Editorial: The future of Apple's Macintosh

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  • Reply 61 of 159
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,407member
    apple2c said:
    1.  Why, when one clicks on the comments link, does the story reappear?  And, at its start?  This, requiring one to scroll down a very long page?!

    2.  Your first heading is grammatically wrong.

    "Where's the updates to existing Macs?"

    You meant, of course, "Where *are* the updates to existing Macs?!   :)

    Still a a good question....
    1 - the forums are considered a separate place that the story itself. This is a forum thread with the content of the article at the top of it. 

    2 - Yeah this grammar bug is silly, but common. It's not "where is the updates", it's "where are the updates". Not sure how that gets by editors. 
  • Reply 62 of 159
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,521member
    I've tried to read this article a few times, and still have no idea what it is trying to say. Is Apple doomed? I can't tell.
  • Reply 63 of 159
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,054member
    foljs said:
    What I don't understand is why Apple doesn't want to continue in all those "niches" such as MacPro, Displays, Routers etc. I understand it's not a mass market and neither a high margin one. But wouldn't they still make money off such products while offering the "seamless all Apple" experience? 
    It's not about merely making money, it's about missing other opportunities to make even more money.

    It's called Opportunity Cost: everything you do stops you from something else you could be doing.
    When you have limited cash or a limited labor/expertise pool that's true, but Apple has neither of those limitations.  And while I will not pretend to understand the inner workings of Apple, I do have to wonder what the hell everyone is doing with the large number of non-sales  and non-manufacturing related employees that they have.   Not that throwing people at a project necessarily speeds it up ("nine mothers can't make a baby in one month"), when we do get information about a particular Apple team, the number of people always seems to be remarkably small.    We'll never get it, but I'd love to see an analysis of what everyone at Apple actually is working on at any given time, given the relatively small number of new products they produce each year. 
  • Reply 64 of 159
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,407member

    "This isn't just confusing for consumers, but is also far more difficult to manage for the manufacturer and their retailers, who have to account for hundreds of SKUs rather than just a few. Again, the result is more excess inventories, more discounting and harder-to-support products."
    :rolleyes:

    It's too bad someone doesn't invent a device that can keep track of different numbers and relate them together.

    Oh right, that's a computer, the very thing this article is talking about.

    And because they were invented decades ago, and people have used them to solve that problem, it seems no one actually seems to think this is a problem except for this author. After all, Amazon exists in spite of having some millions of SKUs.

    Apple is losing market share across their entire product lineup, with the exception of the Watch - be still my beating heart! At some point that number drops to a point where the developers can't be bothered any more, and the platform dies almost overnight.

    I, for one, do not enjoy watching 1992/5 repeat itself.
    The problem with your DOOMsday prophecy is unlike the 1990s, apple isn't starving to death -- instead it's sucking up all the profits in multiple sectors. completely different scenario. 
    brucemcai46
  • Reply 65 of 159
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,407member

    The future of personal computing is not the iPad. 
    The future of personal computing is still the Mac with a touch screen for input.
    And Apple in its shortsightedness is missing this.
    Yeah i think you're completely wrong. Jobs, Cook, etc have said they've tried touch macs and they sucked. I'm thinking their take on this is more accurate than yours. 
    ai46anomepatchythepirate
  • Reply 66 of 159
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,706member
    Soli said:
    The Late 2013 release of Mac Pro may have been a mistake. Its design wasn't readily upgradable, but Apple also lacked the sales volumes to warrant regular significant update cycles. ... It may have been better for Apple to have designed a system other vendors could upgrade, with room for standard PCIe graphics cards and perhaps even CPU packages.

    It appears that Apple mistakenly approached the workstation class PC product segment with the same integrated design skills that worked so well for iMac and iPhone. ... There are some potential ways Apple could rethink its Mac Pro strategy. The simplest change would be to open up its existing design to accommodate third party CPU and GPU processor upgrades. One path to do this is enabled by Thunderbolt 3, which Apple demonstrated an early affinity for last fall in its design of new MacBook Pros.

    By enabling third party PCIe enclosures connected with Thunderbolt 3, Apple could address the needs of high end users of both MacBook Pros and desktop Mac Pro models. The reason why this hasn't happened yet is obvious: Thunderbolt 3 wasn't previously available. Simply updating the existing Mac Pro with Thunderbolt 3 would offer networked benefits for all Pro Mac users, desktop or mobile.

