Apple rarely gives in to backlash from the community. From the original release of their lightning cable to the recently announced Macbook with a single USB Type-C port, the company’s typical M.O. is to drive consumer adoption of new technology by taking away other options. Incredibly, it seems community backlash in this instance has proven too strong, forcing Apple to reconsider their awkward design choice for their flagship laptop. However, the new design may not prove to be any more popular than the original.
A Quick Refresh
For those who may have been in a coma during the original news announcement, Apple announced their new Macbook computer during their Spring Forward event in early March of this year. The device will be thinner than their current Macbook Air, boast fanless internals, and a breathtaking retina display. However, their choice of available ports led to an incredible amount of notably unhappy individuals, even amongst the Apple community.
Apple made the decision to design the computer with a single USB Type-C connector as the sole port for the entire computer. This port would be used for everything from charging the computer to connecting your smartphone and other peripherals. With only one port, many were upset that it would require the purchase of a special splitter cable to allow them to both power their laptop AND connect their USB devices.
To add insult to injury, USB Type-C is not backward compatible with the current USB connector. This would mean that the majority of USB devices on the market would not be able to connect to the computer without a converter cable that Apple will likely charge a premium for. Just go take a look at the comments section in the original article that we posted if you need a point of reference on how people were feeling about the announcement.
A Port-Free New Design
As a result, Apple has decided to take a fully wireless approach and is doing away with ports altogether. Initially reported by USA Today, the redesigned computer will connect devices using the latest iterations of both Bluetooth 4.0 and Wifi 802.11ac technology. Apple is doing away with the antiquated model of connecting devices using cords to bring us to a world free of clutter. In an interview with the The Verge, Tim Cook further elaborates on the company’s vision:
Apple products have always been engineering and design masterpieces. Our goal when designing any product is to create a device that is both powerful and stunning. Cords have long been the most unattractive aspect any of our devices. As a result, we’ve found a way to eliminate them altogether.
Now, before you give Apple even more backlash for this decision, they have created a dongle that will connect wirelessly to the computer so that you can connect your typically non-wireless USB devices to the computer. However, the dongle will only support USB Type-C and will require a converter cable to connect regular USB devices to the dongle. Additionally, the dongle is battery-powered and will give you 4 hours of total use on a single charge. (See the diaphragm below for details.)
A New Form of Power
Probably the most groundbreaking aspect of the design change is the way that the laptop will be powered. Without any ports, this will be the first laptop of its kind that does not plug into a power source of any kind. Apple revealed in their blog post:
There has been much speculation as to why we have been investing in bringing over employees from Tesla and other companies involved in innovating in the battery and power space. Today, we’re excited to finally reveal some details regarding those employee acquisitions.
We have designed a new type of battery that will change the way you charge your device forever. The battery uses complex circuitry to capitalize on kinetic energy to recharge. As you’re walking to work or driving on a bumpy road, each movement provides a surprising jolt of fuel to your computer as a result of our engineering feat.
Apple goes on to explain that their redesign choice is not solely motivated by their desire to advance battery technology:
At the center of our core values lies equality, something that our country is sorely struggling with at the moment. Our team of sociologists have identified that a key driver behind discrimination is our countries struggle with obesity. Our kinetically powered laptop will require that you take at least 3,000 steps per day to guarantee a full charge. We hope that our initiative will fight against both obesity and in turn, discrimination.
The choice to omit the ability to charge the computer from a normal power source is extremely interesting, especially considering the political motivation behind the change. However, for those who want to charge their device without walking, Apple has designed the Charge Pod. This cradle gently shakes your device simulating the movement of a walking human being. These gentle shakes can charge the device in just under 11 hours.
It will be interesting to see how the community responds to Apple’s design changes on their new Macbook. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
Oh…this just in… This article is an April Fools joke.
Disclaimer: Any and all links, quotes, and statements made above are completely and utterly false. Please don’t hurt me.