Steve Jobs reportedly mulled axing Apple's pro products

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  • Reply 41 of 132
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    Current Economics vs Professional Rational

    Wthout the 'Professionals' there would be no Consumer market.
    Unless you think 'Reality TV' is king.

    'Professionals' are the drivers; the designers, the artists, and the coders. They generate the content viewed/played/read by consumers.

    If your going to f*** over the professionals... your... Microsoft.
    and we all know how that world looks and plays.

    Steve soon realized that if they put a bullet through the heads of all their 'Think Different' icons of change, Apple would become irrelevant... never even getting the opportunity to do anything of importance.

    Software.
    Professional designers collectively designed Apple to afford it's current success.
    ie. Fonts.
    No different then Apple courting the music/Movie/game/publishers today. Content is king.

    Apple without an army of creative professionals using their computers to generate content is the death of Apple.



  • Reply 42 of 132
    realisticrealistic Posts: 1,121member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 9secondko View Post



    Count me in the Pro 17" camp.



    I had a 17" (techinally still have) and was forced into a 15" retina. The resolution on retina is astounding but I can't help but miss the physical real estate of the 17". It's the perfect laptop screen size.



    I thought they didn't update the 17" due to the newness of retina displays and had to wait for the price to come down. The 17" version would be expensive at the time.



    But now, there will likely be 27" iMac retina displays. So a 27" MacBook Pro screen is seemingly feasible again.



    I'd definitely buy one. Day one.



    The Mac Pro too is something I can't wait to grab. It's a beast.



    I don't think the "pro" crowd is shrinking at all.



    But the consumer products are obviously going to overshadow everything since they focus on consuming that which is created.



    But you need machines to do the creating. No need to leave that to the windows gang.


    I rather doubt that there will ever be be a 27" Macbook Pro. Don't you think that the 27" size would be counter to one of the major reasons why laptop / portables / tablets were created to begin with?

  • Reply 43 of 132
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    cpsro wrote: »
    But Apple did kill the Xserve and let the Mac Pro languish for years, with the recently disclosed Mac Pro re-design hardly being a high-end product*... except for FCPX users.

    *e.g., the new Mac Pro is only single processor, has only 4 DIMM slots and no expansion options.

    "No expansion options" is completely false. With Thunderbolt, you have the ability to add an immense array of expansion options.
  • Reply 44 of 132
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    realistic wrote: »
    I rather doubt that there will ever be be a 27" Macbook Pro. Don't you think that the 27" size would be counter to one of the major reasons why laptop / portables / tablets were created to begin with?

    That is clearly a typo, when the poster refers to the EOL'd MacBook Pro
  • Reply 45 of 132
    v5v wrote: »

    ...

    A few people have noted that you can now cram more onto a 15" screen than I can on my old 17", but it's all really SMALL. The precision required to put the cursor on a bezier curve handle that's about the size of a pin head is more than my clumsy hands can muster. Sure, a 22" monitor would be even better than a 17" display, but until they make one that runs on batteries and folds into a computer so I can carry it around...

    ...


    You may not be aware of it -- with OSX you can toggle a magnifying loupe that moves with the cursor.

    It is enabled in System Settings--->Accessibility. The default toggle is Command-Option-8.

    On OSX Mavericks, you can set the size of the loupe and the magnification within the loupe. You can also make the loupe stationary or split the screen 1::3 with the left segment magnified.


    I have 74-year-old eyes and short fat fingers -- and find that many controls are too small on a 27" iMac. With the loupe toggled I can easily rotoscope (bezier curves) or make fine adjustments with Photoshop, FCP X, etc.

    Give it a try -- I think you'll like it!
  • Reply 46 of 132
    QUESTION:
    Do you why Steve Jobs changed his mind on Professional products?

    ANSWER:
    Microsoft's Steve Ballmer's 20 second Talk on Professional Developers
  • Reply 47 of 132


    NEW CUSTOMERS CAN'T VISUALLY SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 17"MBP and 15"MPB,


    HENCE, NEW CUSTOMERS DON'T EVEN KNOW 17" MBP EXISTS


     


    By the way, one of the reason why the 17" didn't sell well is because you can't visually see the difference between a 15"MBP and 17"MBP.


