I received some good comments on yesterday's Apple 4.0 post. They were interesting enough I'll address them in a f/u post.
Andrew M took exception to my claim that Apple's historically lackluster quality was improving. I admit, it's a mixed bag.
On the one hand, the build quality on my MacBook Air is excellent. Unlike my iBook and MacBook I don't expect the hinges to fail, and unlike my MacBook I don't expect the enclosure to begin disintegrating. On the other hand several of our iPhones have had flaky home buttons, and Apple's 2nd generation iPhone sync cables are crummy. I gave Lion 1.0 (10.7.0) credit for being better than I'd expected, but I expected a disaster. Many feel Lion is a disaster, with a poorly designed save/save as implementation, problematic app restart behaviors, and a nearly crippled Safari. MobileMe sync has been mangling my contacts, and today Apple server failures have been bricking iPhones.
I concede the point. Apple has shown quality improvements in some areas, and regressed in others. Quality is still below what we deserve. I am still hopeful Cook and Apple 4.0 will put more weight on quality than Apple 3.0 did.
Jeffrey Dutky said I didn't give Apple enough credit for moving to industry standard interfaces like Thunderbolt. At first thought I agreed with him, but then I realized physical connectors like the iPod cable are going away. Only power connectors are definitively physical, and only Apple sells them for Apple laptops.
Apple's device connectors now are wireless protocols supporting things like AirPlay and AirDrop. I believe both are proprietary. I hope Apple 4.0 will be open these types of connections, and enhance data freedom for all Apple applications.