Critics point to a lack of ports in the 2015 Apple MacBook as a mistake.
It’s no mistake. Apple configured the MacBook with a specific target market in mind. For those people a single port is not an issue.
Sure, the lack of ports is a reason not to buy for many people. If you need lots of external storage, an Ethernet connection or a big screen, Apple’s 2015 MacBook is not for you.
We’ve been here before. Most notably, Apple critics said the iPhone should have had a replaceable battery. They also said not having a removable SD card was a mistake.
Samsung went on making these points right up until this year, when it followed Apple and dropped both features in its Galaxy S6 phones.
It was the same with the iPad: “too few ports” or “no expansion sockets”. How successful were the rival tablet makers when they built devices with both included?
As I mentioned in the 2015 MacBook review the only port problem I face is that there are times when an iPhone or an iPad can benefit from a physical connection for iTunes synching.
There were times when I might have benefitted from having an Ethernet port on my MacBook Air. But Apple’s designers rightly decided I’d get even greater benefits from a slim laptop. Good call.
Apple has never been frightened to push forward into the future. Enough customers are happy to go along for the ride.
This contrasts with Microsoft’s world. Windows PCs kept ports and components long after their use-by date.
We’ve a Windows PC here with a dozen USB ports, serial ports, Ethernet ports, even old school mouse and keyboard ports along with various types of audio and video ports. Almost all of them have been unused for years. There’s also a DVD drive that gets touched once in a blue moon.
Microsoft’s position is understandable. It makes a big deal out of backward compatibility because it earns most of its revenue from enterprise customers. They may not need all that old stuff, but they are conservative. They think they may need old ports and they include them as ‘must haves’ when buying computers.
For all kinds of reasons, this legacy mentality spills over into Windows consumer devices. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, consumers expect to get a few years use out of their technology. Being able to run a 20 year printer is important to lots of people.
These are not the same people Apple is targeting with the 2015 MacBook. If you value portability, ease of use and radical simplicity over being able to use old stuff, then you love the new MacBook.