When it comes to the design of it’s products, Apple has very few critics.
Unlike most other companies that send us products for review, Apple is one of the few that is present in many spaces and makes all of its own software and hardware. Be it an MP3 Player, a Phone, a Tablet, a laptop or even a set top box- Apple has full control over the hardware and the software across their entire range of products. Apple, like Steve Jobs (RIP), is extremely critical of aesthetics and doesn’t mind sacrificing functionality if it does not live up to it’s design expectations. And that, I believe, is the primary reason why many times, their products cause a huge divide when it comes to end users.
The equation of fanboys vs haters is pretty much split in the middle. For every person I’ve met that blindly follows Apple, there is one who is over-critical. However, if you remove software from the equation, you’ll find that amount of people that love Apple’s product designs are far more in quantity. Like it or not, Apple has been on the forefront of industrial design over the last few years and is one area where they lead and others follow.
Take, for example, the MacBook Pro and the Unibody design that Apple introduced back in 2008. That set the bar for most professional laptops. Then came the iPhone that pretty much changed the entire mobile landscape and finally the iPad that every other tablet manufacturer is trying to compete against. I’m not saying that laptops or phones or tablets didn’t exist before Apple products- however, Apple’s influence over the product’s design is so simple, effective and robust that it becomes the standard to follow. Take the MacBook Air for example. Almost every Ultrabook that I have reviewed takes its design inspiration from that.
The latest product to come out of Apple that will certainly have an impact on the industry is the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. I’ve been using it for a few days now and I can say without doubt that it’s one of the finest laptops I have used. The pixel filled Retina Display that we previously saw on the iPhone and then iPad makes an introduction on laptops and it is insanely beautiful. After using the new MacBook Pro for a few days, it will become difficult for me to appreciate displays on other laptops that come in for review from now on.
Over time, I’m sure other manufacturers will catch up and provide extremely high resolution displays as well just like they caught on with other Apple products but I’m sure that by that time, Apple will have something new for us to lust after. You may not like the restrictions that Apple puts on it’s products or argue about the lack of features on the software side, but when it comes to the design of their products, suddenly, a room full of Apple critics becomes quiet. And that’s because they’re too busy picking their jaws up from the floor.