Apple is not obsessed with thinness as much as you think.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by aevan, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. aevan macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    Feb 5, 2015
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    Serbia
    #1
    Everyone thinks Apple is obsessed with thinness. I think that is not the case.

    What people usually believe is that Apple decides to make their devices thinner and then tries to cram components inside. I don't know how people imagine it, probably that Jony Ive has some Z-axis goal for each generation that he wants the team to accomplish or something. This is not true.

    In fact, what Apple wants to do - what it is obsessed about - is to make their mobile devices more portable. They want people to carry their laptops, phones and tablets with them more. They want their devices as part of people's lives - and people's lives are not tethered to one place. Computers used to take up entire rooms - now it's time to carry them with us. This is how Apple sees it, at least.

    There are two aspects of design required for achieving this goal. One is mobility and the other one is autonomy. In other words, quite simply: it's weight and battery life. Now, battery life is something they locked at what they call "10 hours" and they think this is a good number. It's not only enough for most people, it also aligns nicely with the battery percentage - 10% is one hour. Simple, and Apple-like.

    The second aspect is weight. It's not thinness. Of course, they like devices smaller, but the device size is coming to a point where it's determined almost entirely by the screen size. As everyone noticed - no one really cares if their laptop is 5mm thicker. And - contrary to popular opinion - this is not Apple's priority either. Sure, they want to do it - but they are not obsessed with dimensions as people believe them to be. This is a secondary goal.

    Apple's main goal is to make the devices lighter - to make them more portable.

    One of the ways to make a laptop lighter is to use a lighter battery, and in order to have a lighter battery, it needs to be of smaller capacity. To keep the battery life the same, they need less power-hungry components. The other way is to use a smaller volume. Either way - it's weight they are after. When they achieve that, they just build the laptop around it.

    I think the fact that the new MacBook Pros are thinner is a consequence of making them lighter, rather than a goal.

    Ironically, Apple will mention their devices are thinner first, lighter second. So will all the reviewers. This is because that is more noticeable, because you can notice that improvement without taking the device in your hands. But, as I said, it's more of a consequence than a goal. In a similar way that the fact the Lightning cable is reversable is a consequence of it using connectors on both sides (which was required to make it smaller) - but of course they marketed it like it was their design goal insted of it being a lucky side-effect of the new design.

    Of course, you don't have to prefer lower weight to performance gains and perhaps you'd prefer if Apple made a heavier, but more powerful laptop. Fine - that's your choice/taste/personal requirement. But the next time you complain about the lack of RAM or more powerful GPU, please, don't mention Apple's "obsession with thinness" - because that's not why they did it.
     
  2. Ma2k5 macrumors 6502a

    Ma2k5

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    Dec 21, 2012
    #2
    I don't think you are completely correct. I don't think they think that laptops need to be lighter to be more portable, especially the previous gen 13/15", which were extremely portable as is.

    The true reason I think lies in

    1) People just like thinner/smaller things, its easier to market right?

    2) I wonder if, long term, if things are smaller, production costs/risks are lessened over the years. I could be wrong, but in some ways, makes more sense right, as less material required, possibly less cumbersome machinery, less storage required for stock - and probably 100x other things that I haven't even thought of.
     
  3. kasakka macrumors 68000

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #3
    They are obsessed with thin. I mean their iPhone 7 Plus weighs about 30g more than my Oneplus 3 despite similar dimensions. The thin body means there is a noticeable hump for the camera. There was no good reason to make the Macbook Pros thinner. Nobody was complaining that they were too thick or heavy, they were already very nice in that regard. The only reason I can think of was that the competitors were playing the thinness game and Apple wanted to hop onto that too.
     
  4. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #4
    Technology always gets thinner and lighter with every generation, always has done, always will. As technology allows for smaller circuitry, engineers and designers can take advantage of this by making the overall form factor smaller. When the physical size of the components reduces in size, it is illogical to maintain the same size footprint as a predecessor.

    It's not an 'obsession' or anything like that, that's a term that seems to be thrown at Apple as a meme joke. I don't hear anyone calling Intel obsessed with thinness, despite creating smaller and smaller transistors.

    The point is, you can maintain the same 'experience' whilst reducing the size and weight of a device, so why wouldn't you? Yes at some point there will be physical limitations on the actual size of the device for ergonomics, but we're a way off that...

    Do people really want a device that's thicker and heavier than a previous generation? Because I think if that happened, we'd be seeing the same arguments. Do you want it to be exactly the same? Would you not cry foul of innovation if they just updated the internals? I mean, seriously, what do people want?
     
  5. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

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    #5
    It's a bit strange to tell people not to say "Apple has an obsession with thinness" when none of us know why Apple does what it does.
     
