You remember the G4 Cube, right? Introduced to initial “oohs” and “aahs” in 2000, it was discontinued a year later. Why did it fail? Not because of its cutting edge design. While the faithful were impressed with its innovative footprint and technological advances that were way ahead of its time, few were willing to put their money on the table for it. It’s one thing to admire a product, it’s another to actually use it.
Ultimately, launched soon after Apple went through the trouble of paring down their product line into distinct home and professional product lines, the G4 Cube didn’t fit. It was too expensive for the home user, yet underpowered for the power user.
Sadly, it appears that the new MacBook Air may be destined for the same fate.
Initial reaction has been harsh. How much are we willing to give up for knock-your-socks-off design? Apple wants to find out. Yes, we all wanted a lighter portable from Apple. But the super thin design, multi-touch trackpad and too-cool-for-words remote CD feature do not make up for the exteme price (starting at $1,800), large footprint (even an ultra-thin, light one), no user upgradeable parts (including the battery), small & slow hard drive, 2 GB RAM ceiling and one measly USB port.
Is it for the casual user? Not at that price point. Is it for the power user? Not with those specs. Devoted Apple fans with a lot of disposable income and patience? Maybe.
What do you think? Are you with the nay-sayers or have you hit the pre-order button already?