     


    If you stand at the front door of an Apple Store when they had the 17", could you easily see where the 17"MBP's where located?


    Even if you were standing next to the table with 15" and 17" MBPs, could you easily see the difference?


    Only when it's directly side by side could you see the difference.


     


    How can you sell the 17"MBP when NEW CONSUMERS don't even know it exists in the first place?


    Could NEW CONSUMER of APPLE see at a coffee shop if a professional had a 17"MBP?


    Most likely, no, they cannot.


     


    Hence, how can a new customer confidently purchase a 17"MBP if they don't see others using a 17"MBP?


    Can new customers even ask someone at a coffee shop about a 17"MBP on whether it's worth the price or value


    if they can't see WHO at the coffee shop to ask in the first place?

  • Reply 48 of 132
    The original idea was to remove products and take 30% of everything.

    Google scuppered too much by competing with their own free apps.
    I half suspected that the new middle ground of some Apple software is to encourage software competition whilst moving OS/X to a solid safe walled garden.
  • Reply 49 of 132
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,388member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    For example, I always felt that dropping Pippin and Newton was a mistake, but they had to focus.


    One can say that Newton wasn't dropped -- it came back to us as an iPhone.    

  • Reply 50 of 132
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,495member
    This story from Ken Segall indicates once again that Apple, or at least Steve Jobs at that point in its history, saw itself as a small company with a limited pool of talented engineers and designers to focus on any given project. Another example is given in Jobs' own words to Walt Mossberg about the development of the iPhone vs. the iPad.



    People keep saying around here, why doesn't Apple release this or update that, or innovate something new already since it's been a whole year etc., as if they had an unlimited supply of engineers sitting around waiting to fix the legacy stuff or start the next big project. They apparently do not. They're still a small start-up spread all around Cupertino in temporary offices. It looks like, if they're going to do pro-ish stuff, they're only going to do it as breakthrough innovation, turning teams from one project to another.

    So on the other hand, what they come up with is always going to seem alien to "the pros," since they see the rug being pulled out from the familiar platform that they've devoted years of their working lives to. I hope Apple learned a lesson from the Final Cut Pro reaction. That was unnecessarily brutal. You shouldn't treat your most loyal customers that way, as if you think your new pro innovation is going to be the answer to all their prayers. They aren't going to see it that way.
  • Reply 51 of 132


    Originally Posted by MBP17Developer View Post

    NEW CUSTOMERS CAN'T VISUALLY SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 17"MBP and 15"MPB,


    HENCE, NEW CUSTOMERS DON'T EVEN KNOW 17" MBP EXISTS



     


    Er, proof?





    By the way, one of the reason why the 17" didn't sell well is because you can't visually see the difference between a 15"MBP and 17"MBP.



     


    Of course you could.





    If you stand at the front door of an Apple Store when they had the 17", could you easily see where the 17"MBP's where located?



     


    I could see where the pro laptops are located, which is the point from the door. This isn't Samsung we're talking about.





    Even if you were standing next to the table with 15" and 17" MBPs, could you easily see the difference?


    Only when it's directly side by side could you see the difference.




     


    Again, yes. And no, in that order.





    Could NEW CONSUMER of APPLE see at a coffee shop if a professional had a 17"MBP?


    Most likely, no, they cannot.



     


    Professionals wouldn't be going to coffee shops. image





    Hence, how can a new customer confidently purchase a 17"MBP if they don't see others using a 17"MBP?



     


    By not having their self-worth tied to the purchases of others. How is that even a question?

  • Reply 52 of 132
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    v5v wrote: »
    A few people have noted that you can now cram more onto a 15" screen than I can on my old 17", but it's all really SMALL. The precision required to put the cursor on a bezier curve handle that's about the size of a pin head is more than my clumsy hands can muster.

