What defines best? If nothing that competes with an Apple product is better, then it must be the best, right? But what if it could be better and Apple chooses not to put the effort into a specific product improvement?
Obviously, Apple has some cost and price constraints when it comes to making a product the so-called ‘best of breed.’ Even the definition of best has legs.
- adjective – of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality
- adverb – to the highest degree; most
- noun – that which is the most excellent, outstanding, or desirable
- verb – outwit or get the better of (someone)
The definition covers a lot of territory, but will it fit Apple’s new iPod touch?
When I read the specifications for the new iPod touch it occurred to me that Apple did something on the sly. Isn’t iPod touch really just a mini iPad mini?
- iPad – the entry-level iPad with a 9.7-inch display is $329 with 32GB of storage
- iPad mini – with 7.9-inch display starts at $399 with 64GB of storage
- iPod touch – with a 4-inch iPhone SE-like display starts at $199 for 32GB of storage
Let’s be honest. Isn’t the new iPod touch just a smaller iPad mini?
The best of anything is subjective, of course, and riddled with compromises. Apple could dip a Watch into 14k gold and give it a 10 year warranty, but would that make it the best for everyone who can afford the $25,000 price tag?
Here’s another definition of best that I prefer when applying it to Apple:
most productive of good : offering or producing the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction
What that definition means is that everything Apple makes is competitive with the status quo, nearly the best you can buy for the money, but not necessarily the best in every feature or function.
Think of Apple this way. Everything the company makes works best within the ecosystem and when integrated with additional Apple hardware and software. That makes the whole of using an Apple product greater than the sum of its parts, features, and functions.
No, Apple does not make every feature or function or component the absolute best it can be– there are pragmatic restraints– and often not even as good or better than the competition. The sum of the parts rules. Best is, at best, subjective; compromises rule and that includes costs, usability, and how every component– hardware or software– fits into the overall ecosystem.
Apple’s very best products are the ones you can buy in any Apple Store; including hardware and software, but each leaves room for iterative improvements in future models; faster CPUs, better displays, more usability in software features.
Best is subjective and not easily defined, but since it’s the ecosystem that sets Apple apart, it remains better overall than competitors, which makes the company’s products the best among competitors.