  6. cmaier macrumors G3

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    California
    #6
    I travel a ton and the 15" does begin to feel heavy as I'm running from gate to gate in airports. So much so that when I don't anticipate having to do heavy computer work on the trip I bring my air instead, just because of the weight difference. Looking forward to the new model's reduced weight very much.
     
  7. aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #7
    Obviously, the post was just my opinion, also a bit of a click-bait reaction to people throwing that "obsession" line everywhere.

    Good points everyone.
     
  8. Ries macrumors 68000

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    Apr 21, 2007
    #8
    They always start with telling the dimensions not weight, they always put the dimension in writing/images first, weight is secondary.
     
  9. aevan thread starter macrumors 68000

    aevan

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    #9
    I understand it was a long post and I don't mind you not reading it, but I mentioned that - it's because dimensions are easier to market then weight. Doesn't mean anything.
     
  10. junkw macrumors regular

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    Jun 25, 2010
    #10
    if they were not obsessed by thin they would add a second layer of cells to get 20 hours battery life.
     
  11. stockscalper macrumors 6502a

    stockscalper

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    #11
    Apple is not as obsessed with thinness as some other manufacturers. There are plenty of Windows laptops that are thinner than the new Pros. The thinness, size and weight of the new Pros are hitting the sweet spot.
     
  12. Pootmatoot macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 17, 2014
    #12

    They are in the ultraportable category... the Windows machines in the ultrabook category are a few mm thicker... so they can still perform their function.

    Turning the Macbook Pro into a neutered high end MacBook is the entire root cause of the problem.
     
  13. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    europe
    #13
    what was problem with the last gen macbook (13"). why did they need to make it x% thinner and hence cut the battery? just think about how many more hours you would have, if they wouldnt have touched the battery. my macbook pro 13" (2014) is good in a size. i would have been happier if they had left the battery size as it was (cut from 75Wh to 50Wh) and now they are telling to us that they cannot use 32gb ram, because it would have had a negative effect to the battery. Cmon! you just cut 25Wh away and talking absolutely bs.
     
  14. monkeydax macrumors 6502

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    Nov 2, 2012
    #14
    But can you really comment much about the decreasing battery capacity when they still hold up to 10 hours battery life? Battery capacity is not everything these days, the iPhone is another example. I won't say it has class-leading battery life, but with that smaller capacity, it holds up really well anyway - especially with the iPhone 7 Plus compared to all comparable phones.

    I've carried around the 15" MBP (non retina) and 15" rMBP (2015) and you won't ever look back for that larger form factor and weight. Now with another 10% weight savings, and longer battery life, I don't think there's a lot to complain about.
     
  15. Workerbee Redux macrumors regular

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    Sep 22, 2016
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    California
    #15
    I guess removing the 10g for 2 SO-DIMM slots and the other 10g for a SD-card slot have nothing to do with stopping people from upgrading existing machines and selling them new ones more frequently? Keeping both would make the things a bit thicker, but not heavier...
     
  16. myscrnnm macrumors 65816

    myscrnnm

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    #16
    Don't know how the MacBook Pro is in any way "neutered." They use very powerful processors, and I don't think there will be "professionals" saying they can't get work done on them. The 15" models are using 45W quad-core i7 processors, which a relatively small number of laptops use these days.
     
  17. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #17
    they said that they didnt change the current ram-system to be able to handle 32gb because it would (as they said) consume more battery . what they did instead of it? rather than letting the battery be what is was, and adding more ram, they cut from the battery.

    without cutting from the battery, you could have 32gb ram and who knows what else...

    i say, that is the most oddest thing that i have ever heard as the explanation not supporting more ram.
     
  18. lexdiamonnyc macrumors member

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    Feb 29, 2012
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    NYC
    #18
    smh, and here i thought they were obsessed with charging us more for less.
     
  19. monkeydax macrumors 6502

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    Nov 2, 2012
    #19
    Agreed that it could've been a possibility. I guess they just weighed the number of people who would need a 32GB RAM vs those who would appreciate a longer battery life and smaller form factor and not even notice the lack of 32GB RAM. I mean..honestly, I'm willing to hazard a guess that a good 80% or more users will never need to use 16GB of RAM to it's limits, let alone 32GB.

    Also, I think the form factor will allow for future processors that support LPDDR4 RAM and then they can move to that RAM system and offer 32GB RAM.
     
  20. Ries, Nov 7, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016

    Ries macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    #20
    No, you're making a 100% unsubstantiated claim. A claim that goes against what Apple actually does. The iPhone 7 is heavier than the iPhone 6. The MacBook Pro 2016 that replaces the MacBook Air is also heavier, but the new laptop is smaller.

    So, no.

    Edit:
    Apple TV gen 4, heavier than previous gen, smaller in size.
     

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