It would be good to get some detail on the innovations, which features and models? Or even a link to the report?
Asus and Lenovo both offer more innovative Ultrabook-style laptops than Apple, though the Mac maker has the pair of them licked when it comes to implementing that innovation. So says market watcher ABI Research, which reckons Apple “outscores its rivals significantly in implementation” if not in innovation. For proof, look no …
"It would be good to get some detail on the innovations, which features and models? Or even a link to the report?"
There isn't any ' innovations', ABI Research can't think of anything concretely positive to say about the ultrabook. See a video of an Asus Zenbook compared to a MacBook Air
From what I understand, the Macbook Air was actually co-designed with Intel anyway to set the design language for the Ultrabook standard which Intel was trying to set in motion. I don't think Apple really deserve that much credit here other than perhaps some of the less important 'shiny' touches.
The tapered, thin shape is a natural answer to the form factor in that at the rear things have to be thicker, but not so necessary at the front. I wouldn't say Asus et al. copied it, merely that they came to the same conclusion.
I will admit that as a piece of PC-Hardware kit, I love the Macbook Air but, as I despise Mac OS, I would be running something else on it anyway from the time it was delivered. That is of course all assuming I could swallow the price, which I cannot.
You understand wrong. Apple worked with Intel to design a special version of the CPU that would allow them to fit the thin form factor they were wanting. Originally it was an Apple only SKU, it was only after Apple saw some success selling the Air and PC OEMs started asking Intel about it that they added the SKU to their general price list.
Apple didn't invent the idea of "a laptop, just thinner", but they did a better job of it than any PC OEM had done before, because they were willing to make compromises to make it as thin as possible, such as dumping the DVD drive.
Once it became successful Intel apparently decided that it would be a winning formula in the PC world and defined the "Ultrabook", but in defining it to be of similar thinness and build quality as Apple was using, it has proved a bit too expensive to be as successful in the PC market as Intel hoped. Apple's Macbook Air doesn't have to compete against low end $300 Mac laptops, but PC ultrabooks do, which limits their potential market share.
One has been returned once, the second taken back to the shop for replacement twice. The wifi on both units today is still iffy and there are buggy little issues with both. My Sony VAIO is two years old and has more functionality than the Mac Books.
Build Quality - is OK
Innovation - Huh? There is nothing innovative save the thin case, crap battery life and resulting problems the ultra thin components cause.
Cost - Staggering how much people will pay for a logo.
Apple - Good marketing you pay through the nose for and not much else.
Yeah, who needs retina resolution. Or pioneering unibody cases laser-etched from aluminium. Or backlit keyboards, cut from the aluminium to make the keyboard firmer. Or integrated batteries making the machine both thinner and firmer. Or build- and component-quality that is industry-leading. Or glass multi-touch trackpads. Or abandoning optical drives and other IO to emphasise thinness and lightness. And all this in the past four years, really starting with the original MacBook Air.
Yep, you're right, Apple's innovation with laptops is a joke and some moron will pay double just for the logo.
Making the machine less maintainable so that it can be prettier is not "innovation". It's a lifestyle choice and being a slave to fashion.
Apple just makes more noise about doing it. They are great at marketing and they have a willing cabal of astroturfers.
Oh you mean all those innovations that just mean if it breaks there is a large chance it just goes into landfill?
A friend of mine who chose to repair Apple gear for a living has now given up. Not because Apple gear is more reliable, oh no, he had people queueing round the block with failed and broken Apple goodness. No shortage of punters.
He had to give up because every year they just get less repairable. Just wasn't worth his while or the techniques were getting too complicated to make it financially worth it for the customer.
£700 to fix a coffee spill anyone?
Apples whatever-it-is has OSX and everyone else's has Windows. Surely for a lot of the population (those that aren't hardware geek/snobs) that's the bit they're bothered about?
Say I'm desperate for something that runs OSX, I'm not going to buy a Lenovo because the hardware is either cheaper or more innovative.
Yet oddly enough they've managed to innovate a 13 inch Ultrabook that has a better than 1366x768 screen res. Presumably via some magic incantation to the Elder Gods, since there's presumably no possible other way to have accomplished this astounding feat of product design foresight and engineering, as every other manufacturer on the planet could attest with their identikit offerings.
