When you stare at this picture, is the design problem as obvious to you as it is to me?
This is a picture of my shiny new MacBook Pro (13″), upgraded from my slightly older shiny MacBook Pro (17″). Actually both are brushed, not shiny, but you get my point. (Poor image shot with iPhone 3G with bad camera.)
Isn’t the design problem obvious? My laptop is a portable office, and it often needs to dock at the stationary office. I go on and off the road, then come back. Or, I just want to go to a meeting, then return. Besides, as a Mac user, I like the clutter-free sleek look.
The MacBook needs a port for a docking station. I’m not saying that Apple should manufacture docking stations. But they should make a single port that would allow Belkin to do so.
I’ve had a PC laptop for 15 years, and always had a docking station. It was assumed. There was a handy little port on the bottom of the computer that provided high-speed access to all the busses (USB, Video, Power, etc.).
There is at least one vendor (Bookendz) out there who has tried, but honestly I don’t think this cleans up the desktop. It’s a workaround based on the fact that there is no single port to enable docking. Some of the youtube videos on the product make it appear awkward and unstable.
So the problem is there: Apple has not provided a single port that will enable docking.
(OK, that’s not me in the mobile office.)
There has to be a good reason for this, doesn’t there?
So I wonder: Why hasn’t Apple provided a single port for a clean, sleek docking station?
- Would it drive prices?
- Is this a niche usecase? What % of people dock?
- Does Apple think its users spend all their time in airports?
This has to be a deliberate decision for Apple. If so, they are saving costs for her:
and frustrating people like me
Good PM requires trade-offs, and requires you to say no to some users. But docking feels mainstream for mobile professional users, and MacBook Pro is for the mobile professional. Or is it?
Which of my assumptions is off? Is this a case of Misunderstood Persona, or Difficult But Important Tradeoff?