User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » Apple Products »

Jony Ive is leaving Apple!


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
Jony Ive is leaving Apple!
Page 4 of 4 Previous 1 2 3 [4]  Thread Tools
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-08-19, 14:35

That all makes very good sense, and there is a lot of truth to it. Still, beyond just branding, the demographic changed. We watched it happen. All those original MacBook Air customers were no longer interested in paying a premium for the smallest thing, because the smallest thing is no longer associated with the "premium, but small" concept. I'm just not sure customers are thinking down that road any longer. People have gotten used to thin and light, so sitting next to the other systems what the 12" MacBook looks like is "cheaper because it is smaller". I know that seems weird, but that's the sense I've gotten from people's reactions.

"Why is the little one so much more expensive?"

"Because miniaturization and blah, blah, blah."

"Oh, whatever. Give me an Air."

Even the business class guys with money that are all looking for the cool gadgets were willing to pay the same price for a far more powerful 13" Pro. The 12" MacBook just didn't have the same "sizzle" that the original MacBook Air had.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-19, 14:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
I feel like the original sin of Apple's laptop line, when it came to not having clear distinctions between the models, was when they decided to take the 2008 aluminum unibody MacBook and re-brand it as a 13-inch MacBook Pro. Because it really wasn't, and that set this weird precedent where you "had" to be able to get a MacBook Pro for $200 more than the base MacBook (or later, the MacBook Air).
Yeah, that was also interesting.

And… perhaps also yet another case of Intel not quite delivering the parts Apple was hoping for (or, from a different perspective, where Apple is screwing themselves).

I think Apple would prefer to have a line-up more like it used to be, pre-unibody, where there's a non-Pro ~13-inch machine (kind of like the Air now), but also a Pro that's roughly the same power as the 15-inch. And they just can't do that; they thermals don't work out that way. I think they'd prefer (or at least it'd make more sense) for the 13-inch Pro to be significantly more powerful and closer to the 15-inch, but they just can't make the thermals work. That's in part on them, of course. They could make the 13-inch Pro thicker if they really wanted to. Like the 12-inch PowerBook used to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
There probably shouldn't be essentially three different MacBook Pros,
Yuuuuup.

The line-up makes quite a bit more sense this summer, but it's still pretty weird.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-19, 14:41

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
I think the problem with the 12-inch MacBook was in part a branding problem, but not in the way Apple imagined.

When Apple introduced the first MacBook Air in 2008, they sold it alongside the MacBook and MacBook Pro as a third sort of computer, different from the entry-level MacBook and the powerful MacBook Pro. It was premium, but in a very different way from the MacBook Pro. "MacBook Air" was a second type of premium product: users understood they were paying a premium for miniaturization. It wasn't intended to be the cheap MacBook for everybody.

But then in 2010, the script flipped. The second-generation MacBook Air, with a design that was in some ways less premium than the original, replaced the MacBook as Apple's cheap MacBook for everybody. It kept the MacBook Air name, however, even though it was the Default MacBook. And then, in 2015, Apple introduced a new, more expensive, more compact notebook where users paid a premium for miniaturization. And they couldn't call it MacBook Air, because the Default MacBook was called MacBook Air, so they called it just "MacBook." It was totally backwards.

They shouldn't have convinced themselves that the 12-inch MacBook was going to be the new "everyday" notebook. A vision statement of what everyday notebooks would look like a few years down the road, sure, but it was never going to be able to get down in price to be the cheap MacBook for everybody with expensive bespoke components like terraced batteries. It was the new MacBook Air, in the 2008 sense of the brand. The 12-inch MacBook was frequently dogged for being overpriced even though there wasn't anything in the industry comparable to it. To me, that's a positioning problem.

But just as crucially, once the MacBook Air design was adjusted for the mainstream in 2010 and became the cheap MacBook for everybody, Apple should have dropped the "Air" modifier. Because there will always be an opportunity for a premium miniaturized version of a product, just like there's always an opportunity for a premium higher-performance one. They shouldn't have tried to act like the mainstream cheap MacBook was the premium miniaturized version, even if it was the same size as the previous premium miniaturized one (and smaller in the case of the 11-inch), because that just painted them into a corner. Especially with the 2018 model, the entire point of the so-called MacBook Air was that it was cheaper and had a larger screen than the more compact model, albeit at the cost of additional size and weight. The naming was completely backwards!

