Editorial: The future of Apple's Macintosh

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  • Reply 121 of 159
    So I apologize if this has already been mentioned, but I actually think it would be a very positive spin on things for Apple to license its high end/professional/workstation business to another premium hardware builder.  Stick with me here.

    Apple's "mainstream" computer lineup is clearly being shrunk into three main product lines:

    1) iMac (part of me thinks Apple will soon simply change the name to "Mac")
    2) MacBook
    3) MacBook Pro

    The Mac mini may stick around -- who knows. 

    But as many of us (myself included) complained that when the current Mac Pro was released 2013, Apple applied its ethos of "form over function" to a machine that is supposed to be 100% all about function -- the professional workstation.  As a result, it costs more than it should, it is very limited in upgrades, and it (apparently) has not been a huge success in sales.  Many true professionals are turned off by it, and it is far too expensive for the vast majority of home users/light work users. 

    Let's face it -- Apple's hardware and software design long ago became about sleek design, minimalistic simplicity, and intuitive interface.  And this is fine and dandy for most home and casual work applications.  Hell, we own 3 ipads, many iPhones, a MacBook Air, two Apple TVs, etc.  But when it comes to heavy video editing, or video gaming, I still build my own PC. 

    So it makes sense, I think for, Apple to keep developing its three core "Mac" lines internally (iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro).  But why not have a company with loads of experience building professional workstations, etc,.takeover Mac's enterprise/professional hardware development? Apple could still keep a tight lid on things (such as, for example, having a custom chipset and limited number of hardware options for the 3d parties to build with), but it wouldn't have to spend large amounts of capital developing relative low-margin products for a small market segment. 

    This would (In theory at least) allow for faster product refreshes and more responsiveness to the needs of actual professional users (not your average college student with a MacBook Pro), and because these machines would be aimed solely at actual professional users, they (again, in theory) would not directly cannibalize or compete with Apple's main three lines.

    Part of me thinks that this is where Apple is going, and part of me thinks that Apple is very gradually simply abandoning true professional users. One thing is clear, however:  if actual professional users were a priority, Apple would not have gone 3+ years without updating its flagship PC. 


    edited March 7
  • Reply 122 of 159
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 152member
    So I apologize if this has already been mentioned, but I actually think it would be a very positive spin on things for Apple to license its high end/professional/workstation business to another premium hardware builder.  Stick with me here.

    Apple's "mainstream" computer lineup is clearly being shrunk into three main product lines:

    1) iMac (part of me thinks Apple will soon simply change the name to "Mac")
    2) MacBook
    3) MacBook Pro

    The Mac mini may stick around -- who knows. 

    But as many of us (myself included) complained that when the current Mac Pro was released 2013, Apple applied its ethos of "form over function" to a machine that is supposed to be 100% all about function -- the professional workstation.  As a result, it costs more than it should, it is very limited in upgrades, and it (apparently) has not been a huge success in sales.  Many true professionals are turned off by it, and it is far too expensive for the vast majority of home users/light work users. 

    Let's face it -- Apple's hardware and software design long ago became about sleek design, minimalistic simplicity, and intuitive interface.  And this is fine and dandy for most home and casual work applications.  Hell, we own 3 ipads, many iPhones, a MacBook Air, two Apple TVs, etc.  But when it comes to heavy video editing, or video gaming, I still build my own PC. 

    So it makes sense, I think for, Apple to keep developing its three core "Mac" lines internally (iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro).  But why not have a company with loads of experience building professional workstations, etc,.takeover Mac's enterprise/professional hardware development? Apple could still keep a tight lid on things (such as, for example, having a custom chipset and limited number of hardware options for the 3d parties to build with), but it wouldn't have to spend large amounts of capital developing relative low-margin products for a small market segment. 

    This would (In theory at least) allow for faster product refreshes and more responsiveness to the needs of actual professional users (not your average college student with a MacBook Pro), and because these machines would be aimed solely at actual professional users, they (again, in theory) would not directly cannibalize or compete with Apple's main three lines.

    Part of me thinks that this is where Apple is going, and part of me thinks that Apple is very gradually simply abandoning true professional users. One thing is clear, however:  if actual professional users were a priority, Apple would not have gone 3+ years without updating its flagship PC. 


    Under this theory, the iMac would become the Mac, and then they would have a Mac Pro but the Mac Pro would just be a beefed up Mac, like now they have the MacBook and the MacBook Pro and the iPad and the iPad Pro.

    I think it will be interesting to see what happens between now and WWDC. 
    edited March 7
  • Reply 123 of 159
    defectadefecta Posts: 7member
    You lost me at 'license macOS'. We know how well that went last time!

    Most people voicing dismay at Apples current desktop and notebook computer lineup are not asking for more frequent updates and spec bumps than has been the norm in the past. We just want a return to the norm. 

    The 'norm' being making products that were truly great and ones that had semi-regular speed-bumps during their lifecycle and ones that didn't force all but the most timid of users back to Apple for an upgrade or a replacement? Not the castration and cannibalism in the name of the almighty dollar that has become the new 'norm' at Apple in recent years. Making money was a side effect of making great products the people loved, not the objective.

    Remember when MacBooks came with remote controls, polishing cloths and extension cables for the power brick so you didn't have to sit within 1 metre of a power point to charge your computer? Remember MagSafe? Remember when, if you knew what you were doing, you could upgrade your RAM or HDD or SSD on your MacBook when it got a little older and slower compared to current models without having to be extorted by Apples OEM RAM and storage prices?

