When I wrote about the MacBook earlier, I mentioned that Apple’s strategy to make it more of a MacBook Pro “lite” was rather amazing.
Rather than bring down their laptop’s entry level, as everyone insisted and expected it would do, Apple chose to dramatically bring down the laptop’s “pro” level instead. The smaller screen (actually an advantage in terms of size and weight), lack of FireWire, and less powerful (but still greatly improved) graphics are the main differentiators. Well, except for that $700 price difference!
Time will tell if this proves to be a successful move, but I think it will. A lot is made (rightly so) of the economy. Apple can’t control that, but what they can control, they did a great job on. Further, while in such economic times it’s true that people tend to spend less, it’s also true they tend to strive harder to get bang for their buck. The new MacBooks are going to be viewed as “pro” models for consumer prices. That will be their appeal, and I don’t think it should be overlooked. Heck, I’m even considering buying a new MacBook and I didn’t even think I was in the market.
Meanwhile, Apple did take yesterday’s entry level White (plastic) MacBook and dropped the price to $999. Sadly, analysts who refuse to even consider replacing one strategy (from a company that’s been pretty darn good at strategic thinking) with one they’ve been married to for a few weeks seem to think that that was the significant announcement today.
I sometimes wonder how these people get their jobs. This is not the first time Apple has offered a laptop at this price point. Yet, that $999 iBook didn’t exactly take the computing world by storm. And I can’t help but wonder why there are there such high expectations for this machine when a similar occurrence four years ago has already been forgotten by the very pundits claiming it’s so important today, and a first for Apple.