Word on the proverbial streets says Apple’s upcoming MacBook Pro, the 16-inch model, will have a new keyboard. What? Yet another new keyboard? How did the last one– the much maligned butterfly keyboard– work out?
What I sense is going on is an Apple that is stepping beyond the influence of Sir Jonny Ive and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, leaving thinner and lighter, and form over function behind, and embracing what customers actually want.
What A Shock
I first noticed a glimpse of such pragmatism with the most recent generation iPad Pro; the one with the USB-C port that replaced Apple’s aging Lightning connection. I’m willing to bet USB-C will show up on next year’s iPhone models, too. Goodbye, Lightning. Goodbye Jonny and Jobs.
We saw the same thing again with this year’s crop of iPhones. iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max have much-improved cameras, and both iPhone 11 models are slightly heavier and slightly thicker than last year’s flagship models– that means four to five hours more battery life.
Think about that. Since when did former design honcho Jonny Ive care about battery life?
Somebody at Apple is wearing the Mantle of Pragmatism™. We saw it again when Apple and Qualcomm settled their lawsuits and formed an agreement that benefits both companies as 5G rolls out to the world. We’re seeing it again with those rumors about a new MacBook Pro with a 16-inch display and a new keyboard that is somewhat old.
The scissors type. Butterfly is gone.
We’re also seeing some clever use of important features. Low-end iPads get the low-end LCD display and Touch ID. iPad Pro models get Face ID and improved displays. See how that works? Not only does differentiation work between competitors, it works within a product line, too.
Slowly, steadily, step-by-step we are witnessing Apple’s return to an era of pragmatism, a place on the space-time continuum where form no longer rules over function.
Pragmatism is king!
You’ll know Apple is on the right track when future MacBook Pros and high-end iMacs come with Face ID. Apple could go even farther down the pragmatic track with Macs that would allow a swap of SSD and RAM but maybe those days are gone for good.
Today’s new iPhones have exactly what customers want. Vastly improved camera and much longer battery life. The modular Mac Pro has professionals drooling over its capabilities. And now Mac customers are about to get an improved MacBook Pro that has a keyboard that actually works.