    Remember when Mac Mini's were getting progressively better with each new release, until what is now the current model? Which is slower, more un-upgradable and un-expandable than previous models? Whats that? You want a faster MacMini than last year? You want to upgrade your RAM or put a second drive in? Too bad.

    Remember when you could easily and cheaply improve the performance of your iMac by upgrading the RAM on your by removing a panel on the back or bottom edge? Or for the more intrepid, replace the drive without having to break glued down displays

    Remember when a Pro Mac meant something more than being faster and prettier than the other offerings? And didn't mean you had to carry a selection of dongles with you so you could work everything that was thrown at you?

    Remember when iPhones came with docks, polishing cloths, a case to protect your headphones, a charger that was able to use the World Travel Adaptor kit that you probably already had for your MacBook etc?

    Remember when Apple made displays that enhanced and provided more connectivity that wasn't necessarily possible on the connected device?

    I do. 

    I just want to be able to look at the current offerings from Apple and see a compelling reason to upgrade my device and not have to sell my organs on the black market because of Apple's obscene pricing on RAM and storage upgrades which you are now forced to buy at the time of the initial purchase.

    Sure, drop a headphone jack but give me a reason to want it. Like higher quality sound that the alternative affords, released in concert with lossless iTunes audio? Or how about some AirPods that were available at the same time as the phone?? (I remember someone who was notorious for pushing deadlines because the product wasn't perfect yet, do you?)

    Kill off your Thunderbolt display and remove all but one port type from your 'Pro' MacBook but make me a beautiful, complimentarily designed, lust worthy, 5K USB-C display that I can buy to go with it. And one that doesn't mean I have to compromise on connectivity! (I'm looking at you LG!) Or a USB-C dock/charger with all the ports that I lost by upgrading to an exclusively USB-C device? 

    Making money is the only explanation for Apple's product announcements and product cancellations and profit margins in recent years, not making great products that everyone who uses them loves. If only there was someone left at Apple to stand up to the bean counters.  

    R.I.P. Steve.
    edited March 7
  • Reply 124 of 159
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 602member
    darkvader said:
    chasm said:
    lmac said:
    Self fulfilling prophecy. Macs are not upgraded because demand is low. Demand is low because Macs are not upgraded. Apple doesn't care about its 20 billion dollar Mac business, because it has a 150 billion dollar phone business. But I think this is short sighted. Apple could gain a lot of respect and r&d experience by continuing to advance the most powerful and easiest to use computers in the world. That's worth more than just money.
    As a Mac user, I like of what you have to say here, but I can't deny the reality that "home computers" aren't really that much of a thing anymore. While still big (but not as big as they once were) in offices, people are, in point of fact, relying on mobile devices (tablets and phones, mostly) for casual computing (which in the consumer market is likely to be 80 percent or more of what they do in a day), and maybe a notebook for anything that (again, think consumer market) requires "heavy lifting." The creative-pro and other specialist niche that NEEDS something like the 5K iMac at a dead minimum is a hugely smaller (and more importantly, less lucrative) market than it was in the heyday of those fields in the late 90s. I think it's a reach to say that Apple "doesn't care" about its $20B annual Mac sales -- the MBP shows that they clearly do. It is, however, very fair to say that it's not top priority at Apple because, as pointed out, it's a low-profit, low-sales segment compared to almost any of their other businesses (the iPad outsells Macs by 3-to-1, and while I don't know what the profit margin is on the Mac line I'd wager it is not that great). There's more than one factor in "the problem" with the Macs, but one of them is that "home computers" have reached a plateau ... remember when each year brought faster and faster processors? Long gone now. Until quantum computing takes off, I don't see desktop sales recovering, and frankly the big reason notebooks do better is more to do with the fact that they have real keyboards and large screens than that they are wildly better machines than, say, a premium tablet (which generally costs half to a third that of a premium notebook). A lot of respect could indeed be gained by more catering to niche markets like photographers and scientists, and that might even pay off in more respect for the Apple brand among (at the least the better-educated/wealthier segment of) consumers, but I think fans of the Mac like us need to be realistic about the cost/benefit ratio -- especially when it comes to things like the Mac Pro, which probably sold 100,000 units a quarter *at its 2013 peak* and is now (most likely) an actual money-loser for the company at this point. Hard to make an argument for major investment to revitalize a line that struggled to sell its first million units.
    The current MBP - which is a downgrade from the previous 2015 MBP in many respects - shows nothing of the sort. Look, it's a pretty machine, and it's great for a CxO or an attorney, someone who wants a flashy computer but in reality works with text and spreadsheets. But it's NOT a machine for a graphics professional, it's NOT a machine for a video professional, and it's NOT a machine for an IT professional. And while the video and graphics folks aren't necessarily the ones driving Mac sales, and Apple sales in general, those of us in IT absolutely ARE. A compelling Mac for me is not a single Mac sale. It's a sale of hundreds of Macs. And no, I'm not exaggerating. At this point, I've recommended the current MBP line to very few clients, and they're not graphics pros, those get a recommendation of "buy the 2015 while you can still get them, they're a great price right now". Nope, I've recommended the current ones (including one that's probably a sale today) to attorneys and corporate executives - people who won't need that much power, but like the light weight and the flashy colors. I'm not buying one, my 2012 quad i7 makes me happier because I can toss in a 2TB SSD and 16GB RAM today, still have an optical drive, and have a nice long battery life, without the compromises that thin makes. I'm carrying a heavy enough bag that an extra pound or so of computer is irrelevant, as are the dongles, but my next portable Mac is going to have a minimum expansion capability of 64GB RAM and 8TB storage, or I'm not going to bother. i mean, seriously, 16GB RAM was sufficient in 2011, and a 2011 MBP could do it. A 2011 MBP can hold 4TB of solid state storage today if you give up the optical drive. A 2016 MBP is limited to HALF the potential storage of the 2011, and that's absolutely insane. And the Mac Pro is a joke. The 2012 is a FAR better machine than the 2013, from pretty much any perspective. I can put in PCI Express SSDs, RAID them, and get better performance from that server than I can from the 2013 trash can. I'd rather be able to install an XServe, but it's still an acceptable server. But the trash can is just not the same class of machine, it's too much money for too little computer.
    Good points!   But you also point out another without saying it...  A point that few have made so far regarding Apple's slow upgrade process:

