Apple’s WWDC 2012 was quite the event and apart from being incredibly long, there was one announcement that really made my night – the next generation MacBook Pro. We had an inkling about the other announcements and while they were big, it wasn’t as great as their new notebook. This may sound like a broken record now but Apple has upped the ante once again for what a high-end notebook should be. Squeezing in such a high-res display that would put most desktop monitors to shame, ditching the optical drive and going all flash for storage was quite a ballsy move and the thing is, they will easily get away with it because they’re Apple. What the Cupertino company has really done though, is create the blueprints for PC makers' 2013 lineup of notebooks. I would not be surprised at all if at next year’s CES, we have Dell, Samsung, LG, etc all turning up with ‘Retina-grade’ displays in their notebooks. This leads me to my question that always creeps up every time Apple launches something new, why couldn’t someone do this before them?
Apple isn’t run by sorcerers and wizards that conjure up these new ideas and technologies overnight, they are all out there in the industry, just waiting to be put together in a product, so why couldn’t Samsung or Dell create a revolutionary notebook? Why does it always have to be Apple who does things first? I don’t buy that the folks at Apple are simply smarter than the rest as we are all capable of innovative ideas, the only difference is that they actually do it rather than just talk about it. Samsung has a separate sister company dedicated to manufacturing display’s and the same goes with LG, so why didn’t either of them think of putting a high-resolution display in their notebook? Granted, it would have been super expensive and would have barely moved off the shelves, but at least they can lay claim that they were the first to come up with such a commercial product and that could be a showcase of what they are capable of. It’s not like they don’t have money for R&D either, Samsung and LG are both massive companies that can easily experiment with new ideas and products in a way that someone would actually want to buy one, but they don’t. Amongst all the OEMs, I’d say Asus is one of the few companies that are taking the initiative and innovating. The Eee Pad Transformer turned tablets into something more than just media consumption devices and their latest Padfone tablet/phone hybrid proves that one device can give you the best of all worlds with smartly designed accessories.
When will others lead instead of just following?
Speaking of innovators, Intel has done their fair share in shaping the PC desktop and notebook scene but it’s mostly behind the scenes and they don’t really make a big deal about it themselves but instead leave that bit up to their partners. Netbooks was their brainchild and it did really well, mainly because it was very affordable. Ultrabooks are stagnating in sales a bit primarily due to the cost factor. This is another very nice concept but at current prices, it’s out of reach for the masses which is why the adoption rate has been low. It’s still a long time till prices hit the Rs.22,000 and below mark, who knows, perhaps AMD’s Trinity based Ultrathins will beat them to it.
Apple has always been about premium products and that’s not about to change anytime soon. They will continue making expensive products and overpriced accessories and the people will continue to lap them up. Not to sound like a fanboi or anything but the simple truth is that they make desirable products, stuff that you dream of owning. People will blindly shell out 40K and 50K for an iPhone but will think a million times before spending 20K on another phone. It’s not because they are stupid but because they are guaranteed a quality product that will be supported for the next three to four years. We all know the state of Android and their updates so let’s not get into that. I feel the lack of innovation from OEMs is simple, wait for Apple to roll out a new product and then release something similar for cheaper. It’s the cheaper, quicker and easier route to make money.