I'd love it if we could get back to the base MacBook being just the MacBook, and then the MacBook Air could be the super-svelte premium model. How great is it, how freeing, that the base iPhone isn't called iPhone Air? If that iPhone needs to be thicker than the higher-end models (as it currently does) it can be, without causing a weird contradiction. I get why Apple keeps using the MacBook Air name — it's hugely popular — but I'd argue that the the MacBook Air name became popular in the 2010-on era, when it really should have just been MacBook all that time. That's why I've described these positioning mistakes as original sins; they were choices made years ago that have consequences for the clarity of the line to this day.
Yup.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-19, 15:01

Honestly I think it would have been easier to get the base MacBook Pro down in price than it would have been to get the 12-inch MacBook down in price (which further suggests that maybe the names are messed up). I mean, it's $1299, now, with a fancy OLED Touch Bar thing. I can't imagine it would cost that much more to make than the current MacBook Air without it.

They're too close to the same computer.

Does the current MacBook Air feel weirdly like a rush job to anyone else? Like that weird 2009 plastic unibody MacBook. You really do get the sense that in Apple's ideal world, it wouldn't exist, and they'd just have the petite 12-inch and then the 13-inch "Pro." And then people just kept on buying comically outdated Airs, so they felt they had to do something.

Apple's been trying really hard to get the base price for a "real" MacBook to $1,299 for over a decade, and they keep failing, because they keep feeling like they have to have some old thing at $999 just so they can hit that price point and then they're repeatedly shocked when everybody buys that instead of their new shiny thing. This happened when the unibody aluminum MacBook was supposed to replace the plastic one, this happened when the 12-inch MacBook was supposed to replace the MacBook Air, this happened when the two-Thunderbolt-port MacBook Pro was supposed to replace the MacBook Air...

I guess Apple's finally learned. Just kill the $999 product. No, but seriously, the MacBook Air does feel like it can hit $999, so I guess that's something. No terraced battery structures there.

I really don't understand it, though. Using 7W processors is weird. Having a fan but not having that blow directly over the heatsink is weird. All for a notebook that isn't that much thinner or lighter than the old 15W one, and most of that increase in thinness can probably be attributed to the keyboard.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-08-19, 15:22

The laptop lineup has definitely gotten confusing, and a lot of it has to do with Apple feeling the need to hit a price point every two hundred dollars. It makes no sense. The Air is okay at $1099, but the $1299 MacBook Pro is too close in price and too far away in performance.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-19, 16:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
Does the current MacBook Air feel weirdly like a rush job to anyone else? Like that weird 2009 plastic unibody MacBook. You really do get the sense that in Apple's ideal world, it wouldn't exist, and they'd just have the petite 12-inch and then the 13-inch "Pro." And then people just kept on buying comically outdated Airs, so they felt they had to do something.
Right.

The MacBook didn’t take the world by storm. Its volume was low, leading to high cost, and Apple was too proud to eat into the margin. And then to add to the injury, Cannonlake basically gets canceled.

The current Air was an emergency plan B.
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-19, 16:35

Yeah, they don’t have to hit every price point.

Since they updated the MacBook Pros this year, I’m expecting the new 16-inch model to be sold alongside the other models, and not supplant them (at least not initially). Since the 15-inch model is $2399, I’m thinking the new one is going to be $2999. And then around WWDC, Apple will replace the rest of the line and make the great new Liquid Retina MacBook Pro even more affordable, with a 16-inch model at $2499 (really a stealth $100 price increase) and a new 14-inch model replacing the four-port 13-inch Pros at $1999 (a $200 increase). Because they want everybody to be able to have this great new design. How nice of them!

I think it would be fine if the MacBook Pro line started at $1999, as long as that computer was worth $1999. (A real GPU would really help.) The problem is, now there’s a ton of people who bought a 13-inch MacBook “Pro” at $1199 or $1299 and they might feel like upgrading to a MacBook Air would be a downgrade. And I’m sure a lot of people in the media would write articles about how Apple bumped the price of the MacBook Pro up $700, even though that’s not really true.

And this whole mess started because they decided to retroactively re-declare aluminum housings a Pro feature in 2009.

I don’t often find myself wistful about Good Old Apple, but I do miss the simplicity of that original 2008 unibody line-up. One size of MacBook Pro. One size of MacBook Air. And one size of MacBook, in either the new unibody or the old plastic guise. The MacBook was the base model for normal people. The MacBook Air was the luxuriously thin model for executives. And the MacBook Pro was the big model for people who needed lots of processing grunt. And it’s hard to believe this now, but that MacBook Pro had a big screen and a GPU for $1999, instead of $2399…sure, that was a decade ago, but it’s not like the price of every other piece of technology goes up with inflation.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Portland, OR
 
2019-08-19, 17:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Right.

