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Apple's Plan B Products

by Heng-Cheong Leong, MyAppleMenu

Apple's products usually have, what I call, the Plan B functionality. This is the secondary functionality that is typically just as useful as the primary functionality or the product's main intented use.

Take the iPod as an example. When the whole iPod business is still in its infancy, a lot of people went ahead and bought an iPod even when they weren't sure of the whole 1000-tunes-in-your-pocket thing. After all, even if music was not their thing, the iPod is still a very decent portable hard disk. If I recall correctly, the iPod was even cheaper than an equivalent portable hard disk at one time.

Similiarly, the Intel Macintosh has a great Plan B design for switchers from the "dark side." Even if the Mac OS X is not what the switchers want, the Macintosh is still a great and competitive piece of hardware for running Windows.

iPhone? Even if the phone functionality sucks, it is still a decent wide-screen movie-playing iPod. (Yes, we all know the iPhone is not out yet, and everything is still in flux.)

So, I am a little mystefied by the Apple TV. There is no Plan B. If you find the TV sync/stream/watching experience not what you wanted, your only option is to return it back to Apple. Apple has no Plan B for you.

Maybe that's what the USB port is going to be. Maybe that's why Apple is so okay with others hacking the Apple TV. Nevertheless, I can't help but feel just a little disappointed.

By Heng-Cheong Leong