We are supposed to be in the ‘Post-PC Era’. But anyone who uses technology will know that the PC hasn’t died, it’s just that it’s changed form somewhat leading to declining market figures for the traditional PC. People may use mobiles and tablets, but anyone who works or studies in earnest needs a laptop. So, many say we are in really in the PC 2.0 era.
Among notebooks, the trend in India seems to show a clear preference for MacBooks. This past year Apple sales for MacBooks have been on the rise and steadily growing. I would attribute that to three good reasons, the first, Apple is finally paying attention to the Indian market. The second, Apple does make great hardware and the MacBook is a great cross-platform device. Finally, Microsoft seems to be paying great attention to Apple. Given all three reasons, the MacBook is a very solid choice for a lot of users.
In order to determine how it is really affecting users in India, we decided to reach out to several users in different domains and industries. Some who would be a very obvious fit for a MacBook, but also some whom you would never associate with a MacBook, and we asked their opinions.
On a positive note
Consider a lawyer, the image that comes to mind is of a person sitting surrounded by books and papers and either a desktop or a laptop running Microsoft Word. Well, surprise surprise! Several leading lawyers seemed to have switch to Mac. We asked one such lawyer for her view.“I have a MacBook Pro which like because it is sleek, smart and lighter than my usual laptop and it has all the ports I need. It’s a super fast machine with great performance and no hardware issues. I can work smoothly on Office 365. And best of all, it seamlessly syncs with all my other devices.” says Deepa Tiku, Partner and Lead Biotech and Biosciences at K&S Partners.
For a businessman from Chandigarh, one would assume a desktop running Tally and Excel, however Gagandeep Matharoo, EMCO Switchgears, had the following to say;“Reliability, Security and battery-life coupled with one off the best screens and processing speed, that’s why I chose a MacBook.”
Also read: Apple Introduces 16-Inch MacBook Pro
We even found a monk with a MacBook. Swami Yattidharmananda who also happens to be a digital archivist has been using MacBooks for several years now. He says he can’t even imagine life without a Mac.“The seamlessness with which professional grade software like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, InDesign, Photoshop all work at top speed with no crashes or hangs. Couple that with the brilliant sleep mode, lid shut and lid open and resume exactly where you left off. Not to mention no virus!”
Coming back to some more conventional Mac users, we also spoke to several journalists. The common theme there was essentially, light-weight, robust, no virus or malware, long battery-life and of course long machine life. All seem to be in agreement.
Next up from some of the creative folks, Photographer Shivang Metha, says,“The colour gamut of the machine is good, I like using it to process my images. Very robust machine.”
Travel Writer and photographer, Ajay Jain also had similar things to say,“Brilliant, ease of use, design and form-factor very good. Longevity, Macs rarely go dead. Syncs very easily with other Apple products. Consistency over the years. In twenty years, the learning curve has not changed as things remain same and yet somehow fresh.”
Principal Designer Itu Chaudhuri of ICD Pvt Ltd, says he has been using Macs for the past 29 years. Over the years he has found that “Relevant innovation over decades. The relevant bit matters. The capabilities were far superior to the alternatives when I first encountered the Mac.The hardware is rugged, highly usable, beautiful, inspires confidence. Solid cases, the best displays, somehow unmatched in general use AFAIK. OS better designed than popular alternatives, for usability and pleasure. Makes self configuration and fiddling with the machine/settings easy to understand. My early Mac experience made me better at troubleshooting simple Windows issues than some Windows users.”
Finally, let's look at what some technologists and software developers have to say. I actually fall into this category myself and having used a Mac for over the past decade, I can clearly state that the machine is fantastic. No matter what I throw at it, it is handled with ease. My typical work involves not just the regular office suite and productivity tools, but a fair amount of virtualisation, photo editing and a host of tools for monitoring and managing servers. Many others in a similar line of work also prefer MacBooks for the stability and ruggedness all while looking good. A theme that has recurred in all the conversations we had.
I also spoke with a group of young software developers who hang out at a coffee shop that I happen to frequent and all of them use MacBooks without any hesitation, it is their weapon of choice.Durability, reliability and speed are certainly a common factor for all developers. Add to that battery-life and portability and it truly is their machine of choice. The fact that it is the best hardware for any platform is an added bonus, be it Windows, Linux or MacOS all run super smooth and for a developer that is the best environment to test applications.
Not all rosy
While the picture seems rosy, it is certainly not without cribs. Even the oldest loyalists had issues with the MacBooks they own. This year one common issue was the keyboard. Users worldwide have been cribbing about the MacBook keyboard, for a machine that is so stable and reliable and one that is used in every walk of life, the keyboard is a very critical component. For some reason, I never ran into the keyboard issue but it is good to see that Apple listened to the cribs and is taking corrective measures. The new breed is coming out with a modified keyboard.
The other common crib is price. While everyone seems to be in agreement that Macs last a long time, the entry price is just way too high. Add to that the fact that port configurations are constantly being changed, you now have to invest in a bunch of dongles to get things to work with other devices, one for ethernet, one for display, hard disks etc. All require additional connectors and of course the ones that work best are the ones from Apple and they do cost a lot more!
Warranty and service seem to be very varied according to country. While other countries seem to enjoy a no questions asked service, this is not the case for India. Once the warranty expires, most users have cribbed that cost of repairs have been atrociously high. Our digital Monk had a very bad experience with his MacBook Pro and finally managed to get the best service in Germany. What seemed to be a manufacturing defect was just not being treated with the seriousness that was required and he was being made to run from one service setup to another. He finally gave up and when he walked into a store in Germany and described the issue, they instantly replaced the machine for him.
Finally, with the gap between iOS and MacOS slowly and steadily fading away, one thing that all users seem to desire is a touch-screen MacBook. Apple, has in the past made it clear that it is not about to introduce touch-screen MacBooks, but I guess never say never would be the best approach here, if the users want it, they should get it.