Daring Fireball: The New Apple Advantage
Design is largely about making choices. The PC hardware market has historically focused on three factors: low prices, tech specs, and configurability. Configurability is another way of saying that you, the buyer, get a bigger say in the design of your computer. (Bright points out, for example, that Lenovo gives you the option of choosing which Wi-Fi adaptor goes into your laptop.) Apple offers far fewer configurations. Thus MacBooks are, to most minds, subjectively better-designed — but objectively, they’re more designed. Apple makes more of the choices than do PC makers.
This isn’t new. And traditionally, the benefit from Apple’s lesser degree of configurability has been the “it just works” factor — better integration of software and hardware. That with support for fewer components, like, say video cards, the Mac OS needs fewer drivers, and the drivers it does have are less likely to result in unusual conflicts.