Some say we’ve entered the post-PC era where computer users prefer smartphone and tablet. If so, why is it that Apple is crushing the competition with what could be described as simply traditional notebooks?
Not So Traditional
The key to understanding what Apple has done with the MacBook line is clearly in evidence with the recently released MacBook Air.
Think of the reason why a customer buys a Mac in the first place. Basics. Apple loaded up the new MacBook Air with basics.
Speed: The latest Air sports a much faster CPU, and much faster flash storage. The overall appearance to a user makes the MacBook Air feel very fast, even when compared to more powerful MacBook Pro or iMac models.
Battery Life: It may seem crazy, but all that speed comes with what Apple describes as all-day battery life. Up to 12 hours on the 13-inch model. Think about that. 12 hours. You won’t need to scurry away from Starbucks in fear your Mac’s battery will die.
Size: I could also use the term form factor here. The MacBook Air comes in a super light package with the 11-inch screen, and a more common size in the 13-inch model. Could Apple make the MacBook Air smaller and lighter? Possibly, but a smaller size would impact keyboard size and battery life. The MacBook Air’s form factor is almost perfect.
What about Retina display? Product marketing is often about tradeoffs, so a Retina display, while attractive, requires more horsepower and battery to drive all those extra pixels. At least, today. Next year might be a different story.
So, the MacBook Air line has longer battery life, faster CPU, faster storage, faster connectors (Thunderbolt and USB 3), and faster Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi? This is another built-in advantage that combines with the CPU and flash storage which makes the MacBook Air seem faster than it actually is.
The Air’s 802.11ac Wi-Fi works with the new AirPort Extreme to deliver much faster local network speeds, to the point that sharing files between Macs on a network are much faster than the general internet.
While Windows PC makers fight with Microsoft for customer turf, Microsoft almost gives away Surface tablets to schools at below manufacturing cost, and Apple’s competitors are struggling to make a profit, Apple sticks with basics on the MacBook line. Speed. Battery life. Size. Add all the pieces together, including the ease and security of OS X, the iLife apps, iWork (which often negates the expense of Microsoft Office), and is it little wonder PCs are being clobbered in the market place?