Business, Economics and Jobs

iPad news: The Apple obsession


Apple CEO Tim Cook unveils the new iPad on March 7, 2012 in San Francisco, California.


Kevork Djansezian

Yes, I'm a big fan of Apple products.

I love my iPad.

I love my iPhone.

I love my old MacBook Pro.

Blah, blah, blah.

But this story today in the very good Bits blog in the New York Times got me wondering:

Has the world gone mad?

The post — written by Nick Bilton and accurately titled "Does the iPad Have One Button Too Many?" — comes to the following conclusion:

Although I love the design of the new iPad, the bezeled edge seems a bit overkill for a company so obsessed with understatement. If Apple lopped off the home button, it would allow the company to make a device that was considerably smaller, without affecting the size of its beautiful screen. Even if Apple were to keep a slight bezel on the edge of the device so our inconsiderate fingers did not obscure the screen, Apple could still shave almost an inch and a half from the top and bottom of the iPad.

You know you've made it as a company and cultural force when one of the world's most important news sources is as obsessive about your product — or perhaps even more so — than the product's actual designers.

Of course, what do I know?

The story is now sitting at the top of the New York Times' Most Viewed queue.

In other Apple News (again from the Grey Lady), check out this thoughtful analysis of the company's sprawling and often-troubled Asian supply chain, written by Nick Wingfield and published April 1.

In it, Wingfield dissects Apple's new approach towards Chinese labor, as evidenced by Apple CEO Tim Cook's trip to China last week.

The money quote:

Apple’s supply chain is a subject much closer to Mr. Cook than it was to his predecessor. Not long after Mr. Jobs returned to lead Apple in 1997, he hired Mr. Cook to clean up the manufacturing operations, which were in disarray, with bloated inventory that hurt its profits. Over more than a decade, Mr. Cook helped transform Apple’s operations into the envy of the electronics industry, with an array of partners, mostly in Asia, able to efficiently pump out its latest products.

Wingfield also artfully points out that Cook spent time in his career working in factories in Alabama and North Carolina, a detail that further sets Apple's new boss apart from his legendary predecessor Steve Jobs.

Good stuff.

And full disclosure:

I read both stories — you guessed it — on my iPad.

And the extra button didn't bother me one bit.