    However, designing an updated new Mac Pro doesn't change the fact that there is currently very limited demand for Mac desktops. Part of this is related to Apple's constrained strategy for its macOS platform, which focuses entirely on the Mac hardware Apple builds itself.
    With regard to the Mac Pro, it's hard to gauge the role of Intel's ongoing reframing of the Xeon line, from tick-tock to process-architecture-optimization, along with the significant increase (25% or so) in physical size of the upcoming platform/socket.
    Even PAO is turning into PAOO, at least for this current cycle.


    Why would anyone build a machine around a chipset that hasn't been optimised yet?
  • Reply 67 of 159
    nhtnht Posts: 3,425member
    wozwoz said:
    Your Apple % sales graphic is totally misleading ... it suggests that Mac sales are a shrinking portion of a pie.
    But, Mac sales have been vastly expanding over the last 5 to 10 years, in absolute terms, so that looking at the proportion of the pie misses the point -- the point is that the Mac in and of itself is a fantastic vibrant business model ... sadly being starved by its own owner.
    Um...vastly expanding vibrant business and being starved doesn't generally happen.

    More likely is Apple has access to statistics and generates new updates based on what's most likely to be sold to professionals and consumers.
  • Reply 68 of 159
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,407member

    jim w said:
    I love my both of my 2013 Mac Pros. Let us know there will be future ones. But for God's sake bring back Aperture. Apple's lackadaisical approach to Pro software is reprehensible. Photos is a complete waste of time. A snapshot shoebox. I have 100's of thousands of photos in Aperture. What do you expect me to do? I have bought 4 high end Macs in the last 2 years that will run Aperture, and I will not buy another unless it will run Aperture, or a new app with all of it's capabilities that will open Aperture libraries with full functionality. 5-10 years easy these Macs will last me. Total of seven that run it. Try that on your bloody iPad. 
    Sorry bro but Aperture ain't coming back. Migrate to another tool already. And it needn't be on an ipad, other tools run great on Mac. 
    firelock
  • Reply 69 of 159
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,548member
    I have Surface Studio envy. I was a big opponent to OS X and iOS mashup, I thought the toaster in a fridge moniker made total sense, but after spending some time on the Surface Studio I changed my mind. The device is far from perfect, but Apple can make it happen. Microsoft's stylus sucks, and their UI sucks even more.
  • Reply 70 of 159
    Coolfactor, First of all, "hyperactive ADD" is ADHD. Secondly, younger minds can digest so much more these days than we could as kids without similar tech. As a psychiatrist who works almost exclusively with kids, I've had the most stunning results, relative to traditional therapies, using computers, etc. STUNNING! As for these ads, the target audience is able to get so much more out of them, because of their rapid pacing, than those of us raised on slower paced or static ads. These challenge their brains!
  • Reply 71 of 159
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,363member
    This characteristically rambling piece did a great job of setting up and knocking down straw men, without actually digging into the question of what Apple will or should do with their line of desktop computers. Nobody with any common sense is disputing that iOS is and will continue to be Apple's bread and butter for the foreseeable future. It's also understandable why we aren't likely to see the iMac product line developed at the same pace as iPhones and iPads. 

    But the real, valid underlying fear among many stems from Apple's handling of the Mac Pro (and pro apps like Aperture) and what this portends for the professional/enthusiast market ("professional" as in developers, designers, engineers, photographers, videographers, etc., not as in "vanity branding for your most premium-priced consumer products.)

    So Apple must have screwed up royally with the release of their Mac pro several years ago. That's fine, we all make mistakes, including Apple. But that doesn't excuse their mishandling of that mistake for the last three years.

    They could have refreshed the Mac Pro periodically with up to date CPUs and GPUs. They could have introduced a less ostentatious (more traditional) design that could better accommodate user upgrades. Or, they could have just announced that they're abandoning that market altogether. Any of these actions would have met with some (or a lot of) criticism, but they could all have been justified with sound business reasoning. What can't be justified is releasing a $3,000-10,000 product to much fanfare and to then abandon that product for three years without so much as a price adjustment, spec refresh, or explanation to customers.

