Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Link. Apple’s White MacBook may Stay and Grow

Primary version of this post, with visual content, at Barry Stocker's Weblog

Apple to retain, redesign plastic MacBook family. AppleInsider. 25th August 2009.

This refers back to my post of 27th July on Apple Tablet/MacTouch/iPad. In that post I noted the very consistent and frequent rumours of a forthcoming 10 inch device from Apple with a touch screen. I suggested then that the White MacBook was in its last days as a legacy product, and would be killed off when the new portable device was released. I was then referring to AppleInsider, and many other sources, for the predictions of the new portable. This time I;m only relying on AppleInsider, but I think the item makes a very strong case for saying that Apple has had a change of mind. AppleInsider is generally respected for its reliability and this item has been picked up by other Apple oriented sites.

The linked item refers to a change of mind of Apple as the White MacBook continues to outsell other Macintosh computers, despite the lack of advertising and the difficulty of finding it on Apple’s online store. Perhaps this is not surprising, for two sets of reasons.

Intrinsic qualities.

The White MacBook handles normal computing needs extremely well, it has been upgraded and the price has been cut. There’s little reason for getting a MacBook Pro unless a high level computer is really necessary, and Apple reinforced when the aluminium 13 inch MacBook was relabelled as the entry level MacBook Pro.

Extrinsic circumstances.

The recession increases the incentives to choose the plastic MacBook over the aluminium MacBook Pros, including the 13 inch version which initially seemed destined to replace the plastic White MacBook.

Apple has survived the recession remarkably unscathed despite claims from some quarters that the Mac computers are overpriced niche, boutique items, which would lose market share heavily in a recession. In addition Microsoft was heavily advertising claims that Macintosh computers are overpriced compared with PCs designed for Windows. A somewhat dubious claim if computers are compared at list price feature by feature, particularly taking into account the lack of viruses for Mac Operating System, the much greater most people take in using it compared with Windows, and the greater number of features ready bundled with the OS X. Apple responded by cutting prices and upgrading, so that though its products are certainly not cheap they are certainly much better value, for what many including myself would argues was already very good value for the quality of the products.

It now looks as if Apple may revive the White MacBook line, in a niche between the new 10 inch portable and the MacBook Pros. I had earlier predicted that the new devices might become the standard Mac computer, like the White MacBook has been. That is less clear now. It might increase the number of people with two Mac computers.

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