    The state of the art simply has not progressed sufficiently for Apple to produce a significant upgrade to the Mac line.   Or, said another way:  the older MBP's work about as well as the new MBP's.   The changes to the new ones are mostly in the line of changes rather than improvements because each of those improvements have trade-offs.

    I give Apple credit for not following the traditional General Motors path of making changes to shape and color and calling it new and improved.   Instead, they continued their focus on meeting the needs of their users -- and supporting the old without pushing them into new has been the best policy.
  • Reply 125 of 159
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 602member
    robbyx said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    entropys said:
    Rayz2016 said:

    Soli said:
    lmac said:
    Apple doesn't care about its 20 billion dollar Mac business
    :facepalm:

    I think people tend read and then just massage the logic to fit what they want to hear. 

    If Apple did build this blazing hot, multi-slotted, bristling-with-ports machine that everyone is apparently demanding, then I guarantee that all these so-called "professionals" would spend the next year complaining how ugly it is. 
    Or, they could just whack all that in a classic design Mac Pro tower and release it with a mea culpa. 
    They could do that, and people would still complain how Hey we're being fobbed off with an old-fashioned boxy design. 
    I think they could satisfy their pro users and their own tendency to solder everything down by making a little rack-mountable quartur-U width, 1U height Xeon based "blade" kind of machine that can be run by itself, or linked up with others via Thunderbolt 3 for parallel processing.  Imagine eight different 12 core little boxes all linked together- and hooked up to a PCI expansion chases for fancy graphics cards and such.  That'd be a good time.
    I've been buying Apple computers for 35 years.  As much as I love my iPhone, I am loyal to the Mac.  As the Mac goes, so goes my loyalty to Apple.  I appreciate that the Mac isn't Apple's top priority today, but it's an integral part of the "ecosystem", the heart I'd say.  iPhone might be Apple's most recognizable and successful product, but Mac is where the love starts.  Maybe newer Apple consumers don't see it that way, but for those of us who have supported the company for a decade or more, it's the Mac (or, in my case, the Apple //c) that made us believers.

    I like where you're going with the "blade" idea.  I also think Apple needs to rethink the Mac and pretty much agree with your take.  I'd like to see them come out with a tiny little Thunderbolt 3-based Mac "core" that can be added to a first, or third, party case.  Let others design awesome enclosures and configure all the commodity hardware.  As long as the enclosure meets the specs for the Mac core, all is well.  Apple can still build their own enclosures (ie: iMac), and simultaneously allow for third party manufacturers to create more niche configurations, all while maintaining a much higher level of control than by going the OS licensing route, plus they make more money because they still build part of the computer.  Offer the Mac core in a variety of processor configurations suitable for anything from a low-end laptop to a high-end "pro" machine.  And the enclosure manufacturer could still chose to sell Windows with the enclosure and even offer the enclosure pre-configured with the Mac core of choice with both OS X and Windows pre-loaded.
    All this talk of "Priorities" is blind to the fact that Apple relies on outside venders for innovation.   Essentially, CPU's & GPU's have entered a period of relative stagnation.   It's not so much that Apple De-Prioritized the Mac as their just is no way to produce a significantly new & improved version.    Even today people are arguing whether the newest MBP is actually better than the old.

    People will argue that the newest processors are faster than the old.  And that's true.  But the difference is like arguing whether using a 500hp engine to get to the supermarket is better than a 475hp engine.   Essentially, who cares?   Who cares if the top speed is 190mph or a 180mph?   Neither of them will ever be attained by a normal driver.   They are strictly for bragging rights.   Apple knows better than to invest their capital into bragging rights.   It's a slippery slope downhill.
    Soli
  • Reply 126 of 159
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 602member
    Aldridge said:

    I am getting more and more frustrated with Apple’s course. I’m a long time daily Macintosh user since 1988. I love the MacOS operating system for a desktop (own a 27” 3.5MHz i7) but I wish Apple would drop the price of their equipment. My two kids wanted gaming computers this fall, and to get them something decent I would have had to invest $2700 for each Mac. (mobile graphics at that) I ended up building my own PC’s for @1100 each (no monitor). Hated to do it but it was simple economics. Wish apple would just drop the price of their desktops to make them more competitive.

    ...

    Part of the Apple experience is the whole ecosystem. When stuff like networking get’s dropped, it’s frustrating.

    I blanked out the middle because the first paragraph and the last are the most interesting:

    In the first, you are arguing that you can build your own stand-alone piece of hardware cheaper than Apple.
    In the last, you state that the Apple experience relies on its ecosystem.