The MacBook didn’t take the world by storm. Its volume was low, leading to high cost, and Apple was too proud to eat into the margin. And then to add to the injury, Cannonlake basically gets canceled.

The current Air was an emergency plan B.
It’s just such an odd duck. Like, I’m no hardware engineer, but I don’t really get the point of using the Y-class processors if you’re not going to go all the way and go fanless. The Y-class processors cost more, not less. Why use them, if you’re going to use a fan anyway? And why have it in such a weird arrangement? Maybe they’re building in headroom for slightly hotter chips? I know Ice Lake-Y is 9W, not 5W or 7W. And even at 9W, the clocks are terrible.

And then there’s the whole using-non-terraced-batteries-in-a-tapered design thing. I think terraced batteries are a natural fit (pun intended) for a tapered design, but the new MacBook Air doesn’t use them. I know that’s for cost reasons. But maybe it shouldn’t be a wedge, then?

I think Apple decided that the reason why people were buying the old MacBook Air is because of “the iconic wedge” and the name, but I think the real reason people were buying the old MacBook Air was because it was a MacBook for $999. And that’s a powerful thing.

I just don’t get why Apple tries to fight that. They should just make the best damn $999 MacBook they can, and stop trying to bump the base price up to $1099 or whatever, because it never works.

I like your idea of a more rounded, colorful MacBook. Just “MacBook.” $999 in a non-wedge design in a bunch of fun colors. And then, if Apple really wants to upsell people, they could have the Air as a premium miniaturized super-thin two-pound wedge at $1299 or whatever, with the terraced batteries and the super-dense logic board and the works.

and i guess i've known it all along / the truth is, you have to be soft to be strong
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2019-08-19, 17:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
It’s just such an odd duck. Like, I’m no hardware engineer, but I don’t really get the point of using the Y-class processors if you’re not going to go all the way and go fanless. The Y-class processors cost more, not less. Why use them, if you’re going to use a fan anyway? And why have it in such a weird arrangement? Maybe they’re building in headroom for slightly hotter chips? I know Ice Lake-Y is 9W, not 5W or 7W. And even at 9W, the clocks are terrible.
I think they’re just trying really hard to make the Pro the fast one.

It’s be better if all Pros were H and the Air were U, but that’s not currently practical.

As for the clock, I wouldn’t be too worried about that yet. The good news with the low clock is that it gives Intel several years up breathing room scaling it up.
  quote
kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2019-08-19, 17:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo View Post
… I think the real reason people were buying the old MacBook Air was because it was a MacBook for $999.
ding ding ding!

In fact, it's the only reason people were buying them. All the other systems had more modern RAM/storage, faster RAM, Retina displays, etc. The air had price, and for the segment, price is very important. Seriously, the most common customer for that computer is the student and/or people on tight budgets who do a lot of word processing and internet stuff (email and the like), but still want to manage a small photo library and/or music library. The Air was (and still is) their best and most affordable option.

Remove that price point and people start to look at used systems, but might be talked into a Pro—and they won't be happy about it because that's another $300 out of their student loans, and believe me that's a lot! My daughter was silly tickled that she had enough left over in her final semester's loans to be able to replace her aging Air, and the current Air was the only system that she could afford. This is super common with students on thin budgets, and Apple knows that, because they sell the current Air to students for $999, which is below wholesale. It's important to hit that price. Any less and Apple doesn't make much, any more and the student might be tempted to look elsewhere.

Adding to the conundrum is that the vast majority (I would say over 80%) of computer user's needs (other than photo storage) are met with both the current and previous MacBooks Air.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Page 4 of 4 Previous 1 2 3 [4] 

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chris Lattner leaving Apple chucker Apple Products 9 2017-01-12 03:07
Jony Ive gets knighthood Dorian Gray General Discussion 3 2012-01-03 06:43
Will Steve be leaving Apple soon? scratt General Discussion 36 2007-01-08 20:41
Avie Tevanian leaving Apple Bill M General Discussion 13 2006-03-30 03:34
Why Apple might actually win by leaving out a tv tuner / recorder Doxxic General Discussion 2 2005-10-14 14:07


« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:18.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2020, AppleNova