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Inside Apple's Year of Macs and Mac OS X: 2011

post #1 of 19
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This year, Apple's Mac OS X platform turned ten years old, launched the 10.7 Lion reference release, introduced the Mac App Store and iCloud, and delivered a series of new Macs boasting fast, flexible Thunderbolt connectivity and speedy new Sandy Bridge processors.

Record sales of Macs

In 2011, Apple set new sales records for its 27 year old Mac platform, hitting a milestone of 4.89 million Macs sold in the fiscal Q4 ending in September, a number 700,000 units larger that the previous year's record quarter of sales.

Just five years ago, Apple was selling 5.4 million Macs per year (hitting a quarterly peak of 1.6 million Macs in Q4 2006). Those sales were considered strong at the time, but after a half decade of introducing new Intel-based Macs the company's hardware sales have more than tripled, resulting in an installed base of more than 58 million users.



Compared to the 4 percent annual growth of the overall PC market, Apple has experienced six times the growth of the industry, with a 23 percent increase in Mac sales over the past year, even when excluding sales figures for the iOS-based iPad. Including iPad sales, Apple is now positioned to become the world's largest PC vendor by the middle of next year.



A new 2011 Mac hardware focus on mobility

Apple officially retired its Xserve line at the beginning of the year, and introduced no new Mac Pro to replace last year's "Mid-2010" model, moves that signaled a departure from conventional PC and server markets and an intensified focus on mobile systems.

In its most recent conference call, Apple reported that mobile Macs now make up 74 percent of its computer sales. In large part, that's because the company launched two new waves of MacBook Pro models featuring powerful new Sandy Bridge i5 and i7 processors, AMD graphics and the fast new Thunderbolt interconnect, affording its mobile systems a degree of power and expandability previously only available in a desktop tower. The new models also introduced fast 450 Mbps WiFi and higher quality FaceTime HD cameras.

In the summer, Apple introduced new MacBook Air models incorporating mobile versions of Intel's Sandy Bridge i5 and i7 chips along with Thunderbolt and Bluetooth 4.0, repositioning the Air as its entry level notebook by eliminating the white plastic MacBook model.



Apple also introduced new iMacs and a refreshed edition of its "unibody" Mac mini and Mac mini server that similarly incorporated the same faster CPUs and Thunderbolt connectivity features.



Thunderbolt enables new 2011 Macs the ability to drive two external displays (apart from the Air, which can power one) as well as serving as a conduit for PCI Express, supporting two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to 10Gbps each, all over a single cable. Apple also introduced its own 27 inch, $999 Thunderbolt Display providing 2.1 speaker sound, a FaceTime HD camera, 3 USB 2.0 ports, one Firewire 800, Gigabit Ethernet, and a Thunderbolt interface for connecting a chain of five additional devices.



On page 2 of 2: New Mac 2011 software, App Store, cloud services, The Mac future

New Mac 2011 software, App Store, cloud services

In 2011, Apple released three free updates for Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the most significant new feature of which added support for the new Mac App Store. Following the success of the App Store for iOS devices, the Mac App Store launched a new way for Mac users to safely obtain software as a digital download.



Many third party developers, led by Pixelmator, have embraced the new store as their exclusive or at least primary means of distributing their software and advertising it to the Mac audience. Among the most successful developers embracing the Mac App Store is Apple itself, which currently produces seven of the store's top ten paid titles, and eight of the top eight highest grossing titles.

Apple launched the Mac App Store with its existing $15 iLife and $20 iWork apps, along with its professional Aperture photography software, discounted from $199 to just $79 as a digital download. The company later added a completely revamped Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro 9 to the Mac App Store as their exclusive means of distribution, replacing its former $500 and $1000 suites with standalone apps costing $199 and $299. Apple also added the companion apps Motion 5 and Compressor 4 for $49.99 each, and MainStage 2 for $29.99.



The Mac App Store's most popular download by far, however, is Mac OS X Lion, which Apple released in July as a $29.99 upgrade for 64-bit Intel-based Snow Leopard users. Apple announced in its first quarter of sales that there were 6 million downloads of Lion, an 80 percent increase in sales over Apple's previous Snow Leopard release.