    Ecosystems cost money!  That money is mostly paid for in the purchase price of the product.
    It's the same problem where our media continually compares Apple hardware to Samsung hardware and ignores the Apple ecosystem (including support, privacy and security).  It just simply is not a justifiable comparison.

    That being said:  $2,700 is a LOT of frigging money!
    Solibrucemc
  • Reply 127 of 159
    This is certainly a thorough article. I take issue with the licensing suggestion, as being unfeasible. As was clearly proven in the past, in order for Apple to make money through licensing, they would have to charge so much for licenses that third party manufacturers would have to charge more for machines than Apple.
    The various clones ranged in quality and price but most of them cost less than an Apple Mac (in contrast the quad processor Daystar Genius was as big as a horse, was very expensive, and was buggy). The PowerComputing machines were in traditional bloody-knuckle stamped metal boxes but were very appealing. The advantage of the clones was that they ordered CPUs in very small quantities, while Apple had to wait for the production of huge numbers, which meant that the clones could beat Apple to the market with the latest and fastest machines.
    I hated to see PowerComputing go away, as they had an attitude you just had to love.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 128 of 159
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,706member
    Rayz2016 said:

    lmac said:
    Self fulfilling prophecy. Macs are not upgraded because demand is low. Demand is low because Macs are not upgraded. Apple doesn't care about its 20 billion dollar Mac business, because it has a 150 billion dollar phone business. But I think this is short sighted. Apple could gain a lot of respect and r&d experience by continuing to advance the most powerful and easiest to use computers in the world. That's worth more than just money.
    And in addition to that upgrades happen look like cheap tricks. C'mon, Apple, I still have MBP'15 and I won't switch to your new piece of junk with the same name, because I'm not a dongle fan at all. I don't want to by a $500+ extension for my new $2000+ MacBook Pro in order for the latter to at least look as an actual Pro. I'm a touchtyper and I have no idea what the hack do I need a touch bar for. I'd rather prefer a touch screen, but you say that Apple users don't need those. Well, I'd rather prefer a stable macOS with a couple updates a year than an overdesigned, overpacked with apps I don't use one, yet, you say that Apple users love your way of screwing with your own creation...

    Whatever happens next it might only be two ways for me:
    — Apple realizes that mac book pro users need more tech and less jingles, dongles and other implied shmungles;
    — Me switching out as I did with their overpriced stone for some reason called a phone...

    Yeah, I don't want new wallpapers for my desktop I need a stable alternative for a Linux system, otherwise I just don't see the need to choose the Apple's product over a much better technological multiverse of the Linux core based laptops.

    The writing has been on the wall for some years now: Apple is focussed on a different kind of professional, which clearly isn't you.  So what exactly are you waiting for?
    "Different kind of professional" meaning what exactly?

    The professional who has grown up using mobile devices and chooses to use a laptop rather than a desktop. If he's a develop then he'll be called a 'script kiddie' by folk round here, because he'll choose to use JavaScript and/or PHP for building websites. If he's a photographer then he'll spend most of his time out and about, so he'll need a laptop so he can work while he's on site. 

    He'll probably also have sleeve tattoos. :-(

  • Reply 129 of 159
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,887member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Rayz2016 said:

    lmac said:
    Self fulfilling prophecy. Macs are not upgraded because demand is low. Demand is low because Macs are not upgraded. Apple doesn't care about its 20 billion dollar Mac business, because it has a 150 billion dollar phone business. But I think this is short sighted. Apple could gain a lot of respect and r&d experience by continuing to advance the most powerful and easiest to use computers in the world. That's worth more than just money.
    And in addition to that upgrades happen look like cheap tricks. C'mon, Apple, I still have MBP'15 and I won't switch to your new piece of junk with the same name, because I'm not a dongle fan at all. I don't want to by a $500+ extension for my new $2000+ MacBook Pro in order for the latter to at least look as an actual Pro. I'm a touchtyper and I have no idea what the hack do I need a touch bar for. I'd rather prefer a touch screen, but you say that Apple users don't need those. Well, I'd rather prefer a stable macOS with a couple updates a year than an overdesigned, overpacked with apps I don't use one, yet, you say that Apple users love your way of screwing with your own creation...

    Whatever happens next it might only be two ways for me:
    — Apple realizes that mac book pro users need more tech and less jingles, dongles and other implied shmungles;
    — Me switching out as I did with their overpriced stone for some reason called a phone...

    Yeah, I don't want new wallpapers for my desktop I need a stable alternative for a Linux system, otherwise I just don't see the need to choose the Apple's product over a much better technological multiverse of the Linux core based laptops.

    The writing has been on the wall for some years now: Apple is focussed on a different kind of professional, which clearly isn't you.  So what exactly are you waiting for?
    "Different kind of professional" meaning what exactly?

    The professional who has grown up using mobile devices and chooses to use a laptop rather than a desktop. If he's a develop then he'll be called a 'script kiddie' by folk round here, because he'll choose to use JavaScript and/or PHP for building websites. If he's a photographer then he'll spend most of his time out and about, so he'll need a laptop so he can work while he's on site. 

    He'll probably also have sleeve tattoos. :-(
    Wait! What? Laptop users can't be real coders? I don't think I know a single coder that uses a desktop as their primary machine. Most have a desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse at home, but they dock their MBP because portability is also important to them.
  • Reply 130 of 159
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,706member
    JinTech said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    JinTech said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    JinTech said:

    macOS licensing?