    I'd like to see Dilger do a focused thought experiment on what Apple's options are for the Mac Pro line and its intended customer base, without spending 5,000 words rehashing arguments about the competitive market and knocking down silly ideas about acquiring failing PC companies.

     
    edited March 6 lmacavon b7
  • Reply 72 of 159
    hypoluxahypoluxa Posts: 596member
    Tim said Apple still cares about creative professionals.

    I'm still optimistic.

    In the meantime, the iMac still has some pretty good legs.

    I'm thinking Intel has some tricks up its sleeve with its new fab coming to Arizona. Perhaps Apple is simply biding its time for that and perhaps the next generation of memory technology.
    That would be my thoughts as well. Waiting for the next big bump with the chips.
  • Reply 73 of 159
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,706member
    blastdoor said:
    Several points:

    1. The opportunity cost to investing in the Mac is low. Apple has a ton of cash and most of it sits earning 1%. The Mac is certainly more profitable than that. 

    2. The PC market might be stagnant, but the Mac market is much bigger than it used to be. Back in 2009 (I pick that year because it's when I bought my Mac Pro), Apple sold fewer Macs than they do today yet they did a better job of keeping a diverse product line up to date. 

    3. The Mac might represent a smaller share of Apple's revenue and profit, but it creates big positive externalities. For some of Apple's highest income, most engaged and loyal users, the Mac is the center of the Apple ecosystem. If Apple alienates those users and drives them to Windows or Linux, then those users might find that the rest of the Apple ecosystem makes less sense with the Mac. So then it's not just a loss of a Mac sale, it's a loss of several other products. Since those users tend to be Apple evangelists, it also has spill over effects to other users. 

    4. If Apple made an effort with the Mac Pro, the Mac Pro could utterly dominate the workstation market. It's essentially the most user-friendly Unix workstation ever built, and with Apple's technological capabilities it could also be the most powerful workstation on the market. The Mac Pro could be the realization of what NeXT was trying to do all those years ago, but so much better because it's in the context of a larger ecosystem. 

    Bottom line for me -- the Mac Pro right now is a big missed opportunity. It's sad. 

    1. There are a number of reasons why Apple is sitting on a massive pile of cash: stellar sales; superior supply-chain management; tax avoidance measures; wisely deciding where to spend their money. The last one is very important. What Apple knows, and you don't, is what return they will get for the investment. They have the precise figures going back years; all you have is a gut feeling coloured by your own bias and wishes.

    2. Apple did a better job of keeping up because there more advancements back then than there are now. Even Intel isn't as focussed on their desktop line as they used to be. Why do you think they're looking for alternative revenue sources such as comm chips?

    3. You're living in the past. This notion that loyal professionals have been keeping Apple afloat is no longer true. The Mac doesn't drive people to the iPhone. The iPhone drives people to the Mac. The kind of customers that Apple has today do not sit in forums listening to the old timers going on about how good the Mac is and then decide to go and try an iPhone. That just doesn't happen, sorry. You lot are vocal, but I'm afraid that you're not the majority of Mac customers, and as I've already said, Apple's core market gets its information from elsewhere.

    4. Yes, they could utterly dominate the workstation market, but what would be the point? There's so few people that need a workstation these days. The developers I know are happy with the their Mac laptops. If they need server level power then they'll start a remote connection to one. No need to lug a server around with you, or have one cooking your feet under your desk.

    Bottom line? The IT world has changed, and lots of people here are pretending it hasn't.



    ai46StrangeDaysanome
  • Reply 74 of 159
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,706member

    jim w said:
    I love my both of my 2013 Mac Pros. Let us know there will be future ones. But for God's sake bring back Aperture. Apple's lackadaisical approach to Pro software is reprehensible. Photos is a complete waste of time. A snapshot shoebox. I have 100's of thousands of photos in Aperture. What do you expect me to do? I have bought 4 high end Macs in the last 2 years that will run Aperture, and I will not buy another unless it will run Aperture, or a new app with all of it's capabilities that will open Aperture libraries with full functionality. 5-10 years easy these Macs will last me. Total of seven that run it. Try that on your bloody iPad. 
    Sorry bro but Aperture ain't coming back. Migrate to another tool already. And it needn't be on an ipad, other tools run great on Mac. 
    It's all this hanging around and complaining that I don't understand. Why not just start using a tool that suits you better, instead of waiting for something that is not going to happen.
    edited March 6 ai46StrangeDays
  • Reply 75 of 159
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,706member

    This rambling piece did a great job of setting up and knocking down straw men, without actually digging into the question of what Apple will or should do with their line of desktop computers. Nobody with any common sense is disputing that iOS is and will continue to be Apple's bread and butter for the foreseeable future. It's also understandable why we aren't likely to see the iMac product line developed at the same pace as iPhones and iPads. 