As Apple's first digital download of a desktop operating system, the Lion upgrade introduced a variety of features, many of which drew upon the company's experience in launching the iPad (including automatic file saving and undo revisions; updated apps with a simplified, iPad-like appearance; a Launchpad that offers easy access to apps similar to the iOS home screen; iOS-like spell checking and foreign character input; support for full screen apps and an expanded use of iOS-like multitouch gestures to navigate the interface).



Lion also introduced full disk encryption with FileVault 2; expanded accessibility including multilingual VoiceOver screen reader support; significant improvements to Safari 5.0; a variety of security enhancements; better Spotlight search; expanded Quick Look features and the ability to authenticate users via their Apple ID, among what Apple describes as more than 250 features.

A final major feature related to Lion and iOS 5 is iCloud. Mid year, Apple's Steve Jobs outlined at the company's Worldwide Developer Conference how all three components would work together to replace the "digital hub" strategy he had unveiled ten years earlier with a new cloud computing model that would radiate from the company's servers, enabling users to manage apps, photos, calendars, contacts, documents and purchased content between computers and mobile devices.

The Mac future

While setting new hardware sales records and releasing the origins of an entirely new cloud based computing environment this year, Apple also achieved ten years of Mac OS X development and fifteen years of an impressive reinvention of the company under Steve Jobs, following Apple's fateful acquisition of NeXT at the end of 1996.



Apple's iMac and MacBook Pro are the number one selling notebook and desktop in the U.S., even though Apple still has a relatively small share of the overall PC market, offering plenty of growth potential. While the company has experienced even faster and more lucrative growth in its iPhone and iPad sales, it has made it clear that the Mac platform is central to its business, and won't be sidelined as many pundits had predicted as sales of the iPod and later iOS devices exploded throughout the last decade.

Rather than being left behind, Apple has used Mac OS X as the basis for developing iOS, and has since shared technologies between the two at a rapid pace, progressively enhancing both platforms in tandem. While the development of Mac hardware and software was broad and deep in 2011, it certainly wasn't all Apple achieved in the year. The next segment will look at what else the company delivered in parallel, based on its mobile iOS platform.

Inside Apple's 2011: iPod, iPhone & iPad
Inside Apple's 2011: iOS, Apps & iCloud
Inside Apple's 2011: Steve Jobs' achievements, battles and crises
post #2 of 19
Bottom line-

If I had to pick between:
-Blackberry (or android) and an iMac (or MacBook)
-iPhone and a Windows PC (or laptop)

I'd take the iMac and blackberry any day. Of course I love iOS and iPhone, but the Mac and osx is so lightyears ahead of anything else in terms of software, ease of use, and design. I love it. Still my favorite product they make.

Great year Apple!

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

This year, Apple's Mac OS X platform turned ten years old, launched the 10.5 Lion reference release, introduced the Mac App Store and iCloud, and delivered a series of new Macs boasting fast, flexibleThunderbolt connectivity and speedy new Sandy Bridge processors.

Umm... It's 10.__7__ Lion.
post #4 of 19
Undoubtedly 2011 has been a momentous year for Apple. One disappointment though is that Lion is perhaps the worst release of OSX to date. It's less responsive and less stable than Leopard or Snow Leopard. We've become used to the idea that stuff "just works", and unfortunately with Lion, all too often that is not the case. I wonder if some of the talent that made previous Mac software so great has been diverted to the iOS effort. It's still the best, but not by such a great margin any more.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles View Post

Undoubtedly 2011 has been a momentous year for Apple. One disappointment though is that Lion is perhaps the worst release of OSX to date. It's less responsive and less stable than Leopard or Snow Leopard. We've become used to the idea that stuff "just works", and unfortunately with Lion, all too often that is not the case. I wonder if some of the talent that made previous Mac software so great has been diverted to the iOS effort. It's still the best, but not by such a great margin any more.

