I don’t want to come over *too* Apple-fanboy. I know they’re just a more expensive way of doing all the same things you can do on a PC. What I find quite interesting, though, is how much people seem to miss the point. Whenever Apple discussions start on the net, you get frustrated geeks tearing their hair out at the irrationality of buying a Mac/iPod when you can get a rival product with the same specs for less money, and the accusation is that people are just buying into the stylish marketing, that it’s all design and therefore superficial. But when Apple are at their best, and most Apple-y, it’s not superficial – it’s design all the way down. The marketing is stylish, the online shop is attractive and easy to use, the box it comes in looks cool, the actual machine is even cooler-looking; but really what matters is that the software is uncluttered and easy to use. I have no idea whether the underlying system architecture and the hardware are well-designed, but they seem to work pretty consistently. The cosmetic stuff is a reflection of a design philosophy that makes the user experience a priority instead of an afterthought. Which isn’t to say that Apple have never made any stupid decisions or bad products, but at least they understand that design actually matters and they try to make a good job of it.
We should be able to take good design for granted. It shouldn’t be a luxury.