I was speaking with my father this morning around 2:00 AM and somehow we got on the topic of WWDC.
My father is not as savvy as I when it comes to computer technology, however he holds his own amongst his peers. As I was explaining Apple’s newest flagship laptop, the Macbook Pro Retina, I could see him grimacing as I explained the lack of upgrade options and removal of an optical drive. “They eliminate a lot of customers by doing that,” he said. “At some point, you’re going to start cutting into how much market share you can really get when you remove things people need, by trying to make everything thinner and lighter.”
The new Macbook Pro Retina is not meant to be taken apart. In order to make it as thin and light as it is, almost everything is either soldiered or glued together. iFixIt’s crew even gave it a terribly low 1/10 Repairability Score (10 being the easiest to repair).
This got me thinking about how Apple actually approaches their business. And the conclusion I came to is that Apple doesn’t base their decisions around “market share” when it comes to hardware. Let that sink in for a moment. We’re not talking about iOS or Mac OSX, where they do want as much market share as possible, we’re talking about when Apple builds a new-category type of product.
Several times throughout the Macbook Pro Retina video, Apple executives talked about letting go of the past as a way to create for the future. That’s exactly what they’ve done with the new Macbook Pro. They don’t care if it works for everyone, but what they do care about is making the thinnest and most powerful, high resolution laptop in the world; eventually having those features trickle down into their full product line.
I imagine that as Jony Ive works on the next version of the iPhone, Mac Pro and iPad, he’s not making products that will be the most “market share” friendly. He’s making products that will drive Apple forward, and pull the rest of the industry behind it.
—Monday, 18 June 2012