Honestly I'm pretty happy with Lion, do you have new-ish hardware?
i have the core duo 11 air it runs crazy smoothly & the mac mini with 8gb of ram, it goes not as well as the air, the SSD makes the difference i think, HDD is a bottle neck, sorry i got on a rant, i cant wait for the Ivy bridge air, so getting the 13" :O
post #6 of 19
In 2012 I'll be upgrading my iPad2, to a 3 3G,, my iP4s to a iP5, my original intel iMac for an 11" MBA, and buying, hopefully, an Apple television towards the end of the year! Upgrade my brother MFC to an AirPlay capable HP Envy wireless printer so I can print from my iOS devices.

I was going to get a Time Capsule...but I like the idea of not owning any devices wirh spinning HD's or optical drives for that matter. Not to mention all the cables and power bricks I won't have.

Perhaps, I will just backup everything with iCloud and Dropbox. Probably will have to go thru and delete half of my music and keep 25% of my photos...and just a few movies! Oh well, time for a spring cleaning, anyway.


That is if I can restart my business after being raped by "wanker bankers" for the last 3 years!
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

In 2012 I'll be upgrading my iPad2, to a 3 3G,, my iP4s to a iP5, my original intel iMac for an 11" MBA, and buying, hopefully, an Apple television towards the end of the year! Upgrade my brother MFC to an AirPlay capable HP Envy wireless printer so I can print from my iOS devices.

I was going to get a Time Capsule...but I like the idea of not owning any devices wirh spinning HD's or optical drives for that matter. Not to mention all the cables and power bricks I won't have.

Perhaps, I will just backup everything with iCloud and Dropbox. Probably will have to go thru and delete half of my music and keep 25% of my photos...and just a few movies! Oh well, time for a spring cleaning, anyway.


That is if I can restart my business after being raped by "wanker bankers" for the last 3 years!

AirPrint is pretty awesome. And, to be honest, I didn't like the cost of the Time Capsule for what it does... but it is pretty awesome. And when you have all those things you just mentioned, whats another $290 It just makes it seamless.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles View Post

[Lion is] less responsive and less stable than Leopard or Snow Leopard.

This has been my experience on my Macs at home. I oversee a collection of Macs at my place of business, and I have kept them running Snow Leopard. Lion has seemed like a step forward in a few respects and several steps back in others.
post #9 of 19
Typo alert!

"The Evolution of Steve Jobs Computer Box" should read:

"The Evolution of Steve Jobs' Computer Box" (and it's kind of a clumsy title anyway)

That is all.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

... the Mac and osx is so lightyears ahead of anything else in terms of software, ease of use, and design. I love it. ...

And yet in all those years they still can't make the Finder open a window and have the contents stay the same as they were the last time it was opened, or make iTunes sort podcasts and TV shows in an ascending pattern as opposed to a descending one!

Oh well, maybe someday. Software can be tricky stuff!
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles View Post

Undoubtedly 2011 has been a momentous year for Apple. One disappointment though is that Lion is perhaps the worst release of OSX to date. It's less responsive and less stable than Leopard or Snow Leopard. We've become used to the idea that stuff "just works", and unfortunately with Lion, all too often that is not the case. I wonder if some of the talent that made previous Mac software so great has been diverted to the iOS effort. It's still the best, but not by such a great margin any more.

It might be your hardware or a fact that you need to do a clean install. My problem is with Safari. Safari appears buggy to me but I have fairly new hardware. I did use Timemachine to restore apps and settings to this new computer which is probably my issue. A clean install would do me well.

On another note, I'm convinced we'll see one last OSX release as I thought Lion was it. I believe they call it in a similar vein to the Leopard releases (e.g. Red Lion).
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

In 2012 I'll be upgrading my iPad2, to a 3 3G,, my iP4s to a iP5, my original intel iMac for an 11" MBA, and buying, hopefully, an Apple television towards the end of the year! Upgrade my brother MFC to an AirPlay capable HP Envy wireless printer so I can print from my iOS devices.

