My Vision for the Future of the Apple Brand

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Kennedy, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Kennedy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2009
    #1
    I believe that Apple is currently at a turning point, the past year and the coming year holding a great deal of changes in store, not only in the computing industry but society as a whole. Coming off of the past decade, Apple thrust themselves into a dominant position with the iPod, and has been innovating and working to maintain dominance in the music sector, while increasing market share of all their products. Now, as the first decade of the new millennium enters its final year, Apple must capitalize on their recent success to continue riding this wave of popularity. Truly, Apple is in an “innovate or die” situation, and as much as many on this forum would like to deny, Microsoft is catching on.

    One of Apple’s greatest advantages over the last decade has been the minimalist attitude, both in physical design and product lines. This straightforward, simple approach must be preserved going into the next decade. To start with this, I’ll examine each of Apple’s product lines:

    iMac

    The current iMac stands as the standard, consumer desktop. In my opinion, it is the most effective line right now, because it only has one product-the iMac. Of course, this iMac comes in various sizes and with various internal options, but it maintains a simple, straightforward brand.

    Moving forward, I don’t believe the iMac brand needs any radical re-organization. Apart from staying consistent with the rest of the Apple brand in terms of technology adoption and design refinements, I see no issues with this line.

    MacBook


    Apple must differentiate between the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines. The past few updates have made the dividing line very fudgy. For the future of the brand, all the designers and engineers need to look at is one word: “Pro.” The MacBook Pro will be for professionals apt to use an Apple OS, such as graphics professionals, architects, animators, music producers, etc. The MacBook on the other hand, should cater to the needs of the standard consumer.

    The MacBook will focus on traditional Mac elements; thin, light-weight, beautiful, efficient, and dynamic. I envision an option of a 13” and a 15” screen size, both using Intel’s up-coming Arrandale [Core i(X)] CPU and the integrated graphics processor developed in conjunction with Arrandale. This, theoretically, produces greater performance for everyday, consumer tasks; while shedding power consumption and size.

    A redesign should also focus on the consumer. Apple made a good move changing the MacBook away from the aluminum, as the metal functions to give the machine a very industrial look as well as confusing the brand identity. The new MacBook should use a unibody polycarbonate case. A solid piece of plastic, similar to the aluminum, would allow a thinner, stronger shell with the same seamless quality of the Pros. In my mind, Apple should go back to including black as a color option [white with black keys, black with white keys]. The screen should have a glass face, like the current Pros. The shape itself could also use an update; the rounded rectangle is getting rather old. A hint should be taken from the Air, and a redesign should incorporate an ergonomic, asymmetrical form.


    MacBook Pro


    It’s called Pro for a reason, but so far, Apple hasn’t done a great job of distinguishing why professionals should use this notebook over a Windows workstation. The new Pro, as I mentioned above, should attract primarily creative professionals. Internally, it needs to have an updated processor, likely an Arrandale [Core i(X)], but adapted to use a discrete GPU, probably from nVidia, and preferably one with OpenGL support [such as the Quadro FX] as an option. In time, both RAM and SSD prices will go down, and as such, the Pros should carry the highest end of each [4gb RAM standard, 128gb SSD standard, for now].

    On the outside, Apple has done a great job. The aluminum unibody and glass screen are gorgeous and feel like a quality product, and the industrial feel of metal denotes a computer built for professionals. The sizes should range from 15” to 17” [yes, cut the 13”]. Reflecting the revival of the black MacBook, it would be logical for Apple to introduce a black, anodized aluminum MacBook Pro [think iPod nano black] with contrasting keys [I suggest silver, but I imagine it may be a tad tacky for Apple’s tastes]. This design must also include the shape change, same as the MacBook, with a more ergonomic and asymmetrical form [think Air].

    MacBook Air


    The ultimate portable computer should be just that, portable. Not a netbook. Not a tablet. An ultra portable notebook; more powerful than any netbook and more dynamic than any tablet. The Air should continually reflect the technological innovations seen across the line; and the only design change I would like to see is a glass screen.

    Mac Pro


    Keep it as is. The ultimate desktop machine. Perhaps add more customization options, like additional GPU options [Quadro FX!]

    Mac Mini


    It needs a purpose. People have wanted it to be used in cars, people want it to replace Apple TV, etc. Apple should allow people to play with this, open it up, add connections, and use it in as many applications as possible. A redesign would need to make it easier to open up. Personally, I do think it could eventually replace Apple TV. But, Apple’s media devices are for another post. I’d rather see what everyone has to say about these ideas first.

    Sorry for the long post.
     
  2. talkingfuture macrumors 65816

    talkingfuture

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    The back of beyond.
    #2
    That sounds reasonable, you must have spent a long time thinking about it all. I reckon that we'll see some greater differentiation between the MB and MBP at the next refresh. I think we'll see the MB get a visual refresh and a price drop to make it much more competitive on price against the generic PC laptops.
     
  3. jarenado macrumors regular

    jarenado

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    im with you on the mac mini. I want an aluminum body, and i want it to replace the apple tv, i want to put it in cars, and tvs and the like. I would love to see the imac get an hdmi input. this would open up to replacing tvs with imacs which would be great. I realise its far fetched because apple wants you to get your content from itunes not a cable box, however, they are predominantly focused on hardware sales and I think an hdmi input makes people buy two and three macs in a home instead one or two

    i think two size macbooks is a bad idea, if you want a bigger screen get the pro. i wouldnt mind a seeing the black come back im sad that the next macbook update will probably get rid of the firewire to save space and cost. I think you pretty much on the track of what the progressions will be
     
  4. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #4
    I find it curious that you wish for the 13" MBP to be dropped, when the 12" Powerbook is still a desirable machine. All I want them to do with the 13" MBP is to offer a matte screen option.
     

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