"MacBook Air’s “dominant market share" becuase titheads keep banging on with the same old shite like "Asus and Lenovo both offer more innovative Ultrabook-style laptops than Apple, though the Mac maker has the pair of them licked when it comes to implementing that innovation."
Thankfully the majority have not fallen for the crap and are intelligent enough to make their own decision and are not swayed by what someone else thinks is (eurgh!) cool (now i feel dirty).
Which is that its laptops do not come with a crap OS.
…To elaborate a bit: Mac OS X is a Unix-based OS which does not suffer from driver problems. The first point eliminates Windows, and the second eliminates Linux.
Of course, other people have different criteria.
I do have a desktop running on Linux, running a version of Ubuntu 10. I regularly have problems with pop-up menus which refuse to disappear unless I quit the application, and people more knowledgeable than me say that this is a problem with nVidia drivers (I think Linus Torvalds had something to say about nVidia and their drivers).
Admittedly, my last laptop running on Linux was back in 2008.
So the problem isn't with nVidia drivers obviously. Not that there aren't problems with nVidia drivers in Linux at all, just not these. With laptops there are a lot of proprietary crap and bad choices of hardware, especially in Sony laptops (e.g. camera in UX), but situation with drivers is significantly better than with Windows (XP 64, anyone? Support for SB16 in Windows 8 Pro? Bluetooth stacks other than IIRC Broadcom?)
CentOS 6 on recycled 12.1" Lenovo thinkpad with Intel graphics. Cost me less than some people spend on messenger bags. Works fine. Has a reassuringly 'industrial' look according to the other half. To each his/her own.
Coat icon: I'm the one doing Impress slides on the 0739.
Apple outsell the rest for a simple reason:
Apple owners will pay loads of cash for the latest shiny, no matter the cost, how good their existing kit is or whether they need the extra power, storage or high-res screen.
The rest of the world sees ultrabook prices and says "fuck that" to the cost.
Having a high-res screen isn't innovation. Developing it, building it, maybe, using it, no.
Apple outsell the rest for a simple reason:
Apple owners have different criteria for deciding what they want to spend their money on, no matter what someone with different criteria says out of a misguided feeling of superiority. (Naturally when making sweeping generalisations it's also wise to ignore the fact that until quite recently the MacBook Air was cheaper than equivalent specification ultrabooks from other manufacturers.)
The rest of the world also have different criteria and decide not to buy windows based ultrabooks for their own reasons.
Having a high-res screen isn't innovation. Developing it, building it and shipping it three years before anyone else, yes.
Was it Apple that developed the screen, or the screen supplier? I presume it went like this.
Apple : We want a higher res screen at same thickness
Supplier: Er, OK, we can do the dev work on that for you, and then you buy loads - M'Kay?
Apple: ..but don't sell them to anyone else, M'Kay...
Apple : We also need a faster GPU to run the higher res screen
Supplier2 (Imagination Tech) : M'kay, we'll do the dev work on that then you buy loads, M'kay
Apple : M'kay.
So suppliers do the R&D and building, Apple, really, just gave them a spec, which I don't really regard as innovation.
A strange thing to claim, given you can't actually imperically measure "innovation". Innovation is perceptive and subjective.
Some people will weight the finger print scanner has greater innovation than a thin form factor. To others, it could be the other way round. Backlit keyboard vs Thinkvantage support? The same. It's all bollox.
Nothing to see here - keep calm and carry on.
Apple's products are very good. They're less exciting than they were, but still very good.
I use Macs because I like Mac OS. I use Macs because they tend to irritate me less than Windows. I knowingly and willingly pay a premium for this.
I use iPhone because I like iOS. I use an iPhone because it tends to irritate me less than Android phones do. I knowingly and willingly pay a premium for this.
I use an iPad because I like it. I still think iOS has the edge as a tablet operating system. It has the best catalogue of tablet apps.
I don't think people who choose other devices, be they Windows, Android, or whatever else, are stupid or have made the wrong choice. As long as people have thought about the device they buy in a rational way, taken some advice (not necessarily from me, before you ask), confirmed that the device will do what they want in a way that suits them, then that's all good and well.
And yes, one valid reason might be that they might be able to get pretty much the same functionality as I've just admitted to having above for the thick end of a grand less than I paid.
A pint because quite a lot of people should probably chill out a bit, preferably with ale.
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