There is an article over at Slashdot about the possible decline of the traditional hard disk. We now have tablets like the iPad and its clones having only solid state / flash memory, and the new MacBook Air reaching a price point which is a direct competition to Apple's entry level MacBook. This really might be a sign for solid state storage to have reached the ordinary customer, outside of MP3 players, cameras and smartphones. The discussion on Slashdot is erratic and irrational, as usual, but some interesting points are also made. The thing those people are missing though is: This is again another Apple strategy. Apple can allow to enter a mass market first. They have loads of money, their products are still priced at the high point. They don't compete with the low level market. So offering a 11.6" laptop with a meagre 64 GiB of storage is doable for Apple. Sure, most geeks will say: What a puny machine! But again, as with the iPad, Apple can drive markets that don't care about computing power and loads of disk storage: Your mom, my mom and millions of other people might be happy with such a machine, that only 5 years ago would have been more computer than you'd ever needed. In a significantly larger form factor.
And in 5 years you probably won't see any laptop with a spinning drive anymore. Apple is just very early to the game, as usual. Remember the floppy-less iMac? They never were the first, but they were always quick to pick up and set trends. Also, what most geeks at Slashdot don't understand: Yes, Apple is fashion. Apples is expensive. But that's exactly why their product sell. Is it a good thing? Probably not. But that's how the market works: fashion sells. Also their laptops are incredibly well manufactured, in my opinion. Not without flaws, but much better than most devices I held in my hand.