Here is my quick take on the Apple event that was held this week. As a reformed Apple fan, my opinions about Apple products are somewhat biased. Just keep that in mind…
Apple dropped the price to $69, which is giant step in the direction of being able to better compete with the likes of Roku, Amazon and Google, but the price drop alone is not enough to get me to purchase one, as I am a satisfied user of a Chromecast and a Roku, both of which are more capable devices. Aside from HBO Now, there is nothing compelling about the Apple TV. However, when anyone asks me which streaming device to buy, I do recommend the Apple TV for people who have a Mac, an iPhone and/or iPad and purchase the majority of their media content from iTunes. In other words, I only recommend them for people firmly entrenched in the Apple ecosystem.
As it is exclusive to Apple (for the time being), and as someone who does not use an Apple TV or iOS, I am not interested. Even if HBO Now were available to other platforms, the $14.99 monthly price is no cheaper than what it would cost to add HBO to my existing satellite package. The only market this serves is the true cord cutters who don't already have a cable or satellite package.
The new MacBook is indeed a handsome machine. Although the gold version is not my forte, the sleek lines and crisp display are remarkable. Much like the first generation MacBook Air, this new MacBook offers hints at where Apple is headed in terms of notebook design.
Those design hints are troubling. As I understand it, this new MacBook that cannot be cheaply upgraded. The RAM is permanently attached to the logic board, as is the SSD (a first for an Apple notebook). Being able to upgrade such an expensive device is important. In my own experience, if it weren't for the ability to upgrade the RAM on my 2008 iMac, it would long have been a $1200 doorstop. Plus, if you need to insert a USB drive or perhaps attach a camera while the MacBook is charging, because there is only one USB C port, there is the need for an extra $80 adapter. No thanks. (Although I guess Apple feels that if you are already dropping $1300 on a computer, what is another $80 for an adapter?)
Final Thoughts: The new MacBook is svelte, but as the old adage says, looks are only skin deep.
The Edition version of this product is a joke. Clearly, with a price tag starting at $10,000, the Edition is targeted for fashion conscious people with an enormous amount of money to burn. No matter how high end Apple is trying to make this watch, at the end of the day, that $10,000 watch is still a technology product, subject to the unwritten rules of technology products that leaves them outdated after a certain point in time. Inevitably, there will come a time when Apple will stop providing software and security updates, leaving huge back doors in this “most personal” of devices. Inevitably, there will come a time when the watch will cease to work with the latest iPhone, which is important given the its symbiotic relationship with the phone. It must be noted that conspicuously absent from the event was any indication from Apple that there would be an upgrade path for this remarkably expensive device. One would think that Apple would allow the few who purchase this device to make an appointment at the Genius Bar for free internal upgrades and firmware updates. That sounds like a very Apple thing to do. Yet, nothing to this extent was even implied.
The price of a high end traditional watch can be justified. If said watch is well cared for, it can be handed down for generations. A device like the Apple Watch Edition cannot be handed down in the same way. Sure the device itself will last, given Apple's reputation for build quality, but the software on said watch is another story. Apple will inevitably stop supporting the first generation Edition with software and security updates at some point. Apple does not have the long term software support track record to make me comfortable that they will support a device like the Edition over the long term. Verdict: The Apple Watch Edition is the Vertu of smartwatches.
I predict that the best seller in the Apple Watch line will be the aluminium cased Sport version, as it sits at the lowest price point and looks just as good as its stainless steel (and more expensive) brother, the regular Apple Watch.
I find all versions of the Apple Watch to be a hideous abomination from a design standpoint. Ironically, aside from its crown, the Apple Watch looks like a smartwatch from the likes of Samsung. In fact, the Moto 360 looks more like something Apple would have designed than does the Apple Watch.
Oh well. To each his own.
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