The public doesn’t expect compromises

John Paczkowski in an article on Apple’s Black Lab (through John Gruber):

The trouble is, the public doesn’t expect compromises from Apple.

Pretty weird statement, considering Apple compromises — or “trades off” if you like its positive connotation more — all of the time, all over the place. It is exactly what most of their customers like about Apple’s products.

Some examples:

  1. iPod’s aside, starting in 2007 with the iPhone, Apple heads on the road to internal batteries. Completing the switch in 2010 with the white unibody Macbook. Internal batteries waste less container space, that can be used for a bigger battery and longer life.
  2. The Macbook Air compromises almost all ports (including ethernet) and an optical drive for thickness.
  3. In 2008, the 13″ Alu Macbook compromises firewire, only to be added again in the next refresh-cycle.
  4. Macs will never support Blue-ray.
  5. iOS only gradually receives much desired features like copy-paste, background music streaming, notification system, etc. Apple insists on unwrapping these features when they consider them perfect, and not before.
  6. iOS4 compromises true multi-tasking for an approximation that has no noticeable impact on battery-life, and doesn’t suffer from runaway processes.
  7. iOS doesn’t support Adobe Flash.

Initially, much of the listed compromises are met with shock and horror by some bloggers and journalists and most of all in the comments on their articles and posts. In time, people forget the features that were lost (and probably far underused in practice) and embrace and love the ones they gained instead. Or they complain, Apple repents and restores the lost feature (#3).

I can’t wait for Apple to slash the optical drive from the 13″ MBP, and replace it with something I use more than once a year. With SD making its way to almost every Mac, I’m looking forward to Mac OS 11 on SD.

I’ve talked about trade-off before.

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