Apple may freeze new Mac introductions until release of Mac OS X Lion

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple management is so pumped up over the advantages presented by its forthcoming Mac OS X Lion operating system that the company has been holding back the release of at least one new Mac refresh until the software is finalized, AppleInsider has learned.



For instance, new Thunderbolt-enabled Sandy Bridge MacBook Air models expected to go into production this month have been ready and waiting for some time, according to people familiar with the matter. But management is currently unwilling to usher the new models into the market with the current Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard operating system.



Instead, the Mac maker is said to be locked on waiting till it can image the new notebooks with a Gold Master build of Lion so that buyers are afforded the latest and greatest Apple experience. This includes complimentary iCloud services that will come built into the software, offering a means of automatic data synchronization that is both unparalleled in the computing industry, and paramount in an age when consumers are adopting a digital lifestyle in which they own and operate multiple mobile devices.



The same methodology is believed to be in place for Thunderbolt-equipped versions of the Mac mini and LED Cinema Display, and will carry over Apple's forthcoming iOS devices like the next iPhone and iPod touch, which the company is similarly unwilling to ship without the iCloud-enabled iOS 5.0 software due this fall.



Any decision to relent on this approach would need to be prompted by unexpected delays in the release of either operating system that would prove disruptive to the company's fundamentals by preventing it to push out new hardware in-line with its internal models, according to other people familiar with Apple's thinking.



This strategy follows a company objective first revealed by AppleInsider prior to Apple's disclosures regarding Lion and iCloud at this month's Worldwide Developer Conference, in which it reported that management was determined to price Lion extremely aggressively and give away iCloud features for free in an effort to get the software into the hands of as many consumers as quickly as possible.







During his keynote at the conference one week ago, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs confirmed that Apple would price Lion at $29.99, rather than the company's historical $129.99 fetching price for new versions of the Mac OS X operating system, and that users would receive the majority of its iCloud features at no cost, the exception being some enhanced storage and music functionalities that will cost a nominal fee.



All said, while the Cupertino-based company's strategy continues to evolve with the times, it remains rooted in the same principle that Apple is a software-driven company that makes its money on the sale of proprietary hardware designed to best leverage its software expertise.



Apple's investment in unique, cutting-edge notebook designs has paid off for the company, and in particular with the redesigned MacBook Air released last fall. In February, a person familiar with Apple's supply chain told AppleInsider that the thin and light notebooks were selling in volumes roughly half that of MacBook Pros -- a major change from the relatively niche status the MacBook Air previously held in the company's product lineup.



Even before the new MacBook Air, Apple had outgrown the PC market every quarter over the past five years. But the ultraportable Air was singled out last week by Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.



"It's beautiful, it's thin, it's light, it's fast," Schiller said during the keynote. "The whole PC industry wants to copy it."







It's the PC industry that has been caught in a standstill while Apple has seen industry-leading growth. With an install base now at 54-plus-million active users around the world, the Mac saw 28 percent year over year growth last quarter, while the entirety of the PC market shrank 1 percent.



AppleInsider was told earlier this month that Apple is prepared to build nearly 400,000 of its next-generation MacBook Air this month. But with Mac OS X Lion set to go on sale on the Mac App Store in July, Apple's initial production run could lie in wait until the software is made publicly available.



"Whether you want a great new notebook or a killer desktop with the new iMac, these Macs are the best that we've ever made in the history of Apple," Schiller said. "And they're great not just because of the hardware they run, but because of the software."



Expanding further on its software and services, Apple is also looking to increase the value proposition of its product line and surrounding ecosystem with the new iCloud service, which will be free when it launches in its entirety this fall. Some features of iCloud, including the ability to redownload content, is already available using iTunes 10.3, or the App Store for iOS devices.



In addition to seamlessly syncing data, contacts and calendars across multiple devices -- including Macs and PCs -- Apple's iCloud also promises to simplify users' lives, making it easy to access photos, videos and personal files without the need to manually transfer or back up. Apple has boasted that its offering will be more full-featured than its rivals, namely Google and Amazon, as well as third-party services like Dropbox. And no PC maker that competes with the Mac lineup offers an integrated solution such as Apple's.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 134
    moxommoxom Posts: 326member
    Fair enough - makes sense. Not long to go anyway...
  • Reply 2 of 134
    joseph ljoseph l Posts: 197member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    With an install base now at 54-plus-million active users around the world, the Mac saw 28 percent year over year growth last quarter, while the entirety of the PC market shrank 1 percent.





