At what was expected to be the "Apple Watch" event this week, Apple announced a new laptop: the "Macbook".
In a nutshell; as leaked a few months ago, its a completely redesigned machine (keyboard, trackpad, batteries, retina screen, thinner than the MacBook Air, and only has a single plug.)
Tech fans are furious. TechCrunch has an article up, titled "Apple's Latest Betrayal"
For me, this is another reminder why its not worth paying too much attention to technology fans when it comes to technology.
Personally, I use a MacBook Pro (with retina screen.) Right now, I have it connected to an external monitor, a USB hub with 3 external hard drives (one backup, two additional storage), a Wacom tablet, a DVD drive, and an audio interface.
The new MacBook clearly isn't for me - because Apple have a laptop that is designed for me. Its the one I'm using.
My wife has a MacBook Air. I don't think I have ever seen her plug it into anything other than the charger cable, and – very occasionally – her phone. If I told her she would need to use a hub to plug into the power supply and iPhone at the same time, I doubt she would care in the slightest.
The thing is, she has no reason to. She can sync with her phone wirelessly. She transfers files to and from my laptop over wifi. She has a wireless connection to the printer. She has no interest in connecting to a monitor (I know this because when she sits down at my desk, she doesn't plug into anything.)
I suspect that the vast majority of people relate more to her computer experience than to mine.
It reminds me of when the iPhone 4S was announced; gadget fans flipped out. They wanted an iPhone 5, they wanted a significant update to the 12 month old iPhone 4, and they were incredibly disappointed.
Obviously, the 4S went on to be the best selling iPhone ever. (As they all have, to be fair.) I wrote a piece at the time for my work blog about how this signalled that iPhones (and smartphones in general) shouldn't really be considered "gadgets" any more, but mainstream products not just for technology lovers.
(That was around the time that smartphone penetration in the UK passed the 50% mark.)
I don't know if its fair to consider Apple laptops similarly 'mainstream' devices – I do believe that we are in a 'post-PC' world, and that a tablet and/or a smartphone will fill the computing needs of most people.
Most people don't really want a computer - they need a machine to deal with all of that computery stuff that they need (not want) to do. And they will probably go and buy a £300 black plastic PC with whatever 3rd party software happens to be preinstalled.
But for people who do want a computer, who know that they will be spending enough time on it to warrant paying for more than the cheapest model in PC World, I would guess that most of them just want something small and light. They don't need fast or powerful, and its not that they don't care about what ports the computer has (they don't) – they actively don't want to have wires hanging out of it. They don't even really want a "computer" – they want a creativity tool for writing things, looking after their photo collections, managing their social lives, and other things that they want to get done in their lives. What they want is a screen, a keyboard and a battery – exactly the features that Apple talked about when they unveiled the new design.
For those kinds of people – willing to spend a bit extra on a laptop, but not interested in Pro features, quad core CPUs, multiple ports and the relative theoretical speeds of Thunderbolt vs USB-C, I think the new MacBook will be ideal. (Oh - and it probably matters to them more than most that the colour matches their iPhone...)
And for the other kind of people willing to spend a bit extra on a laptop - there is still the MacBook Pro.
As Benedict Evans said about Android/Apple in the mobile market, Microsoft might have the bigget part of the market, but Apple has the best bit.