Richard Gaywood is upset that Apple's new Retina MacBook Pro is just about the most locked-down "pro" computer device ever. There's no way to upgrade the RAM, the hard drive, or anything else. As far as Apple's concerned, it's a big block and what you see is what you get. Felix Salmon sees it as "about as far as you can get from the Apple 1, which came as a kit."
But it's also worth considering that the Apple 1 kit cost $666.66 in 1976, or in other words $2,692 in today's dollars. I'm guessing that if Apple tried to sell you a bunch of computer parts for that much today and didn't even assemble them for you, people would be a lot more upset. Back when computer components were more expensive, computer vendors had to do a lot to lower the price to consumers to get anyone to buy the thing. These days digital components are cheap, and every device maker is in a relentless war against commoditization and the total collapse of profits. Apple has done very very well at it, but the failures of its peer companies is a reminder of how fundamentally difficult it is.
TODAY IN SLATE
I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.
Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.
After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales
Hidden Messages in Corporate Logos
If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter
Giving Up on Goodell
How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.