Friday, October 27, 2006

Apple, Sony and ultra-portables

Following initial problems with their Intel laptop line-up, it seems Apple's firmware is settling down and the laptops are ready for productive use. And yet the lower end of the range, the MacBook, fails to impress me - too heavy, short battery life. And no genuinely small model, like the 12" iBook used to be. Or a Sony VAIO TX3. One of which I happen to have just purchased, and boy, does it make me wonder why Apple hasn't approached Sony with either a bid for their laptop division, or an offer to license OS X for their machines. The design would fit within the Apple portfolio perfectly. If Sony have any business sense, they'll take the OS X option for even part of their range - say the TX3 and X505. Admittedly, the X505 strays a little further from Apple's style than the TX3, but it has the slimness and could undoubtedly be given the aluminium/brushed metal finish.

I'm concerned that Steve Jobs' xenophobia might be hindering his achieving great things in the technology sector, as seems to otherwise be his mission. But then, Apple's strategy has always been to re-invent the wheel, especially in software.

On the other hand, it might be Sony still dreaming they'll achieve the firm grip on the technology and entertainment industries that they've always wanted and Apple has now finally achieved. There is so much to learn from Apple: small number of different models, simple price structure, and an appealing, easy to navigate website. Just for starters.

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