Yesterday Apple went into more detail about its up-coming Apple Watch, showing off the devices, and largely confirming expectations. The company also unveiled its new 12 inch Macbook, an ultra-thin and ultra portable new laptop.
Both devices stand the chance of being game-changing, but the question is whether they’ll change Apple’s game for the better or the worst. Let’s take a quick look at both sides of the argument.
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The Bad: Apple Cut Out Too Much Functionality
The Apple Watch is going to run up a hefty little price tag, costing between $350 to over $10,000 dollars. With a price tag like that the Apple Watch should add a lot of value, right?
The Apple Watch is believed to offer a rather short life span. At best, the Apple Watch will last about 18 hours, assuming most of the time is spent in standby. Want to use your Apple Watch for a phone call? You’ve got three hours max.
Further, Apple already had to cut some of the biosensors from the watch, and many of the most advanced functionalities require an iPhone just to work. By itself, the Apple Watch doesn’t offer much more use-value than a regular watch. Combined with an iPhone, it offers little more value than the phone itself.
Meanwhile, Apple’s new 12 inch Macbook, which will be the thinnest and lightest Macbook ever, but will run a heft $1,300 dollars, seems to be designed along the same “who cares about functionality?” design principles. The new 12 inch Macbook will feature only two ports, a headphone jack and a USB-C jack. The USB-C jack will also double as the power jack.
Want to use your old USB devices? You need an adapter. What to plug in a device, flash drive, or whatever while also plugging in your Macbook? No can do without the right adapters and docks. Want to use multiple devices? Again, you’re going to need multiple cords.
Meanwhile, battery life and performance will be about the same as the 11.6 inch Macbook Air. Which raises the question, exactly what benefits does this new slightly bigger, slightly thinner Macbook offer? People weren’t exactly complaining about the Macbook Air’s thickness or weight, after all.
The Good: Apple’s Products Hint At The Future
Smart watches aren’t exactly new. Android watches have been available for over a year now, but so far customers haven’t been buying them en masse. In fact, only 720,00 smart watches were sold in 2014, but Apple is betting it can sell a lot more, having reportedly ordered up somewhere between 5 to 6 million watches.
And almost certainly Apple will sell a lot. Few companies enjoy a fanbase as loyal as Apple’s, and people will likely line up outside the door for the chance to own one of the first Apple Watches. Some might question the value proposition of the Apple Watch, but this is less a foray into a new digital device market, and more a foray into high-end fashion.
Think about it, what use-value does a pearl necklace offer outside of fashion? How about diamond earrings? The Apple Watch could prove to be the same, offering little use-value, but being hot, fashionable, and desirable. And that may well be enough for most Apple fans.
The same could be said of Apple’s new laptop. So what if the device sacrifices ports, it’s one of the thinnest, lightest, and most attractive laptops on the planet, and for most people that’s enough. Besides, USB-C will likely revolutionize the way our devices connected to each other and most people can access whatever they need through the world wide web anyways.
Maybe Apple’s 12 inch Macbook isn’t meant for everyone, but it’ll almost certainly be popular among a lot of people. If nothing else, people who want the latest and most fashionable laptop will find the new Macbook more than appealing, and for a company like Apple, that’s enough to generate huge volumes.