Outward Design and Function Matter More

by Christopher Paul on December 2, 2012

iFixit posted their teardown of the new iMacs. They don’t like the changes from an upgradeability/repair perspective. Stephen Hackett isn’t too thrilled either:

Unlike previous reports, iFixIt’s teardown shows that the RAM in the 21.5-inch model is not soldered to the logic board. Getting to it, however, requires taking the whole damn thing apart. I don’t know why Apple didn’t include the service door on this machine like it does on the 27-inch iMacs, but I hope it’s something they add in a later revision. I can deal with non-replaceable RAM in notebooks, but in a desktop machine, it’s a serious WTF decision.

I happen to think most people don’t care about the RAM upgradeability. If they are told they need more RAM in the future, they’re going to take it to someone who they trust to perform the work because they don’t trust themselves; this is the same for PCs – old and Apple copycats. iFixit and Stephen are looking at it from the wrong perspective – the geek perspective. From the consumer perspective, this approach is no different than their iPhone. If, later, they learn they need to buy a new computer because it’s not upgradable, they’ll know better the next time and buy more RAM upfront. And the idea that laptops are different than desktops is silly. It’s a computer and most people buy one over the other – not one in conjunction with the other. The form factor doesn’t change the value in being able to upgrade or not.

As a computer nerd, I certainly wish it was easier to upgrade my computer. But my grandmother, father, and non-techie wife don’t care. Apple’s outward design and function is all they will see and care about.

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