    The 15" rMBP has the same working resolution as the 17" and the UI is small on both at that resolution. Someone here returned a 17" because the UI was too small:

    http://gdgt.com/discuss/resolution-just-too-high-at-1920-x-1200-2bx/

    The advantage with the rMBP is that you can run it at 1680 x 1050 or 1440 x 900 and not have to worry about poor quality scaling. Oddly Apple doesn't list the optimal scaled resolutions in the spec:

    http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/specs-retina/

    The physical difference between the 17.0" and 15.4" isn't the difference between 1920x1200 being usable or unusable. The 17" is hard to read at that high resolution:

    1000

    1000

    The second image shows an overlay of what a 15.4" rMBP would look like with the same UI as the 17.0" behind it. There's very little difference in discernability of the UI from one to the other. The slightly larger scale might be a little more comfortable for some but a $300 premium along with added bulk just wasn't a good compromise for the majority of MBP buyers.
    v5v wrote: »
    Sure, a 22" monitor would be even better than a 17" display, but until they make one that runs on batteries and folds into a computer so I can carry it around...

    There are USB 3 bus-powered displays:

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073BOCNU/

    If you only have to use the laptop in two main locations, it's best just to have a decent display in each location though.
    Cprso wrote:
    the recently disclosed Mac Pro re-design hardly being a high-end product*... except for FCPX users.

    *e.g., the new Mac Pro is only single processor, has only 4 DIMM slots and no expansion options.

    The single processor still goes up to 12-core/24-thread like the old one, supports 64GB RAM (will do 128GB when DDR4 arrives) and Thunderbolt is its expansion option. On top, it now has dual GPUs and PCIe storage. Equivalent workstations from other vendors can be specced higher but they will cost a lot more for the higher spec to the point that hardly anyone will buy them anyway. For the $2-6k price range, Apple will be competitive in performance-per-watt, performance-per-dollar and they'll still have the nicest workstation out of any manufacturer.
    rain wrote:
    Apple without an army of creative professionals using their computers to generate content is the death of Apple.

    The army is on 13"/15" Macbook Pros and iMacs though so it's important to think about which products would have been for the chopping block and who it would have affected.
  • Reply 53 of 132
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,388member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post



    This story from Ken Segall indicates once again that Apple, or at least Steve Jobs at that point in its history, saw itself as a small company with a limited pool of talented engineers and designers to focus on any given project. Another example is given in Jobs' own words to Walt Mossberg about the development of the iPhone vs. the iPad.







    People keep saying around here, why doesn't Apple release this or update that, or innovate something new already since it's benn a whole year etc., as if they had an unlimited supply of engineers sitting around waiting to fix the legacy stuff or start the next big project. They apparently do not. They're still a small start-up spread all around Cupertino in temporary offices. It looks like they're only going to do pro-ish stuff, they're only going to do it as breakthrough innovation, turning teams from one project to another.



    So on the other hand, what they come up with is always going to seem alien to "the pros," since they see the rug being pulled out from the familiar platform that they've devoted years of their working lives to. I hope Apple learned a lesson from the Final Cut Pro reaction. That was unnecessarily brutal. You shouldn't treat your most loyal customers that way, as if you think your new pro innovation is going to be the answer to all their prayers. They aren't going to see it that way.


     


    You missed your own point.    That was Apple "at that point in history", which happened to be when it was in deep financial trouble and with an incredibly tiny share of the market.   Apple today is most certainly not "still a small start-up".      And the fact that many workers are spread around Cupertino is irrelevant since most are at headquarters and those who are spread around are most likely "back room" workers:  accounting, systems, etc.   If anything, if Apple was smaller, they might not be finding it so hard to produce the next new generation of products. 


     


    The problem with Final Cut Pro was not that Apple wasn't dedicating enough resources to pro products.   It was that Apple is arrogant and thinks it knows better than what people in the field know.   The difficulty is that in order to make bleeding-edge products, sometimes you do have to break industry conventions, even when you're the one who created some of them, but this will get great resistance from the marketplace because people do not like to change.     I remember in the 1970s when the flatbed Steenbecks came into use and were obviously far superior to the vertical Moviolas, many cutters wanted to stick with the Moviolas because it was what they knew.   As a film student who was already very familiar with technology, I only wanted to edit on the Steenbeck.   


