College Students Love the Macbook Pro but Apple Loves Dongles

11:34:00 AM

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Being just about the only tech student in a crossover class between business majors and tech majors, I find myself to be in the minority when it comes to this new line of Macbook Pros. As the conversation of the Apple event began to stir I was quickly jettisoned into a debate on why these Macbook Pros do not live up to the name “Pro”. Apple fans never want to hear anything negative, so in a classroom of silver finished Macbook Airs and glossy piano black iphone 7s I knew I just woke up a sleeping giant. But why? Why were these diehards so hellbent with backing their Apple overlords? Everyone I spoke to loved it. They claimed it was perfect for things such as media consumption and standard school productivity tasks which more or less just utilize office. I was confused. Isn’t that what the Macbook Air was for? Even the lighter and thinner Macbook? These Macbook Pros aren’t for them; I struggle to think if there for anybody.


Apples macbook pro in the new space grey color
Form over Function. Source via www.apple.com



What Happened to the Apple We Use to Love?
Apple use to be a company that catered to the creative professional. The photographers, the music makers, the artist. These days, Apple is in the business of dongles and contradiction. Arrogance and gimmicky features are beginning to define the Tech Titan.

When Apple introduced the new line of Macbook Pros. I found them to be quite nice looking, much like everything Apple creates, but also quite dull. Sure, the screen is nicer, allowing more colors and the brightness has increased. Sure, the new touch bar is cool and may actually come to be slightly useful and not at all redundant. In the end though, I can’t help but think this is just another update from Cupertino that takes one step forward and two steps backward.

Apple's presentation was quite the spectacle. It always is. No one here is doubting Apples ability to showcase and market its products. It’s a skill they have mastered brilliantly and it’s the number one reason for their diehard following.  The more I ponder it, the more it bothers me that Apple isn’t in the business of making its products easier to use. I tried to reason with my peers. Telling them how much of a contradiction it is to make USB-C the only port on the new Macbook Pros and then brag about thinness and portability as your now forced to haul even more dongles. How much of a contradiction it was to vow never to use touch on laptops due its awkwardness only to unveil a tiny touch strip and praise its versatility.

Thinner Does Not Mean More Portable
17% thinner they say, but if you want to plug into a monitor you’ll be forced to buy and carry another dongle. 17% thinner they say, but you’ll need yet another dongle to access that SD card. Just about anything creative professionals due on Macbook Pros is now hindered by Apples obsession with dongles and counter-intuitive design choices. Now, I know I know. USB-C is the future and we are moving towards one standalone port for data transfer and power. This was the case my fellow students made, one of them with an iPhone7 in hand. Picture Perfect. “Tell me my friend”, I said to him in a sadistic tone, “Why does your phone have a proprietary lightning connector.”. Moving the technology forward to better ports is a good thing, but you need to include other ports during the transition years to make the move easier on your fan base. Something Apple refuses to do. They aren’t in the business of making things more user friendly.

A screenshot of a tweet from Drew Breunig showing Apples Dongles
You get a dongle. You get a dongle. Everyone gets a dongle. Source via @dbreunig Twitter. 
It’s just another example of Apples contradiction and arrogance to make these kinds of choices. Forcing their users into changing their needs to meet their devices limitations and lack of flexibility. Don’t forget, this is the company that had the audacity to tell its user base it took “courage” to eliminate the headphone jack from its latest smartphone. Courage. No, it took dongles. Dongles are now the name of the game for Apple. They love them, and you’ll buy them.

To be fair, these Macbook Pros have some nice features. They’ll be hugely popular and successful even with the most minor of refreshes. Apple has been making these kinds of choices for years now. Although iPhone 7 sales have dropped, their user base does not seem to mind these types of decisions all too much. Even if they have scared away the Pros from the Macbook Pro.

It’s sad to see a company now restricting its most prominent users. Users who swore by their machines. If you wanted to create art, you needed a Macbook Pro.  That was the consensus but Apple just took the Pro out of Macbook Pro. Hopefully Apple rights these wrongs with a mid-cycle refresh. Given the Tech Titans latest trends that doesn’t look likely.

Tread lightly Cupertino.

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