No remote; no big deal

| Ted Landau's User Friendly View
Apple came out with new MacBooks and MacBook Pros yesterday. Aside from the new additional features announced, there was one subtraction: The laptops no longer ship with a remote control. It's now a $19 option.

I imagine there will be some grousing about this among users, complaining that Apple is increasingly "nickel-and-diming" us, removing default components and charging extra for them.

But let's be fair. Apple has gone both ways. For example, an AirPort Extreme card and Bluetooth support are both standard with laptops, even though they were optional when they first arrived on the scene.

In the case of the remote control, I suspect Apple simply made a decision based on cost vs. use. That is, if the vast majority of people who purchase a Mac laptop never or rarely use the remote control, then Apple is wasting money by providing it to people who will just let it sit in a drawer. Plus, there are the people (such as myself) who now have several of these remotes (after purchasing laptops, an iMac, and an Apple TV over the past few years) and who don't need a new one with each new purchase.

So...make it an option for those who want it and save money (by not raising the price of the laptop) for those who don't. Compared to the status quo (keeping the remote standard while not increasing the price), an optional remote can save Apple a significant amount of cash. Let's suppose (and I am making a wild guess here) that a remote costs Apple $10. That's $10,000,000 saving for every million laptops it sells.

On the assumption that most users won't miss not having the remote, or won't mind paying $19 to get one, that's money well saved at little or no cost in customer satisfaction. Makes sense to me.

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4 Comments

DL Byron

I was just commenting to a co-worker that I’ve never once used one of those remotes and I’ve got a drawer full of them. So what? Also, I looked back at a 17 MBP I bought 2 years, almost the same price for a lot more computer. What I think the fan boys miss is that the 17 has stayed the same price for what 3 years now while consistently offering a better computer.
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Michael

Before you bought it, if you went out and baught an RF remote I might have felt guilty about the waste, now it gives me a choice, from which I am happy.

xmattingly

I see the reasoning for not including if remotes aren’t being used by a wide margin, but how about meeting consumers halfway on price? $1089 (instead of $1099) for the entry model would be more justifiable. After all, the laptops STILL include the RF sensor. I see that move as possibly meaning a few things: 1. they see the remote as not being popular enough to include, so they found a justifiable way to cut a little cost, 2. they believe Front Row is popular enough on a laptop that people are willing to pay a little extra for the remote, and/or 3. Apple will soon be releasing an updated version of the remote.

Yakir

a remote came with my MacBook I bought in January 2007. I’ve used it twice. Maybe I could see the point with a 24” iMac across the room, but who controls a 13” screen laptop from 12’ away?

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