Apple Datapoint of the Day

This is entirely anecdotal, but there’s no doubt what the single most popular laptop is at the Milken Global Conference: the MacBook Air.

The conference skews decidedly Republican, with a lot of very senior executives: we’re talking the conservative rich here, not the creative classes. But the Air is the perfect conference computer, and in some sense it’s not even a laptop in the classic sense. David Pogue:

When your laptop has the thickness and feel of a legal pad and starts up with the speed of a PalmPilot, it ceases to be a traditional laptop. It becomes something you whip open and shut for quick lookups, something you check while you’re standing in line or at the airline counter, something you can use in places where hauling open a regular laptop (and waiting for it) would just be too much hassle.

It’s the same lesson I learned when I reviewed the Flip “camcorder” a couple weeks ago: if you change the shape and concept of something enough, it ceases to be that thing. It becomes a new thing, or a descendant of that earlier thing. But it’s no longer the original thing.

I’m quite sure that the Airs I’m seeing around the Beverly Hilton are not their users’ primary computers. And I’m also sure that they’re not exactly the kind of thing that a walking-around computer will ultimately become (the iPhone probably has a greater chance of becoming that). But the Air is a very nice toy for the man who has everything, and does seem to be catching on among that demographic.

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