    One path to making Mac Pro a more broadly desirable product might be to open up licensing and franchising of Apple's core architecture designs to vendors who can add value and broaden the demand for macOS hardware. Apple could potentially partner with other PC vendors to use its logic boards designs to develop workstations and high end desktops that run macOS.

    Apple's last attempt at Mac licensing, starting in 1994, gave other hardware makers specifications for building their own machines that could run the Classic Mac OS. This turned out to be a bad deal for Apple, because it generated lots of new unpaid development work for Apple in exchange for the loss of its own high end Mac sales, where most of its profits derived from.

    At the time, Macs weren't standard PCs but rather specialized computer systems that required bespoke support in the Mac operating system. Since the move to Intel in 2006, Macs are essentially a subset of the standard PC architecture. Apple also no longer makes most of its money selling higher end Mac desktops, making it easier to cede that market to PC partners.

    Rather than just authorizing "hackintoshes," Apple could sell PC makers ready-to-use Apple logic boards developed for Mac Pro, or develop a standard logic board that partners could use for sale in high end desktops, workstations or even servers--all markets Apple appears to have lost any interest in on its own.Expanding MFi-style licensing to the high end niches of macOS could allow third parties to assume the risk in developing those markets

    Apple already has a robust MFi licensing program related to its iOS product lines. Expanding MFi-style licensing to the high end niches of macOS could allow third parties to assume the risk in developing those markets.

    Apple has effectively already done this in IoT with HomeKit. Rather than building its own home automation hardware, Apple has developed (and enforces) specifications so that these third party devices work well with its own platforms.

    By limiting the terms of its licensing deals, Apple could continue to shape the overall strategy of its macOS platform--creating boundaries for the types of products it would need to assume OS development support for--while expanding the potential reach of its technology outside of the high volume, high margin hardware it currently focuses upon internally.

    One potential downside is that such a licensing program could turn into a distraction for the company. However, a larger potential problem is that there may not be enough demand for Macs in higher end markets (such as CAD, biotech and other STEM research).
    I do not think Apple would ever do this. I think Apple like to have to much control over everything both hardware and software and it would just create more work for Apple in the long run, when they could just create the hardware themselves.

    If Apple did open macOS up to consumers to build their own custom hardware, I would be very down for this. This way we professionals could build their own custom Mac, and top it with the specs we want. If Apple made much of the underlying code for macOS open source (I believe most of it is anyway) than it would just be a matter of having hardware developers write drivers for their hardware and all Apple would have to do is approve it, kind of like the App Store now and BAM, Apple would have the largest professional installed macOS user base on the planet, IMHO.
    They would also have a support and maintenance nightmare and a raft of angry customers who wouldn't know where to turn when systems don't work. 
    Or if they do offer macOS to license to build custom hardware, Apple could state that it is not under any kind of warranty from Apple and they will not support any hardware mechanical failures or issues. Upon boot up of the machine basically have an "Important Read Me" clause and you would have to accept it before continuing.
    Do you honestly believe that quell a PR nightmare when Apple makes a change that breaks every machine they didn't make?
    I honestly don't think so. That doesn't happen with the various flavors of Linux out there. I think it would take some time (two-three years maybe) for this kind of macOS to mature and be smoothed around the edges but would you rather Apple not update their MacPro for four years or being able to build and update your own tower anytime you want? Apple could have two versions of the macOS, one for licensing to custom built machines, and one they keep in house for Apple hardware. Should you choose the route for custom built machines, you take the risk of anything breaking, and Apple would state this in their clause and they are not held responsible for anything such failures.
    It doesn't happen for Linux because these kind of problems are expected for Linux. When you sign up with Linux then you expect to have to do some of the work yourself.
  • Reply 131 of 159
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,706member
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Rayz2016 said:

    lmac said:
    Self fulfilling prophecy. Macs are not upgraded because demand is low. Demand is low because Macs are not upgraded. Apple doesn't care about its 20 billion dollar Mac business, because it has a 150 billion dollar phone business. But I think this is short sighted. Apple could gain a lot of respect and r&d experience by continuing to advance the most powerful and easiest to use computers in the world. That's worth more than just money.
    And in addition to that upgrades happen look like cheap tricks. C'mon, Apple, I still have MBP'15 and I won't switch to your new piece of junk with the same name, because I'm not a dongle fan at all. I don't want to by a $500+ extension for my new $2000+ MacBook Pro in order for the latter to at least look as an actual Pro. I'm a touchtyper and I have no idea what the hack do I need a touch bar for. I'd rather prefer a touch screen, but you say that Apple users don't need those. Well, I'd rather prefer a stable macOS with a couple updates a year than an overdesigned, overpacked with apps I don't use one, yet, you say that Apple users love your way of screwing with your own creation...

    Whatever happens next it might only be two ways for me:
    — Apple realizes that mac book pro users need more tech and less jingles, dongles and other implied shmungles;
    — Me switching out as I did with their overpriced stone for some reason called a phone...

    Yeah, I don't want new wallpapers for my desktop I need a stable alternative for a Linux system, otherwise I just don't see the need to choose the Apple's product over a much better technological multiverse of the Linux core based laptops.

    The writing has been on the wall for some years now: Apple is focussed on a different kind of professional, which clearly isn't you.  So what exactly are you waiting for?
    "Different kind of professional" meaning what exactly?

