Apple generally leaves out a feature they could have easily shipped, soas to make next years look like a bigger step.

2 Macbook/Airs and 2 pros, and eliminating all other SKUs would make more people happy, and make things simpler. Instead they taint the Pro name, and leave the old Macbook in the lineup.

There's plenty of people that do want a portable office machine, they're docked/pluged in at their desk or home most of the day, and may have it in a meeting for an hour or so...

Beyond this, I don't have too much issue with limited ports, I think that 2-3 is probably ideal. I do think that a regular headphone+mic port is important, as you're talking plenty of no-power devices that a lot of us use.

The apple core desktop market these days seems to include a lot of developers. Partly through need (ios app development) and partly by choice (friendly unix environment).

I'm still upset at a missing mid-range option that doesn't have a built in monitor... and a better solution to the pro line that is expressly upgradable.

Yet another article denigrating detractors as "nerds". I switched right off when I got to that part.

I think you're misreading it. The author clearly considers himself a nerd.

Offended? The article is right. We expect Apple to innovate but the power users get mad that they're not keeping things the same. It's like when they switched to Thunderbolt. There was a huge outroar because it wasn't USB 2.0, and then everyone just kind of forgot.

> It's like when they switched to Thunderbolt. There was a huge outroar because it wasn't USB 2.0, and then everyone just kind of forgot.

It's also like the time they got rid of floppy drives, firewire, optical drives in laptops, removable batteries in laptops, the headphone jack on the iPhone 7...

Apple keeps increasing its revenue every time it does one of these things, which suggests that the complainers represent a small percentage of consumers.

Game companies also make a truckload of money when they add more microtransactions to their mobile games. Does that mean it's good for consumers?

I'm an Apple customer, not their cheerleader.

Dongles are fine, but I wish they gave the iPhone and Macbook two ports each. Charging the iPhone while listening to music and charging Macbook while connected to iPhone are very common scenarios.

Healthy for the ecosystem? Haha when was the last time Apple listened to the customers. Before with Jobs it was my way or the highway and that was fine since it was his firm and his vision we all got behind. But this new Apple is fighting to stay relevant in an environment with newcomers like MS and Google so I think we might have seen peak Apple actually.

Newcomers like Microsoft?

Yeah since when have they been a credible threat to Apple when it came to hardware?

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