Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Aug 2011 21:19 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Last week, HP killed its webOS devices unit. Over the weekend, the company slashed the prices on the TouchPad. The result? The TouchPad sold out completely in a matter of hours. This confirms what I've been hearing from friends and family: "I'd love a tablet, but I'm not paying laptop money for one."
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RE[4]: Interesting experiment
by Tony Swash on Tue 23rd Aug 2011 23:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interesting experiment"
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

"Note the way that would be Macbook Air competitors cannot get any unibody manufacturing deals because Apple sewed them up.

What?

Why do Apple fanboys often feel the need to dream-up non-existent scenarios for their arguments. I guess that deep down they must realize that their beloved corporation is not anywhere near as great as they pretend.

First of all, there actually are quite a few "unibody" laptops out there, they are just made of polycarbonate plastic.

Secondly, anyone can contract any "run-of-the-mill" CNC shop to machine unibody enclosures. Apple doesn't have all of the zillions of CNC machines in the world "sewn-up" -- that's quite a crazy notion.

Nonetheless, several reasons make metal "unibody" laptops an unattractive proposition. First of all, if the pieces are machined as in Apple's method, the process is expensive, time consuming, wasteful and environmentally unsound. Secondly, if one drops one of these metal items and a panel is bent, one faces a very expensive repair.

There have been lots of reports of bent/dented unibody Macs. Presumably, this drawback is the reason why Apple subsequently offered a more resilient polycarbonate "unibody" laptop.

In addition, "unibody" construction doesn't really have any practical advantages -- it isn't any stronger (it's weaker and less resilient in Apple products), and it doesn't add any protection to the internal components. If you want strength and protection in your laptop, get one of the several "ruggedized" brands, such as Panasonic ToughBooks.

So, the basic reason that most manufacturers don't machine "unibody" laptop enclosures is because it is basically a stupid, expensive and problematic idea, that puts form over function.

By the way, Apple was definitely not the first to offer a production model of a laptop with metal, "unibody" construction. Here is a Sony laptop from 1997 with a shell made up of four magnesium panels (doesn't dent as easily as the aluminum Macs): http://www.sony.net/Fun/design/history/product/1990/pcg-505.html
"

http://www.pcworld.com/article/237812/apple_forces_competition_to_a...

Sure unibody laptop enclosures are stupid. Sure. PC makers could make them if they wanted. Sure. Keep saying that. Still doesn't change anything.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/237992/windows_laptop_makers_cant_ca...

PC OEMs are finding it hard to impossible to match the Macbook Air which is flying off the shelves. Apple is the only PC maker that is still showing substantial growth and makes most of the profits in the industry. There are reasons for that.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Interesting experiment
by tupp on Wed 24th Aug 2011 00:32 in reply to "RE[4]: Interesting experiment"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

http://www.pcworld.com/article/237812/apple_forces_competition_to_a...
Sure unibody laptop enclosures are stupid. Sure. PC makers could make them if they wanted. Sure. Keep saying that. Still doesn't change anything.

Dude. The author of that article has no clue about manufacturing processes nor about the widespread availability of CNC mills. He is obviously just another one of the many Apple-worshiping journalist, as indicated by the article's last sentence: "In the end, only Apple will be able to reliably deliver the cool, calming, solid, familiar tactile experience that end-users and IT admins alike desire." Detect any bias in that sentence?

Again, there are CNC shops all over the place. The manufacturers do not have to buy such machines as that crappy article suggests. If Apple had a lock on all of the CNC machines in the world, pretty much every industry on the globe would be in a crisis. It's a ridiculously naive, fanboy-wishful-thinking notion.

Furthermore, it is not necessary to machine metal "unibody" enclosures as there are metal forging processes that are just as strong and cheaper (namely stamping).

No. The reason why most manufacturers are keeping away from CNC housings is because they can make a less expensive, less wasteful and more resilient housing using plastics.



Another article by an Apple-worshiping "journalist" posted by the same site. I am not going to even bother pointing-out the biased language.

Again, the author has no clue about manufacturing.

Not surprisingly, this second article actually references the first article you linked as it's information source that "Apple has booked solid all the lathes."

Really?! Oh, Apple! You are so smart and forward thinking! Now you have all of those cheap inferior competitors by the short hairs!!!

It is amazing that people actually stomach such tripe without thinking. There is no way that Apple can "book" all of the CNC mills in the world. Additionally, all industry would shut down if it were so.

However, I would like to point out that, even though this article is biased in favor of Apple, the author acknowledges that Sony and Dell offered super thin laptops years before the Macbook Air.


PC OEMs are finding it hard to impossible to match the Macbook Air which is flying off the shelves.

PC makers don't want to match the Macbook Air -- the housing is too expensive, wasteful and environmentally unsound (20,000 CNC mills -- hello!) to manufacture. In addition, there are the aforementioned bending problems, that require more expensive (and harder to machine) alloys.


Apple is the only PC maker that is still showing substantial growth and makes most of the profits in the industry.

Everyone has a right to one's opinion about what constitutes "substantial growth," but one thing that cannot be denied is that there are way more non-Apple laptops being sold, compared to Macbook sales.


There are reasons for that.

Yes. And the reason is that there are millions of people who are gullible enough to believe that Apple has a lock on all of the CNC houses in the world.

Edited 2011-08-24 00:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Interesting experiment
by kristoph on Wed 24th Aug 2011 07:16 in reply to "RE[5]: Interesting experiment"
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

So let me see if I understand your post.

- Those respected journalists who are pro-apple are actually pro-apple fanboys who know nothing about anything while you are a manufacturing idiot savant

- Apple is actually an environmentally wasteful manufacturer of crap; never mind what those pinko-commie Greenpeace people say and the unparalleled customer satisfaction rating

- Plastic is fantastic! Plastic is better, stronger and better looking and better for the environment too! Don't settle for imitations, get genuine plastic!!! Never mind that it takes 25k years to decay in a landfill and looks like shit.

- Apple is not really selling that many laptops; never mind that fact that Apple holds the #1, #3, and #5 slots in the top 5 best selling laptops on Amazon

- PC makers have no interest in those awesome margins Apple makes; they want to stick to the cheaper, better plastic stuff and make 2% margins because really, that's where the money is; that HP CEO must be a dumb ass for wanting to divest the biggest PC business in the world

Is that about right?

]{

Edited 2011-08-24 07:34 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Interesting experiment
by karunko on Wed 24th Aug 2011 14:41 in reply to "RE[4]: Interesting experiment"
karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

PC OEMs are finding it hard to impossible to match the Macbook Air which is flying off the shelves.

I had no idea it could get THAT drafty in them Apple Stores!



RT.

PS: Sorry, couldn't resist.

Reply Parent Score: 1