Apple sells a variety of Magic Accessories including the Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and Magic Keyboard. Ever since the introduction of the latest generation of these products in 2015, the Magic Mouse has been under the spotlight a lot because of how it charges.
While the previous generation used AA batteries for power, the latest one boasts a built-in battery and charges through a Lightning cable. It all sounds perfectly normal so far. The funny part is the placement of the charging port.
You see the Lightning connector is placed at the bottom of the Magic Mouse. This means you cant use it when it charges.
The impracticality and the funny look beg the question – why?
The answer is rather simple – design cost, product image, and press.
Other than how they are powered, the new Magic Mouse looks identical to the previous generation. This means by placing the Lightning connector at the bottom and not the front, Apple only needs to tweak the design of the aluminum bottom slightly and not the glass surface on the top.
Good enough might sound alien to Apple products, but it does not mean they don’t do good enough, especially with peripherals. Remember the iPhone battery case?
A more important reason why the Magic Mouse charges funny is the image of the product which Apple is famously obsessed with.
As an example, when you download apps from the App Store, you’ll see screenshots of the apps. Apple has a complete list of guidelines for developers on what screenshots are acceptable and what are not. The guidelines include the size of the screenshots, with and without the status bar.
Naturally, when it comes to Magic Accessories, Apple wants to maintain its magical and minimum appearance.
Essentially a Bluetooth mouse, Apple just can’t allow the Magic Mouse to have a cable connected all the time.
For everyday users, if given the choice, having the mouse connected to the computer via a cable is exactly what they’ll do. Before long, images of cabled Magic Mouse will appear on the internet and Apple can’t have that.
Although product image alone did not result in the odd placement of the Lightning connector. The other two Magic Accessories, Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad, both have the connector at the front.
There is no such thing as bad publicity.
The reality distortion field might have died with Steve Jobs, but Apple products still get more publicity than competitors. The weird and quirky design made sure the Magic Mouse got even more press and public attention.
At the end of the day, people are still buying it if they wanted to buy it. After all, the awkward placement of the Lightning connector does not pose really problems. Minutes of charging translates to hours of use.