Apple is Getting Silly
where'd the good branding go?
There was a time where Apple was truly ahead of the pack in almost every way. They had a state of the art UNIX operating system, awesome PPC chips, fresh new product designs, and they were inventing new markets. Those days are dead. Apple has an amazing chip with the M1 and its relatives, but the M1 alone merely keeps their hardware relevant. It does not make it truly rule the market. Further, Apple's designs are getting very stale. Everyone knows the look, and that look is in need of something new. Their latest "event" is great example of this directionless march that the company has been on. They showed us very little about which we should get excited.
Peek Performance gave us:
Mac Studio: a beefier mini with more ports
M1 Ultra: literally just two M1 Maxes stuck together chiplet style
iPad Air: colors and M1
iPhone SE: same but with A15
Friday Night Baseball on TV+
Studio Display: LG Ultrafine but newer thunderbolt, metal casing, better audio, and a better camera
None of this is truly impressive. I own and use an entry level Mac Mini M1, and it's a good computer. I do not have any buyers remorse about it, but I will say that it isn't exactly what all of the tech pundits have said it is. It's just a nice computer with decent performance. Additionally, Apple is still radically overcharging for RAM and storage, especially as Apple's SSDs might be prone to data loss as a trade off for all that performance. I can say that Apple is better at memory management than nearly any other company, but that only goes so far... especially with memory leaks in macOS Monterey.
While I applaud Apple's work on M1, and I applaud their willingness to bring back physical ports on their computers, these changes were made due to customer desire for ports, and Intel's laughably bad innovation over 10 or so years. These changes are not revolutionary, and these changes are not "magical" in the way that the iMac was, the way that the G4 Cube was, the way that Airport was, the way that the iPod was, the way that the iPhone was, or even the way the original Apple computer was or the way the original Macintosh was. Apple does still have the best tablet, the best smart watch, and the best smart TV box. Nothing really comes close to them, and these things help to keep people in their ecosystem, but Apple is continuing to try and sell tiny improvements as massive leaps. This latest event was almost as cringe as Intel's. Every single thing that Apple announced could simply have been quietly announced on their website without any event at all.
Come on Apple. Step up the quality again. If the quality improvement requires slower releases that's okay. We don't need new computers and iTrinkets every single year. We would like some stability, quality, security, privacy, and FRESH designs that offer something _original_. Further, your branding now sucks. Pro, Max, and Ultra can go away. The Air moniker and the "i" moniker can likewise go away. Everything is now thin, everything is now internet enabled, and everything can be used by professionals or enthusiasts or grandmas. There is no reason to have 50 SKUs for every single market segment, and there is no need to have stupid names that a 13 year old finds cool for each one of your SKUs.
One other thing... it appears that Apple is loving some early 2000s digital artwork now. Seemed a bit kitsch for Apple.