"...and there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again, and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he forever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than the other birds upon the plain, even though they soar." - Herman Melville
I've recently been told I'm being overly negative about Apple. And you know what? I am. I mean, seriously, a 16gb limit on MacBooks Pro? No USB, SD or HDMI ports? Only skylake processors? And where are the escape keys?
Yeah. If you listened or read some of the things I've said or written post my time as Sr. Director of Worldwide Product Marketing at Apple, I do sound somewhat negative. But let me explain.
There's a story of a grandmother who walked along the beach with her grandson when the child was swept out to sea. The grandmother immediately fell to her knees and pleaded to God to save her grandson's life. Suddenly, a giant wave washed the boy back to shore. The grandmother looked to the heavens, and said, "he had a hat"
I want my hat.
To be clear Apple is the leader in every aspect of mobile computing. Phones, tablets, laptops. That's why I hold Apple to a higher standard. I expect more. I want more than Touch Bar, I want more than USB C everywhere, I want more than better. I expect it. I demand it.
I hold Apple to a standard higher than any other vendor. If a Windows laptop maker creates a trackpad that almost works as well as Apple's, I give them credit equal to Apple's amazing new Trackpad with force touch.
Apple's trackpads still blow away those of any other vendor, as does Portrait Mode on the iPhone 7, the display on the Retina 5K iMac, and the upcoming AirPods. I simply want more.
Even if Apple's most mediocre product sits head and shoulders above everyone else's best efforts, I want more.
Grading on a steeper curve
If you think I'm being overly negative about the latest iPhone or iPad or MacBook Pro, understand that I still recommend those products. I just grade Apple on a steeper curve.
I'll take everything they can give me, but dammit—
I want my hat!!!
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I’ve covered the personal technology beat for more than two decades at places like Gartner, Jupiter Research and Altimeter Group. I’ve also had the fun of contributing my $.02 on the topic at Computerworld, Engadget, Macworld, SlashGear and now iMore. Most recently I spent a few years at Apple as Sr. Director of Worldwide Product Marketing. On Twitter I’m an unverified @gartenberg. I still own some Apple stock.