    The professional who has grown up using mobile devices and chooses to use a laptop rather than a desktop. If he's a develop then he'll be called a 'script kiddie' by folk round here, because he'll choose to use JavaScript and/or PHP for building websites. If he's a photographer then he'll spend most of his time out and about, so he'll need a laptop so he can work while he's on site. 

    He'll probably also have sleeve tattoos. :-(
    Wait! What? Laptop users can't be real coders? I don't think I know a single coder that uses a desktop as their primary machine. Most have a desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse at home, but they dock their MBP because portability is also important to them.
    No, they are real coders, but folk round here would probably insist that they're not because they're not using a tower box. In fact, I think some of the best code I've come across is written in Python and was written on machines less powerful than the current MacBook Pro. 

    My point is that Apple is simply keeping up with the times, and a lot of people simply choose not to. To me, being a professional means being adaptable, or at least trying the new thing out before deciding it's not for you. 
    edited March 7
  • Reply 132 of 159
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,887member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    Wait! What? Laptop users can't be real coders? I don't think I know a single coder that uses a desktop as their primary machine. Most have a desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse at home, but they dock their MBP because portability is also important to them.
    No, they are real coders, but folk round here would probably insist that they're not because they're not using a tower box. In fact, I think some of the best code I've come across is written in Python and was written on machines less powerful than the current MacBook Pro. 
    Ah! I see. I guess it's the way people justify their penis envy when outside of automobiles (at least in the US). Funny that both ugly custom cars and custom PC towers come with neon lights. I'll never understand some of the "mods" people do with PCs, which are posted fairly regularly on The Verge. Personally, I want the computer to disappear as much as possible.*

    * After seeing Hidden Figures that could be taken as a racist remark.
  • Reply 133 of 159
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,706member
    blastdoor said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    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.



    The voice of fanboy rationalization for an obvious failure. Very sad. 
    The reply of someone who can't make an argument. Sadly predictable. 
    edited March 7 StrangeDays
  • Reply 134 of 159
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,706member
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    Wait! What? Laptop users can't be real coders? I don't think I know a single coder that uses a desktop as their primary machine. Most have a desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse at home, but they dock their MBP because portability is also important to them.
    No, they are real coders, but folk round here would probably insist that they're not because they're not using a tower box. In fact, I think some of the best code I've come across is written in Python and was written on machines less powerful than the current MacBook Pro. 
    Ah! I see. I guess it's the way people justify their penis envy when outside of automobiles (at least in the US). Funny that both ugly custom cars and custom PC towers come with neon lights. I'll never understand some of the "mods" people do with PCs, which are posted fairly regularly on The Verge. Personally, I want the computer to disappear as much as possible.*

    * After seeing Hidden Figures that could be taken as a racist remark.

    Here's a fella who had a perfectly good way of working and still looked to see if there was a better way of doing things.  Not only is he a professional, he's something of a pioneer. 

    http://www.cultofmac.com/470677/incredible-logan-poster-painted-ipad-pro-towers-times-square/

    I guess this is the 'Thinking Different' Steve Jobs was talking about. A shame that all the people that claim they miss him seem to have forgotten that. 
    edited March 7
  • Reply 135 of 159
    Rayz2016 said:
    entropys said:
    Rayz2016 said:

    Soli said:
    lmac said:
    Apple doesn't care about its 20 billion dollar Mac business
    :facepalm:

    I think people tend read and then just massage the logic to fit what they want to hear. 

    If Apple did build this blazing hot, multi-slotted, bristling-with-ports machine that everyone is apparently demanding, then I guarantee that all these so-called "professionals" would spend the next year complaining how ugly it is. 
    Or, they could just whack all that in a classic design Mac Pro tower and release it with a mea culpa. 
    They could do that, and people would still complain how Hey we're being fobbed off with an old-fashioned boxy design. 
    I think they could satisfy their pro users and their own tendency to solder everything down by making a little rack-mountable quartur-U width, 1U height Xeon based "blade" kind of machine that can be run by itself, or linked up with others via Thunderbolt 3 for parallel processing.  Imagine eight different 12 core little boxes all linked together- and hooked up to a PCI expansion chases for fancy graphics cards and such.  That'd be a good time.
    TB3 is not HTX or QPI
  • Reply 136 of 159
    nhtnht Posts: 3,425member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:

    The professional who has grown up using mobile devices and chooses to use a laptop rather than a desktop. If he's a develop then he'll be called a 'script kiddie' by folk round here, because he'll choose to use JavaScript and/or PHP for building websites. If he's a photographer then he'll spend most of his time out and about, so he'll need a laptop so he can work while he's on site. 

    He'll probably also have sleeve tattoos. :-(
    Wait! What? Laptop users can't be real coders? I don't think I know a single coder that uses a desktop as their primary machine. Most have a desktop monitor, keyboard, and mouse at home, but they dock their MBP because portability is also important to them.
    No, they are real coders, but folk round here would probably insist that they're not because they're not using a tower box. In fact, I think some of the best code I've come across is written in Python and was written on machines less powerful than the current MacBook Pro. 

    My point is that Apple is simply keeping up with the times, and a lot of people simply choose not to. To me, being a professional means being adaptable, or at least trying the new thing out before deciding it's not for you. 
    A colleague comment to me that he couldn't name any developer under 30 that was running windows.  It was either Mac or Linux.  I toss a couple names but sure enough, above 30.

    Not real data but amusing as hell.
    xzu
  • Reply 137 of 159
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 152member
    Rayz2016 said:
    JinTech said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    JinTech said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    JinTech said:

    macOS licensing?

