Apple being forced to get ‘Plugged-In’

Posted on September 29, 2013


Apple’s achievements in establishing design benchmarks have not always ended up with mainstream practicality despite the adoption rate. Even the brainwashing by the dogmatic postulating fanatical ‘fruity’ followers cannot hide the iPad baked in redundancy that has now contaminated much of the Laptop and desktop Apple products.

This redundancy is epitomised in the headlines in the case of the Apple chargers – EU move to standardise phone chargers is bad news for Apple . Apple fails to align with the 2009 industry wide non-binding agreement to conform to the Micro USB standard and relegate to history the landscape of over 30 different mobile phone chargers that existed at that time.

Apple had a great opportunity to demonstrate logic and practicality over isolation by design when they took the decision to re-design their power adaptors and docking ports for their iPhone, iPad and iPod device families. Their elected action demonstrates a petulance in the face of the wider industry recognition that consumer convenience and environmental responsibility needs to come before device lock-in or designer egos. There is no real defence as the writing has been on the wall for over 5 years.

So what Happened? Apple seem to have elected to try and have their cake and eat it. They have re-designed their power adaptors and docking ports so they maintain a proprietary complexity only Apple can get away with whilst showing a fig leaf to the voluntary agreement through a £15 – £30 range of Lightning Connector to Micro-USB adaptors that allow users to re-purpose Apple charges for Micro-USB based devices.

Apple have missed the point. Convenience for the consumer was just one motivating dimension of the initiative, the main one was charger redundancy and environmental impact. Whilst Apple’s Lightning Connector to Micro-USB adaptors cater for the former, they still render Apple charges redundant with their proprietary ‘Lightning Connectors’.

Am I the only one who is seeing a trend here with Apple? For all its design majesty, there is an increased redundancy and disposable society attitude pervading all their devices. Where the Apple Laptops were once power platforms that could be upgraded with RAM and Hard drives to present some of the most powerful portable computer platforms on the market with extendible lifespans. The latest refresh of the build architecture now adopting a design that seems to go out of their way to make any form of end user upgrades nigh on impossible, but for the most competent of techies. Similarly the iMac’s. Oh yes much play being made of the new glue and weld techniques used to bond the machines together, but this chameleon technique of leading with these concepts in the open is a pretence, where in fact these techniques ensure your compute devices have little lifespan extensibility.

Apple once again demonstrate their preference for design over practicality, echo’d as I read that once again their iCloud service has gone off-line. Demonstrating that deign before technical competence is still a fundamental cultural issue.