Jamie Balfour

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The Apple keyboard problem

The Apple keyboard problem

Before I was a Mac user, I used to look at MacBook Pros as being the dream computer for me. One of the main reasons I got my first MacBook Pro and became a bit of a sucker for Apple products was the build quality. There was absolutely no doubt that MacBook Pros were of a standard that no other machine was of, especially at the time when I was making the switch (2010-11).

Nowadays there is a lot of competition from the Windows side, particularly from companies like Razer, Asus and Dell. In short, Apple doesn't seem to care about the Mac as much as they used to.

But why? Well, you only have to look at their sales, the iPhone is racing on ahead with 217,000+ phones being sold compared to a measly 18,000 Macs in the same period (2018). The Mac hasn't gained popularity since 2007 when the iPhone was initially released which lead to a small boost and increase in sales for it until it eventually got to around 18,000 Macs per annum where it stopped. They've been around that mark for quite a while since then, peaking at around 20,000 in 2015.

But now, Apple has been faced with a big issue, one that threatens the whole Mac product line. It stems from Apple's incredibly poorly thought out MacBook (2015) which took Apple's form over functionality concept a step too far. Form over functionality is a design technique, often used in web design where a website focuses on making an impression on the user through visual features, but sacrifices easy navigation and often reduces the amount of readable content on the page. In engineering, form over functionality has been a thing for decades. Laptops of the early Millenium often sacrificed older connections such as serial ports and parallel ports for slimness and moved to a USB/FireWire only world. The result of this was that many people lost functionality from their computers without having much choice. For instance, in 2005, I had a bunch of parallel based devices that I still wanted to be able to use, I ended up having to purchase a rather bulky Pentium 4 laptop because it featured a parallel port on it (one of the devices I had didn't work with a USB to parallel adapter).

Apple has become so obsessed with form over functionality that they are making people, like me, avoid MacBooks like the plague. I'm sad to be saying this, but until Apple fixes these issues, they won't be selling me any new Macs, and that's hard to admit, but my MacBook is still doing well and with these issues, it would be folly for me to go down this route at the moment.

Posted in Technology
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