    One path to making Mac Pro a more broadly desirable product might be to open up licensing and franchising of Apple's core architecture designs to vendors who can add value and broaden the demand for macOS hardware. Apple could potentially partner with other PC vendors to use its logic boards designs to develop workstations and high end desktops that run macOS.

    Apple's last attempt at Mac licensing, starting in 1994, gave other hardware makers specifications for building their own machines that could run the Classic Mac OS. This turned out to be a bad deal for Apple, because it generated lots of new unpaid development work for Apple in exchange for the loss of its own high end Mac sales, where most of its profits derived from.

    At the time, Macs weren't standard PCs but rather specialized computer systems that required bespoke support in the Mac operating system. Since the move to Intel in 2006, Macs are essentially a subset of the standard PC architecture. Apple also no longer makes most of its money selling higher end Mac desktops, making it easier to cede that market to PC partners.

    Rather than just authorizing "hackintoshes," Apple could sell PC makers ready-to-use Apple logic boards developed for Mac Pro, or develop a standard logic board that partners could use for sale in high end desktops, workstations or even servers--all markets Apple appears to have lost any interest in on its own.Expanding MFi-style licensing to the high end niches of macOS could allow third parties to assume the risk in developing those markets

    Apple already has a robust MFi licensing program related to its iOS product lines. Expanding MFi-style licensing to the high end niches of macOS could allow third parties to assume the risk in developing those markets.

    Apple has effectively already done this in IoT with HomeKit. Rather than building its own home automation hardware, Apple has developed (and enforces) specifications so that these third party devices work well with its own platforms.

    By limiting the terms of its licensing deals, Apple could continue to shape the overall strategy of its macOS platform--creating boundaries for the types of products it would need to assume OS development support for--while expanding the potential reach of its technology outside of the high volume, high margin hardware it currently focuses upon internally.

    One potential downside is that such a licensing program could turn into a distraction for the company. However, a larger potential problem is that there may not be enough demand for Macs in higher end markets (such as CAD, biotech and other STEM research).
    I do not think Apple would ever do this. I think Apple like to have to much control over everything both hardware and software and it would just create more work for Apple in the long run, when they could just create the hardware themselves.

    If Apple did open macOS up to consumers to build their own custom hardware, I would be very down for this. This way we professionals could build their own custom Mac, and top it with the specs we want. If Apple made much of the underlying code for macOS open source (I believe most of it is anyway) than it would just be a matter of having hardware developers write drivers for their hardware and all Apple would have to do is approve it, kind of like the App Store now and BAM, Apple would have the largest professional installed macOS user base on the planet, IMHO.
    They would also have a support and maintenance nightmare and a raft of angry customers who wouldn't know where to turn when systems don't work. 
    Or if they do offer macOS to license to build custom hardware, Apple could state that it is not under any kind of warranty from Apple and they will not support any hardware mechanical failures or issues. Upon boot up of the machine basically have an "Important Read Me" clause and you would have to accept it before continuing.
    Do you honestly believe that quell a PR nightmare when Apple makes a change that breaks every machine they didn't make?
    I honestly don't think so. That doesn't happen with the various flavors of Linux out there. I think it would take some time (two-three years maybe) for this kind of macOS to mature and be smoothed around the edges but would you rather Apple not update their MacPro for four years or being able to build and update your own tower anytime you want? Apple could have two versions of the macOS, one for licensing to custom built machines, and one they keep in house for Apple hardware. Should you choose the route for custom built machines, you take the risk of anything breaking, and Apple would state this in their clause and they are not held responsible for anything such failures.
    It doesn't happen for Linux because these kind of problems are expected for Linux. When you sign up with Linux then you expect to have to do some of the work yourself.
    And I still think if Apple marketed this to hardware developers they would get a lot of support from them. How long would it take a hardware developer of say memory or a motherboard to write a driver for macOS? I'm asking because I am seriously interested. Maybe if Apple got in touch with such developers before hand so that Apple already has the drivers needed for the majority of the popular hardware out on the market, it wouldn't be such a cluster. 
  • Reply 138 of 159
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,904moderator
    All this talk of "Priorities" is blind to the fact that Apple relies on outside venders for innovation.   Essentially, CPU's & GPU's have entered a period of relative stagnation.   It's not so much that Apple De-Prioritized the Mac as their just is no way to produce a significantly new & improved version.    Even today people are arguing whether the newest MBP is actually better than the old.

    People will argue that the newest processors are faster than the old.  And that's true.  But the difference is like arguing whether using a 500hp engine to get to the supermarket is better than a 475hp engine.   Essentially, who cares?   Who cares if the top speed is 190mph or a 180mph?   Neither of them will ever be attained by a normal driver.   They are strictly for bragging rights.   Apple knows better than to invest their capital into bragging rights.   It's a slippery slope downhill.
    That's pretty much what's happening and I would also say that not much has changed in over 20 years. People always seem to feel that the Mac is stagnating because it's not matching PCs for price/performance but it never has. You can go back to websites 10/15/20 years back and see the exact same discussions:

    http://www.geek.com/apple/digital-photography-macs-vs-pcs-552080/

    "it was only a few months ago, after the microprocessor forum, that sander olsen predicted that the powerpc 970 was going to be to little, too late for apple and the beginning of apple's fall into oblivion had begun."

    http://windowsitpro.com/windows-server/pc-vs-mac-revisited-adobe-says-pcs-are-faster

    It's easy to see where Apple's hardware is relative to PCs today. The current 15" Macbook Pros have quad i7s at the entry level and they vary from 666-734 in Cinebench, this is negligible difference in the last 4 years of laptops although the IGPs have improved. The fastest mainstream i7 desktop processor (in the top iMac) gets 931, around 40% faster. Apple isn't behind on performance with their mainstream lineup.

