#NEDJ Week 1 Wednesday: Oh The Humanity!
The earth has been destroyed in a nuclear holocaust. Only the tattered remnants of humanity survive. Why does your chosen subject deserve to be preserved in the massive bunker under the mountain?
Because lots and lots of people use and love them, or at least very strongly favour them. And because I like them a lot too. But most importantly, because the people who make them seem to know where the wind is blowing.
A few years ago, all the PC manufacturers were flogging netbooks, pretty much at a loss. You couldn’t move for the things. They were ugly, underpowered and cramped but they were as cheap as chips and you couldn’t walk round Dixons without tripping over one. They were even giving them away free on 3G data contracts. Naturally, people asked Apple if they were going to do one. Apple went “erm… no” and shortly thereafter released the iPad. And in the space of a few short years the market for netbooks has utterly vanished. Everything people could do on a netbook they can do on a tablet, and more, and more comfortably, and more intuitively. And Jesus, Microsoft was trying to flog tablets a decade ago and couldn’t get anyone to touch them with someone else’s!
Not only that, but the hot new thing in PC laptops is “ultrabooks”. Compact, powerful, sleek, full-featured machines that sacrifice legacy technology in favour of being as thin and battery-efficient as possible. MacBook Airs, basically.
And of course it was a similar story with mobile phones. Apple rarely invents entirely new products, they look at what current products are causing pain, and do what they think is best to take as much of that pain away, usually turning established markets and products on their head whilst so doing. They are rarely first to market with anything, but when they do come to market they change that market, in a meaningful way.
Apple may not be to everyones taste and that’s fine, the sandpit is big enough for lots of kids to play in. People can find them controlling, superior, limited and greedy. There are arguments to be made for all of those feelings. But what they also are is focused on making things that mostly just work, most of the time, for most people. They very often fall short, but that is the aim.
Apple is the kid who’s walled off his own big corner of the sandpit, sieved out most of the glass and dogshit and has one perfectly good bucket and spade set for everyone who wants to play.