    But the real, valid underlying fear among many stems from Apple's handling of the Mac Pro (and pro apps like Aperture) and what this portends for the professional/enthusiast market ("professional" as in developers, designers, engineers, photographers, videographers, etc., not as in "vanity branding for your most premium-priced consumer products.)

    So Apple must have screwed up royally with the release of their Mac pro several years ago. That's fine, we all make mistakes, including Apple. But that doesn't excuse their mishandling of that mistake for the last three years. I'd like to see Dilger do a focused thought experiment on what Apple's options are for the Mac Pro line and its intended customer base, without spending 1,000 words rehashing arguments about the competitive market.

     
    So basically, you want Dilger to write an article that says what you want to hear.

    Got it.
    Soliai46StrangeDaysanome
  • Reply 76 of 159
    nhtnht Posts: 3,425member

    This editorial was great. As an Apple-focused IT professional, I love seeing how macOS continues to be a great software platform, but it seems like we get little love these days from Apple's hardware guys especially on the desktop side. When building our instructional labs (with a mandate to have them last 5 or so years), I dislike having to choose from 2 year old hardware that hasn't been refreshed as the basis for my build, though Apple's laptops are quick to get refreshes (maybe not so much from the author of this article's view).
    For a 5 year refresh cycle the biggest downside is that Applecare ends after 3 years.  Essentially it means you have to plan for spares after year 3 to sustain your labs.  An adequate way is to reserve budget for repair and replacement for years 4-5.  The better way is to stage replacement cycles where you can use equipment from one lab being updated to become spares for labs with older machines.  

    Then being 2 years out of date isn't much of an issue.  You always have a stream of current machines being introduced as part of an annual cycle.  Apple's current iMac 2 year refresh hiccup is greatly mitigated to being only 1/5th of your total inventory.

    If you have to build out a bunch of labs in today then I would use as many lower cost macs (say 21" vs 27") as I could get away with as part of my build with the understanding that these will start getting swapped out at the 3 year mark in FY20 when Applecare expires and the costs offset by the savings made in FY17.  You make these the undergrad labs...
  • Reply 77 of 159
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,887member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    The Late 2013 release of Mac Pro may have been a mistake. Its design wasn't readily upgradable, but Apple also lacked the sales volumes to warrant regular significant update cycles. ... It may have been better for Apple to have designed a system other vendors could upgrade, with room for standard PCIe graphics cards and perhaps even CPU packages.

    It appears that Apple mistakenly approached the workstation class PC product segment with the same integrated design skills that worked so well for iMac and iPhone. ... There are some potential ways Apple could rethink its Mac Pro strategy. The simplest change would be to open up its existing design to accommodate third party CPU and GPU processor upgrades. One path to do this is enabled by Thunderbolt 3, which Apple demonstrated an early affinity for last fall in its design of new MacBook Pros.

    By enabling third party PCIe enclosures connected with Thunderbolt 3, Apple could address the needs of high end users of both MacBook Pros and desktop Mac Pro models. The reason why this hasn't happened yet is obvious: Thunderbolt 3 wasn't previously available. Simply updating the existing Mac Pro with Thunderbolt 3 would offer networked benefits for all Pro Mac users, desktop or mobile.

    However, designing an updated new Mac Pro doesn't change the fact that there is currently very limited demand for Mac desktops. Part of this is related to Apple's constrained strategy for its macOS platform, which focuses entirely on the Mac hardware Apple builds itself.
    With regard to the Mac Pro, it's hard to gauge the role of Intel's ongoing reframing of the Xeon line, from tick-tock to process-architecture-optimization, along with the significant increase (25% or so) in physical size of the upcoming platform/socket.
    Even PAO is turning into PAOO, at least for this current cycle.