     


    I know from my own application design work that customers can be extremely frustrating because they've rationalized their idiotic and inefficient operating practices into something that they "must have".      As just one tiny example, our software can easily have someone approve a payment online and then forward the request on to the accounts payable system.   But one of our customers insists that they still must print the check request out and have someone actually physically sign it.   But these are the same people who do a deal and don't bother to get the contract signed until after the product has been long in the market. 


     


    So when Apple wants to break convention, I generally support them.  The biggest problem with Final Cut Pro, as I understand it, weren't the changes to the UI, most of which were pretty good.   The problem was that Apple didn't understand the workflows that take place on large productions with multiple users and they severely underestimated the need for people to still be able to re-edit old productions produced under the older version of the software who would have found it extremely inefficient to have to maintain both old and new versions of FCP, since the old files wouldn't work with the new version. 


     


    For all the complaints, I have heard pro editors say that they can now accomplish in a day what it used to take three editors a week to accomplish.     That's not to say that everything in Apple's UI is as intuitive as it should be.    Personally, I'm waiting for the next major release of FCP - I'm hoping it's an improvement and not another case of two steps forward, three steps backwards.  


     


    As for the next MacPro, in spite of the nifty design, I do think Apple is making a mistake.   Rightly or wrongly, the kinds of users who would purchase such a machine want accessibility and the ability to add cards.   And they want a machine that can handle multiple processors.   Apple is ignoring that at their peril.  It's almost as if Apple wants this machine to fail so they can stop making it. 


     


    I do agree with those who say that a company gets its reputation from the top of the line.   Whether it's cars, cameras, fashion or computers, the reputation of a line comes from the top.   For many companies, it's almost "bait-and-switch" because the high end is frequently designed and produced by the namesake designer and the lower-end products are produced by licensees.   So even though Apple may not sell very many MacPros (or even MacBook Pros), if they drop those lines, I think it will hurt sales of the entire line, because Apple will be perceived as a company that produces technology for amateurs.  

  • Reply 54 of 132
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,608member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by See Flat View Post


    So-called "pros" ? I assume you are a So-called "fanboy" and you think you can do everything on your iPad or mac mini. 


     


    People are entitled to opinions, just as you are. Having a pro devision is like engine, brake, tire, oil manufactures participating in F1 racing. It is R&D and the technology moved forward in the pro devision trickles down to those toys you love using. 



     


    I've never met a pro, only posers claiming to pros. And posers abound on web forums. Real pros don't have the time. 

  • Reply 55 of 132
    rptrpt Posts: 173member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    I disagree. I have a 2006 17" MBP and it's not unreasonably large. I assume that a newer one would be much thinner and lighter so it would be even less of a problem.



    It was apparently dropped due to lack of demand rather than due to its large size, per se.


    After getting the MBA 11", I am never going to have a laptop with a larger screen. Had a 17" HP for my job for a while, to large to travel with, to small to do demanding jobs that need a large monitor. My next desktop upgrade will be the new Mac Pro with my current iMac 27" in it's second coming as a monitor, taking care of the greatest shortcoming of the iMac; the difference between the technological life of a computer and the service life of a monitor.

  • Reply 56 of 132
    rptrpt Posts: 173member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by murman View Post


    Just revisited the Mac Pro preview on Apple's website, that thing is seriously amazing. If you've ever built your own PC, you'll know how many heat sinks and cooling fans there could be in a PC, its not unusual even for casual (not complete beginner casual) to replace the stock heat sink and fan of the CPU with a better after market cooler, and you might put a fan or two on the case to help cool the GPU and in general. So for the Mac Pro to fit everything to that single heat sink with one fan, its absolutely out of this world.


     


    You cannot buy components that fit like that in the consumer PC components market, so what you end up with when you build a beast of a computer is to make it HUGE, huge enclosure with great cooling features, lots of expansion possibility, everything more or less must be inside, what's outside is usually just the external storage. And consumer GPUs are huge also, each with its own cooling attached and this class of GPU will probably need extra power, you need two to match the Mac Pro. There is no way to build a PC like that with similar performance, and at that size on your own, size won't even be close really. And the the Mac Pro enclosure is aluminum too, without a seam, how did they do that??



    Extrusion I guess!