Printopia is a $20 software program that runs on your mac & allows you to print from iOS devices. It works great for me & saved me from having to run 2 printers (as our current printer is company provided and we have to use it)
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkral View Post

Printopia is a $20 software program that runs on your mac & allows you to print from iOS devices. It works great for me & saved me from having to run 2 printers (as our current printer is company provided and we have to use it)

Yes, but do you have to have your Mac on to print? If so, it kind of defeats the purpose of a wireless AirPrint printer.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Yes, but do you have to have your Mac on to print? If so, it kind of defeats the purpose of a wireless AirPrint printer.

In his situation where he has a printer that is forced on him from work, it probably isn't much of an issue. besides, most people I know never bother to turn their computers off anymore anyway, I know I don't. I do have one of the HP printers that is Airprint compatible tho and they're very nice. It was only about $15 more to get one of those than to buy the ink for the old printer I was having to get new ink for that day
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Yes, but do you have to have your Mac on to print? If so, it kind of defeats the purpose of a wireless AirPrint printer.

Yes you do need to leave your computer on. I guess I've never run into anyone who doesn't leave theirs on all the time. I set mine to turn off the screen after an hour, but always leave the computer on. This helps me with email filtering, etc. If you turn your computer off frequently, then this software would not work for you.
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkral View Post

Yes you do need to leave your computer on. I guess I've never run into anyone who doesn't leave theirs on all the time. I set mine to turn off the screen after an hour, but always leave the computer on. This helps me with email filtering, etc. If you turn your computer off frequently, then this software would not work for you.

Interesting. Mine goes to sleep regularly, but I never shut it down either. Only shut down my work one for the weekend when I leave the office.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #17 of 19
But it might be noted that Apple is moving to electronics with a cloud service behind it and it seems to be leaving OS X Server behind while the cloud is not up to replacing it (if it ever can if you also take privacy and ownership into account). Since 10.4, Server has become progressively more brittle and bug-ridden. The jabber server behind iChat Server was not updated for years and stayed at some old, insecure or even beta level version. The 10.6.8 Server is still stable, but configuring is hit-and-miss and often things don't 'just work'. During one 10.6.x intermediate upgrade, suddenly my user's were confronted with other people's mail in their inboxes (something fixed speedily by Apple, but the fact that it even happened says something about the quality of the Server group).

A family server is a nice thing to have, and especially portable home directories and mobile accounts make it easy for all family members to take any mac and just have their own environment. If it only was not so brittle and bug-ridden.

Upgrading from 10.6 server to 10.7 server is now out of the question because of all the problems with 10.7 server and no solution in sight. And thus is upgrading from 10.6 client to 10.7 client out of the question for our systems that depend on portable home directories where it is reported that 10.7 clients don't work properly with 10.6 server.
post #18 of 19
Personally I am amazed at what my upgrade to Lion has been to my aged late 2007 MacBook. Before upgrading to Lion I also upgraded to 6GB of RAM and a new 7200rpm 500GB hard drive. I got a little boost under Snow Leopard but after I completed my upgrade to Lion I was blown away at how much faster my lil baby ROARED! It was like I had bought a new machine! I LOVE LION!
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by hank_e View Post

Personally I am amazed at what my upgrade to Lion has been to my aged late 2007 MacBook. Before upgrading to Lion I also upgraded to 6GB of RAM and a new 7200rpm 500GB hard drive. I got a little boost under Snow Leopard but after I completed my upgrade to Lion I was blown away at how much faster my lil baby ROARED! It was like I had bought a new machine! I LOVE LION!

+1. I love it too. If not for iCloud alone.

No need for a desire to use outlook anymore as Mail is almost identical to it (much much better), much better address book layout and calendar, etc. With a family of just me, my wife, and two small children- iCloud and calendar has been a lifesaver. My wife sets up all our family appointments and I know which ones I need to attend. She has her calendar only she sees, I have mine only I see, and we have our "family" calendar we both see. All this stuff is very very very convenient, and with all the complaints about programming, etc, it is much much better for the consumer (Apple's number one target).

And- one of my favorite heavily-criticized features? Natural scrolling. I love it and get all confused when I jump on a computer without it.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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