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Do Apple trends hail a new direction?

June 15, 2012

trendsEarlier this week Apple announced some new hardware, as well as developments in its desktop and mobile operating systems. David Pogue wrote a helpful summary in An Explanation of the News From Apple. At the end of his article, the New York Times tech pundit summarizes four trends Apple is setting:

  1. Discs are out.
    Tablets and slim laptops don’t have them. Nearly everything we want is in the cloud.
  2. Ethernet is out.
    No more cables for connecting to the Internet. Everything connects without wires.
  3. Hard drives are out.
    The cost and size of memory chips keep dropping, while their capacity rises.
  4. Speech is in.
    Siri is hugely popular and Apple’s newest operating systems will feature built-in dictation across the board.

Does all this make you want to shout, “Wait just a minute, I like my DVDs!” Pogue talks about this backlash in a follow up article, Pondering the Rest of the Apple Announcements:

It’s a movie that we’ve all seen before. Over and over and over. Remember when Apple killed off the floppy drive? The dial-up modem? The removable battery?

In the end, Apple will probably be right about moving on. And that may simply be a self-fulfilling prophesy, owing to the company’s mammoth influence on the tech marketplace.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2012 9:10 am

    Apple has always been labeled as the “trend setter” in many areas. First to mass produce computers without floppy drives, first to commercialize wifi on a large scale, etc. However, that hasn’t always been a decision based on technology as much as it has been about form. While I agree the move to voice input and solid state drives certainly is a better direction for technology to take, especially in the mobile space, I will lament the lose of wired ethernet (though you can still attach via an adapter).

    I think what might be more interesting, that as much as Apple has heralded the rise of the multi-purpose touch screen, they continue to refine their traditional keyboard and mouse interface devices, signaling that they still see a lot of importance to be had for traditional inputs and models of computing.

  2. Chris Clark permalink*
    June 21, 2012 10:00 am

    Thanks for the comment, Ben. I just subscribed to techsavvyed!

    Interesting thought about form versus innovation. I still find it surprising that consumers are willing to pay more for Apple products because they are cooler. While Apple computers may only a little easier to use these days, the price differential is also a lot lower than it used to be.

    I don’t see their keyboard and pointer developments as being much more than pretty tweaks. I doubt they invested a lot of energy in them.

    FYI, Apple was also one of the first to use floppy drives and USB.

  3. Ben Rimes permalink
    June 21, 2012 10:25 am

    I’ve never paid for my Apple products because they were cooler, I’ve always been deliberate with my purchases based on what I want to accomplish. After years of working with Audacity, Photostory, and Movie Maker on a Windows box, I wanted something much more robust and inter-connected in what iLife has to offer. My first iPhone was the 4, and I purposely held off on that for many years, suffering with a 5 year old Motorola until I felt the purchase justified what I could get out of it, and it’s paid off in spades!

    I thing the trackpad and the gestures are a HUGE development that warrant more than just the title of “tweaks”. The keyboard is what it is, but I’m constantly frustrated when I work on my windows machines and don’t have the same ability to use gestures, as they’ve worked themselves almost seamlessly into my computer use (but that’s just my personal preference). The multi-touch trackpad (which some in my school district now prefer to a mouse) represents a huge investment for them in the area of input and user interface design, as it has developed hand in hand with Mac OSX, in my opinion.

    And thanks for the subscription :) Nice to have someone local (I’m up in St. Joseph, MI) following my stuff.

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