  • Reply 57 of 132
    Indeed, and this particular consideration shouldn't be surprising at all. It seems like something he would have thought up in the first place. Seems a shame to want to destroy something so great and industry-leading as Final Cut and Logic are, but Jobs was also a pragmatist. In '96, after the NeXT purchase but before being declared interim CEO, he said it might be a good idea to let the cloners do their thing. "Apple should strive to just make better hardware than any of them!" or something along those lines. He also said "milk the Mac for all it's worth and move on to the next great thing." Really, that last one could be argued as happening. I don't see the traditional keyboard+mouse+computer setup lasting beyond 2020.
    Well the pro might eventually be a improved iMac in future cases you know a little thicker with better processors, graphics etc.
    eng12 wrote: »
    The return of the 17" MacBook Pro would be great. 4k screen, 16x10 aspect ratio, and the ability to have 2 PCI-e disks. If they can get 12 hours of runtime out of it, even better. I hope they are working on it. My current 2009 17" needs to last until they release something that can replace it.
    17 inch will likely not be that extreme.

    Does this mean that there is likely pro version of IOS devices being tested.
  • Reply 58 of 132
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,428member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    "No expansion options" [in the new Mac Pro] is completely false. With Thunderbolt, you have the ability to add an immense array of expansion options.


    Oh, really?  Every expansion option for the new Mac Pro involves external devices with their own messy cables and enclosures, just as you suggest. And this is a completely different situation from all other professional workstations of the past and present, including the original Mac Pro design, which provides numerous internal expansion options from the OEM and several third parties.


     


    The only hope is for Apple to offer configuration options that ditch one of the unnecessary GPUs for a second Xeon and a whopping 4 more  DIMM slots.

  • Reply 59 of 132
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    zoetmb wrote: »
    As for the next MacPro, in spite of the nifty design, I do think Apple is making a mistake.   Rightly or wrongly, the kinds of users who would purchase such a machine want accessibility and the ability to add cards.   And they want a machine that can handle multiple processors.   Apple is ignoring that at their peril.  It's almost as if Apple wants this machine to fail so they can stop making it.

    The people buying Mac Pros don't want to add cards for the most part. The companies selling the cards don't sell enough of them for that to be possible. Some like to add their own GPUs but there have never been that many great GPU options for the Mac and Apple doesn't make any money from people adding their own cards. IO, video capture and audio processing cards all work over Thunderbolt because it's a form of PCIe same as the slot but in a different form factor and it's plug and play and can be daisy-chained.

    When it all boils down to it, there's only one functional difference between the old and new Mac Pro and that is you can't use NVidia GPUs very well. There are even workarounds for this though for people who really depend on CUDA acceleration:

    http://www.coreyrobson.com/post/52451664259/thunderbolt-gpu-is-alive-and-mostly-well

    I actually do think Apple wanted to stop making the Mac Pro but not because they want to abandon customers. They just don't want computers to unnecessarily retain an archaic form factor. They were involved with Intel on Thunderbolt for a reason.
    zoetmb wrote: »
    I do agree with those who say that a company gets its reputation from the top of the line.   Whether it's cars, cameras, fashion or computers, the reputation of a line comes from the top.

    Apple hasn't gained any reputation from their highest-end products. The iPod, iMac and iPhone are what made Apple a well-recognised and respected brand.
    cpsro wrote:
    The only hope is for Apple to offer configuration options that ditch one of the unnecessary GPUs for a second Xeon and a whopping 4 more DIMM slots.

    The only hope to avoid what outcome? Dual 12-cores would cost over $7k so the audience isn't there and Apple only offers 64GB RAM even with 8 slots. The new Mac Pro will sell in similar numbers at launch to the old Mac Pro when a new model comes out.
  • Reply 60 of 132
    mundtymundty Posts: 10member
    The problem with killing off the Pro line is that you're producing professional software intended to compete with other professional products. Logic vs. Pro Tools, Final Cut vs. Avid, Aperture vs. Lightroom. You could argue that Aperture can be run on almost any iMac... but you really need PCI-E and other expansion modules for running Pro Tools and Avid. Studios aren't going to throw out hundreds of thousands of dollars of hardware just because Apple decided the professionals wanted the desktop computer tower to be more compact. It's a bad move if you ask me...
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