Design First, Functionality Later

from the missing-wifi? dept

Unfortunately, this may be taken by some as an Apple bashing post, but it’s surprising to find out that the fancy new iMacs everyone is talking about don’t include built-in WiFi, but are simply WiFi “ready.” Apple has been such a big proponent of WiFi with their Airport offerings that it just seems strange that this offering wouldn’t also include WiFi — especially as it would cut down on one more design-unfriendly wire sticking out of the machine. The article also complains about Apple’s failure to include a TV-tuner card with TiVo like qualities. While that would have been nice, and could have been a major selling point, it doesn’t seem as egregious as forgetting the WiFi.

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Comments on “Design First, Functionality Later”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

The drawback to all-in-one machines

No matter how much stuff you add to a sealed box computer, you’ll still find a majority of the people who shove you into one of two categories:

1) Cheapskates – “Why did you include X, Y and Z? I need a cheaper machine and don’t need all the fancy fluff”.

2) Gadget Geeks – “Why did you leave out X, Y and Z? I need all that fancy fluff in my machine!”

#2 is also the main reason that I don’t own a ‘sealed box’ PC.

If I really want a TV tuner card with Tivo capabilities, I just buy one and install it in my machine that includes expansion slots for just that sort of purpose.

Even with a laptop, which is a mostly-sealed PC, you usually have a couple of PCMCIA slots which let you add most features that would normally go inside a PC box AND the USB ports that let you add pretty much everything else outside of the box.

I guess Apple knows best about what their customers want, or at least the customers believe that Apple knows best so there is no point in doing anything excepting whatever Apple gives them.

I do agree in this day and age that WI-FI should be built into just about every PC.

Mike Sullivan says:


iMacs are bought by schools in great numbers, many of which use wired LANs for their classroom networks and the $50-99 savings per unit is significant for them in not having Wi-Fi cost built in. Adding it is quick and easy if the customer wants it, and you can order it preinstalled by Apple. Giving customers the choice is a better move for Apple on a feature like Wi-Fi that is an added cost that not everyone will use.

Jo says:

No Subject Given

“it just seems strange that this offering wouldn’t also include WiFi — especially as it would cut down on one more design-unfriendly wire sticking out of the machine.”

huh? The iMac G5 has a built in antenna. From the Apple web page (technical specs)

* Built-in antennas and expansion slot for optional 54-Mbps AirPort Extreme Card.

All Macs that have

John says:

No Subject Given

“No, the point was that without the card, if you wanted to connect, you’d need an ethernet or dialup cable. Having WiFi built in standard would avoid that need.”

I still don’t see why this is a big deal in a desktop machine? If you want WiFi then put in an Airport card (and buy a router — with an ugly wire or two hanging out the back). To this day I have friends whose PC’s lack a sound card and they couldn’t care less. It would be just lovely if every computer had everything, but since Apple has always offered WiFi as an installable option, what’s the big deal that they still do the same thing?

Personally, I find the lack of pre-installed WiFi on a laptop a bigger deal. On a desktop, so what?

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