Everyone knows Apple is a premium brand, a company that only sells products in the premium end of each industry segment. From Mac to iPhone to iPad to Watch, Apple’s products smack of affordable luxury; the best of the premium products.
Yes, I can honestly say my iPhone 7 Plus and my new MacBook Pro make me feel as if I’ve arrived at the pinnacle of technology’s premium end of the spectrum. But sometimes I look around and realize that other manufacturers have better specifications on select products or components. Not always, mind you, but often enough to make me ask Apple, “Hey, what’s with that?”
Low End Of The High End
Here’s a good example where sometimes I feel Apple gouges customers who think they’re getting a premium product when they’re actually getting the low end of the high end. Yeah, I love the new MacBook Pro, but the Intel’s Inside are anemic compared to previous versions, and though the device is beautiful to behold and hold, it’s stuck at 16GB of RAM, decried as anemic by professionals and pseudo-professionals alike.
My example is the FaceTime HD camera, still stuck at 720p while the rest of the world moves to 1080p HD and some have hit Quad-HD for 4k video. For a PC camera. The even more diminutive MacBook carries an even more anemic 480p FaceTime camera.
What’s with that, Apple?
Apple TV does not handle 4k video but already streaming services are pushing the higher resolution standard, and TV makers have cut-rate deals on 4k televisions. Build it and they will come, right? Hey, even the iPhone can shoot 4k video, but does Apple TV have a way to enjoy it? Nope.
Accessory maker Logitech has a new 4k Ultra HD webcam that seems to shame the best of Apple. Even an iPhone cannot display 4k Quad HD. Competing products can. What’s Apple’s problem? For one, Apple refuses to put an Apple logo on anything that resembles ugly, and this comes pretty close.
Yeah, you and I both know Apple would never sell such a monstrosity with an Apple logo on the front, but the specifications make it alluring nonetheless.
Speaking of specifications, whatever happened to Apple’s own high resolution Thunderbolt display? Apple killed it. Why? Everyone else had higher resolution displays for less, and Apple must have a legal limit on how many products can display the company’s logo, because accessory displays for the Mac are now made by someone else; in this case, LG (which makes washers, dryers, refrigerators, smartphones, and other gadgets where Apple refuses to compete; wouldn’t you like an Apple branded dishwasher?).
Funny thing. These displays are Retina 4k and 5k and work with Apple’s new MacBook Pro line but not if you park them near your home or office Wi-Fi. Then they stop working.
Yes, there’s a shielding issue and LG says replacements are on the way, and models already in the wild can be repaired. Maybe there’s a reason Apple decided not to put their logon on these already very ugly displays.
What I want from Apple is assurance that the company still plans to compete in the premium end of the technology spectrum, and to do so in such a way that we Apple customers don’t drool over another device’s better camera, that we don’t wish for better battery life like that other smartphone that runs Android, or desire PC accessories for our Apple gear because we really, truly, madly, deeply prefer as many Apple logos on the desktop as we can get.