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-MacBook-Pro-15-Late-2016-2-6-GHz-i7-Notebook-Review.185254.0.html
    http://www.legitreviews.com/intel-core-i7-6700k-skylake-processor-review_169935/11

    The price is the bigger factor, you can get the same processor in the $2400 MBP in an $800 Dell laptop, GPUs are close too but 3x price difference:

    https://www.amazon.com/Dell-Inspiron-i7559-2512BLK-Generation-GeForce/dp/B015PYZ0J6

    The Retina display, SSD etc cost more but that's still a large difference if you just need that performance. On the higher end, the Mac Pro spec can be compared with systems from places like Puget (this company revenue estimate is $1-5m so higher-end machines are selling in the hundreds - low thousands):

    https://www.pugetsystems.com/nav/genesis/II/customize.php

    A $7k 12-core MP matches with a 28-core setup for price, GPU options there would match (single 1070 is around dual D700). The CPU performance difference is 2x for the same price or 1.6x faster for single 20-core CPU. This is comparing 3 year old hardware to the latest and it's only 1.6-2x faster. Obviously it's better having the latest spec but a 3 year+ refresh cycle is understandable.

    Back in 2012, the MBP started at $1799 for the latest hardware, now it's $1999 for the May 2015 model (nearly 2 year old hardware) and $2400 for the latest. $600 increase for the latest components in just 4 years.

    I don't think it's such a bad thing that they sell older hardware because the performance is good enough but not at the same price. Having a race to the bottom in price is not a good thing but they are far from the bottom. Their ASP is $1200 but their 15" MBP starts $800 higher. That shows a difference between what people are able to afford and what they are selling. The ASP is below the price of the entry Macbook so there's a lot of Macbook Airs being sold to bring the average down.

    Maybe they are trying to maintain margins all the way up where 30% margin on $1299 MB = $389 and $2400MBP = $720. If they instead aimed for the same profit per unit, the higher end machine would still be $2k. They are just going to price people out of upgrades if they keep going so high and if someone bought a 2015 MBP for $2k, the same one is on sale today for $2k.

    They have over $250 billion, they make about $20b revenue from Macs per year. That means they could give every Mac user a free Mac for 10 years and still have over $50b. They'd probably have over $250b in fact because most of the income is from the iPhone. If they just try to keep the Mac prices a bit more reasonable, it would be fine. So aim for entry laptops and desktop $1000-1500. 15" MBP and 27" iMac $1500-2500 (iMac is mostly still ok but HDDs). Mac Pro $2500+. The higher-end Macs sell so few units anyway, taking a margin hit there will be a small impact on their balance sheet - 3 million units x $300 average price cut (e.g $200 off entry MBP, $500 off MP) = $900m out of $5b net profit.
    edited March 7 xzuroundaboutnowGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 139 of 159
    All iOS products are insecure by default. If iOS is insecure why are people stupid enough to buy them. https://9to5mac.com/2017/03/07/cia-ios-malware-wikileaks/
  • Reply 140 of 159
    JA27JA27 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    This article is pathetically biased to be an apology on Tim Cook mis management on the Mac business.

    Few things the author has not mention (I assume intentionally or its just an supine writer):

    1. AMD alliance/dependency has a big role on Mac delays, those depending on AMD GPUs has to wait until AMD get current and debug its sub-par GPUs (nVidia is the GPU leader by long shoot, AMD its just the cheapo GPU mfr), this alliance to save few dollars selling macs with cheap GPUs has delayed the entire line, most evident are the Mac Pro and the iMac, bot are waiting AMD to debug its Radeon 4xx and Radeon Pro GPUs for the iMac and Mac Pro.
    2. The writer is an absolute ignorant on business and marketing, just look at ZOTAC and very small PC developer, they release N new custom  products every year with latest chipset (even mix AMD/INTEL/nVidia), and ZOTAC selling less that 5% of Apple Mac is very profitable, I bet you even the slow selling Mac pays its development/marketing cost many times its first year on sale.
    3.  Cook oversight on the Mac product division its almost in-existent or , not just the Mac hardware is in pathetic state, just look at the Mac App store, its very sad to look for an app there. Also seems evident the guy is more familiar with media/fashion than tech world, simple Cook has no vision to drive the technological part of the Apple business, he is an inventory-management executive accidentally promoted to CEO by an Ill SJ surely influenced by his intimates.
    4. Another evidence of poor management is the new Touch Bar Macbook Pro SSD design: SOLDERED, this is good for Apple? NO, this is good for the users? YES, reasoning: those aware on the characteristics of the SSD wear, will either evade smaller SSDs or at the last month in warranty run an SSD burning tool jut to make fail prematurely the ssd this way getting an all new logic board (and SSD), this also is bad for apple that should kept the SSD as a separate component since its shorter life, most buyer now skip the 25GB tbMacBook Pro, evidence: look at the first tbMBP with huge discounts: 256Gb models.
    this article deserves an re-action and correction from the AI's main editor, smart readers won't stop to laugh on such blatant apology.

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