    At this rate, how long until OSX reaches a 10% installed base among PCs?
  • Reply 3 of 134
    Yeah, I think it makes sense as well, especially in the case of new iOS devices. Being able to say the new "iPhone 5" (or 4s, or 4G, or whatever they decide to call it) is PC-free will be a great selling point. Likewise, saying that the MacBook Air has all of the advantages of iCloud, will be an advantage. They can market the new software features as features of the products themselves.
  • Reply 4 of 134
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    I'm sorry, I know I'm going to be tagged as overly pessimistic here, but Lion is not nearly as revolutionary as previous OS X upgrades have been. Delaying hardware releases out of convenience for customers so they don't need to download it makes sense. Especially since in the past they'd just slip an upgrade disk into the box before shipping it, and now there are no upgrade disks.



    Delaying the hardware because they are locking it into Lion so you can't downgrade to Snow Leopard is the more likely reason.
  • Reply 5 of 134
    commun5commun5 Posts: 36member
    A lot of folks will say: No Rosetta, no Lion.
  • Reply 6 of 134
    min_tmin_t Posts: 74member
    makes no sense at all. the upgrade is free for new mac purchases. delaying the release of new hardware inconveniences the buyer and is a potential lost sale.
  • Reply 7 of 134
    min_tmin_t Posts: 74member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    I'm sorry, I know I'm going to be tagged as overly pessimistic here, but Lion is not nearly as revolutionary as previous OS X upgrades have been. Delaying hardware releases out of convenience for customers so they don't need to download it makes sense. Especially since in the past they'd just slip an upgrade disk into the box before shipping it, and now there are no upgrade disks.



    Delaying the hardware because they are locking it into Lion so you can't downgrade to Snow Leopard is the more likely reason.



    what would be the benefit of downgrading to Snow Leopard?
  • Reply 8 of 134
    moxommoxom Posts: 326member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by min_t View Post


    makes no sense at all. the upgrade is free for new mac purchases. delaying the release of new hardware inconveniences the buyer and is a potential lost sale.



    But Lion is only a few weeks away...
  • Reply 9 of 134
    dagamer34dagamer34 Posts: 494member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joseph L View Post


    At this rate, how long until OSX reaches a 10% installed base among PCs?



    It'll be a while, especially if we're talking worldwide (currently around 3%) instead of just the US (5%).
  • Reply 10 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by commun5 View Post


    A lot of folks will say: No Rosetta, no Lion.



    By a lot of folks, do you mean, like, 37?
  • Reply 11 of 134
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,890member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    Delaying the hardware because they are locking it into Lion so you can't downgrade to Snow Leopard is the more likely reason.



    bump. Way to spin it, AI.
  • Reply 12 of 134
    Wasn't this obvious weeks ago? Apple *always* tries to push their latest OS to their users. 'Pumped' or not about Lion, it would be silly to push out Apple's most popular hardware and have users upgrade 2 weeks later to a new OS. Similarly, we would not expect Apple to start selling the iPhone 5 with iOS 4.4 on it and then have users upgrade 2 weeks later to iOS 5. Just common sense.
  • Reply 13 of 134
    frugalityfrugality Posts: 410member
    On the one hand, it'd be very easy to upgrade to Lion via the App Store, so delaying hardware doesn't make sense in that regard.



    On the other hand, Apple may want you to have your new machine with 'the whole new experience' -- so that you're not suddenly getting used to Snow Leopard (if you're a new user), then suddenly switch to Lion and have to learn a new system.





    I've got cash in hand for a Macbook Air, whenever they become refreshed. I also wanted a Mac Mini to be a music server to run my Logitech Squeezebox, but if the new Time Machines are running iOS and could run as a music server with Apps running on it as a stand-alone machine....sign me up for one of those, too!
  • Reply 14 of 134
    I wonder if holding back on new macs will mean:



    1- New Mac Pro's with better thunderbolt accessories

    2- New Apple HD Monitor with Built in HD cam + which is touch screen capable

    3- New Mac-Mini with Thunderbolt

    4- Macbook with touchscreen and combo Hard drive SSD drive.

    5- Macbook Air with touchscreen and combo Hard drive SSD drive.

    6- Macbook Pro with touchscreen?





    Honestly, adding touchscreen capability to the entire laptop product line ought to be possible and an easy manufacturing upgrade for Apple to accomplish. They could do it in the same form factor without major changes.



    The only upgrade as an option i would like is Blu-Ray Recording, even for storage. At this point Apple is ridiculous by not offering it in their desktop line. BD is widely adopted, and a great format for sharing movies on in HD.



    not everyone wants to be connected to internet and stream everything.
  • Reply 15 of 134
    I do not agree with this approach of holding out on machine delivery. We are probably all well aware of what it is like to wait on an upcoming release, when you want a new computer NOW!