    Why would anyone build a machine around a chipset that hasn't been optimised yet?
    They're all optimizations in some regard. Even a new lithography (aka: process node) tends to include some new features now they have more room for a given chip size. The difference is that it's purely an increase in optimization and features that doesn't include a new lithography or new architecture.
    Rayz2016
  • Reply 78 of 159
    thegentlejagthegentlejag Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I understand the frustrations from the pro/creative communities about the update cycle and what they feel to be "underwhelming" new products. I think two things that exacerbate the problem are 1) that many feel that Apple doesn't know, or (more importantly) care, what their pro consumers need and/or want in their computing systems and 2) the whole cloak and dagger routine about any new updates/upgrades that may be coming. I think Apple has to walk a fine line between "innovating" and still giving users a level of familiarity. For example, with the 2013 trashcan Mac Pro, I know A LOT of people who were so put off with the lack of internal expansion and having a mess of cables and chords running from the back of the machine that they weren't even willing to consider the machine's performance. No matter how slick the design was, that basic idea was a sign to them that Apple didn't take into account how their consumers built their systems. The pro desktop user is a niche market, which makes it harder to understand why it has been so hard for Apple to say, "hey, we're working on something"... or, "we're not". We all understand there are many factors in why and when products are updated, but to release a computer and let it sit for almost up to four years without one word whatsoever is ridiculous. They don't have to give specifics, just let us know something. I need a new computer. I've used Macs for the past 20+ years and would love to buy a new one but my options are buying a 3.5 year old computer that may or may not be updated/upgraded this year, may be discontinued altogether, switch to Windows, or do either one and find out that a new one is going to be available months after I decide on one of the other options. It's a bit frustrating.
    firelockGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 79 of 159
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,363member
    Rayz2016 said:

    This rambling piece did a great job of setting up and knocking down straw men, without actually digging into the question of what Apple will or should do with their line of desktop computers. Nobody with any common sense is disputing that iOS is and will continue to be Apple's bread and butter for the foreseeable future. It's also understandable why we aren't likely to see the iMac product line developed at the same pace as iPhones and iPads. 

    But the real, valid underlying fear among many stems from Apple's handling of the Mac Pro (and pro apps like Aperture) and what this portends for the professional/enthusiast market ("professional" as in developers, designers, engineers, photographers, videographers, etc., not as in "vanity branding for your most premium-priced consumer products.)

    So Apple must have screwed up royally with the release of their Mac pro several years ago. That's fine, we all make mistakes, including Apple. But that doesn't excuse their mishandling of that mistake for the last three years. I'd like to see Dilger do a focused thought experiment on what Apple's options are for the Mac Pro line and its intended customer base, without spending 1,000 words rehashing arguments about the competitive market.

     
    So basically, you want Dilger to write an article that says what you want to hear.

    Got it.
    No, I'd like him to write an article that addresses the serious questions reasonable people are asking, rather than a wall of text tearing down the most asinine theories.
    lmacGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 80 of 159
    freediverxfreediverx Posts: 1,363member
    Rayz2016 said:

    jim w said:
    I love my both of my 2013 Mac Pros. Let us know there will be future ones. But for God's sake bring back Aperture. Apple's lackadaisical approach to Pro software is reprehensible. Photos is a complete waste of time. A snapshot shoebox. I have 100's of thousands of photos in Aperture. What do you expect me to do? I have bought 4 high end Macs in the last 2 years that will run Aperture, and I will not buy another unless it will run Aperture, or a new app with all of it's capabilities that will open Aperture libraries with full functionality. 5-10 years easy these Macs will last me. Total of seven that run it. Try that on your bloody iPad. 
    Sorry bro but Aperture ain't coming back. Migrate to another tool already. And it needn't be on an ipad, other tools run great on Mac. 
    It's all this hanging around and complaining that I don't understand. Why not just start using a tool that suits you better, instead of waiting for something that is not going to happen.
    Because we don't like any of the alternatives that are available?

    If Apple entirely abandoned macOS in favor of iOS, would you happily switch over to a Dell running Windows with little more than a ¯\_(ツ)_/¯? Because that's exactly what it feels like to use Adobe Lightroom.
    edited March 6 firelock
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