    I can, however, understand the excitement Apple has over the syncing with iCloud. I have used Apple's tools (and paid for them) since back in the iTools days. I've been repeatedly asked why I pay for MobileMe, when there are free services out there. I always tell them, "It is all in the syncing". I had to agree, however, that Apple charged too much for the service, and it held many (most?) users from using it. FREE will change all that.



    "A lot of folks will say: No Rosetta, no Lion"



    I have to agree. I am currently sifting through my 23 years of Mac Apps, deleting all classic apps, and stuffing all PowerPC apps in a folder for easy identification, to discard when the time comes. I am upgrading them where possible/practical.

    I have considered holding off on the Lion update (I've only been on Snow Leopard for 2 months!). However, Apple likes to force things their way, so I suspect there will be iCloud features that are desirable, but unusable without Lion.

    I have already identified several apps, which I paid for, that are not available for intel.

    Rosetta will be missed.



    This reminds me of when Apple decided to cripple their machines so it was impossible to boot into OS9. It was frustrating. I still have documents that I have no way to open today.
  • Reply 16 of 134
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,727member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RetroRichie View Post


    By a lot of folks, do you mean, like, 37?



    Unfortunately, I'm one of those 37. I have an HP Color LaserJet 2840 that requires Rosetta. It is a very expensive printer and it would be an absolute shame if it is not supported in Lion.



    I'm not blaming Apple, since going to an all unified OS with no PPC emulation, and jettisoning all the old stuff is just the reality of progress. As much as I want to be on Lion, I'm too am going to have to wait and see what HP does with support of their printers before I jump on the Lion bandwagon.



    Would be interesting to hear from anyone that might have insight on issues like these.
  • Reply 17 of 134
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,476member
    I was planning to await Lion before upgrading my iMac, but since I heard that Apple is doing away with iWeb and hosting, I may have to keep my old iMac and not upgrade OS or hardware. I can always find another host, but I just can't face having to buy and learn a new web authoring program and re-do my class website with it's hundreds of specialized web pages. Too many hours invested.



    It seems Apple is doing everything it can to speed the adoption of Lion. Doing away with iWeb will keep me from jumping on the bandwagon until I have no other choice. Could be years.
  • Reply 18 of 134
    shompashompa Posts: 343member
    Io5 delayed. Almost 4month after schedule

    Iphone 5 delayed because Ios5 delayed

    Ipad2 still has huge production problems. Was about 2 month late when released.

    The new Imac: People who ordered custom build SSD imacs has waited 4-6 weeks and still not got the imacs

    no macmini refresh for a year

    no macbook air refresh almost a year

    no macbook refresh almost a year

    no macpro refresh over a year. New intel CPUs released 2 month ago. MacPro usually got newest CPU a couple of month before official release.

    Ipod classic not updated for almost 2 years. There are hard drives that could enable a 320gig model.

    Time capsule has not been updated for years. 3 terra disk available.



    How shall Apple do if they want to have a release window of 3-4 weeks between products?



    On time?: Ipod touch. ipod nano, appleTV take3



    To be introduced 2011:

    AppleTV LCD version



    q1 2012

    Ipad3. (they have to wait for 28nm ARM processors)



    Stupidity: Kill of Xserver Xraid

    Apple builds computer centre for 500 million and uses HP servers instead of Xserve/Xraid. I would sell my Apples shares if I find out that they use windows server.



    Fun: Steves current obsession is Retina displays and Anoretic computers. Lets hope for an all retina display lineup. From Iphone to 30 inch cinema display.



    Sad: Apple computer is dead. Its all about Ios/Iphone/Ipad. I know that Apple make most of its money from Iphone. The backlash against Apple has started with fAndroid. Using 5 year old CPUs in many computers is not good.



    interesting: Apples exclusive agreement with intel runs out any day now. After that Apple can use AMD/ARM cpus in their lineup.
  • Reply 19 of 134
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by min_t View Post


    makes no sense at all. the upgrade is free for new mac purchases. delaying the release of new hardware inconveniences the buyer and is a potential lost sale.



    While it may be free, the vast majority of casual consumers (read: not message board addicts like us) will never upgrade their system, and almost never even do maintenance updates, so they will still be on Snow Leopard. Apple wants to make sure that as many people as possible are on Lion, not only because it looks to be a major upgrade, but because then they do not have to do as much legacy support.
  • Reply 20 of 134
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post


    It seems Apple is doing everything it can to speed the adoption of Lion. Doing away with iWeb will keep me from jumping on the bandwagon until I have no other choice. Could be years.



    iWeb still works in Lion, so there's no reason there to delay upgrading. Also, you can use iWeb to publish to your own host via FTP. It's true Apple won't be updating iWeb anymore, but iDVD has already gone through two iLife cycles without an update and it still works. As long as you don't need MobileMe and publish your site to a new host, you'll be able to use iWeb for at least another few years.
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