Steve Jobs reportedly mulled axing Apple's pro products

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  • Reply 101 of 132
    jragosta wrote: »
    Has it ever occurred to you that something doesn't have to be "the sweet spot" in order to be useful? While I am sure that 17" is not the sweet spot, that doesn't mean that it's useless. Or should car makers only make one one type of car - since the others are not in the sweet spot? And maybe there should only be one size of cell phone because that's the sweet spot. And there's certainly no need for restaurants in different price ranges because most of them aren't in the sweet spot.

    While the 17" is not mainstream, that doesn't mean that it isn't useful. Just that not enough people bought it to make it a viable product. Those of us who prefer the 17" can still wish for one.

    I was responding to the OP's contention that nobody knew Apple made a 17" MBP and therefore, sales were low. That is ridiculous. Sales were low because the 17" model is the least portable and least affordable: it's going to be a niche product. I didn't say anything about it being "not useful."
  • Reply 102 of 132
    That
    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 was very obviously a typo.

    Since the context was a 17" laptop. That's the size hoped for in a new retina version.

    But thanks for your zeal in building a case based on a typo, regardless of the context that so easily reveals that.

    That was... Entertaining.

    Back to the original point, I seriously doubt the 17" didn't sell enough.

    It's what I've seen most of at Barnes and noble, Starbucks, my contemporaries from other organizations, etc.

    Retina screens were new. And expensive. 15" and 13" worked.

    But no doubt there is a gpu performance hit compared to the old screens as well. Take that up to 17" and it would increase gpu demand. It's logical then to wait for you tech to be available that suits such demand with power to spare in a thin mobile enclosure.

    The 17" likely just didn't fit with the tech/performance/price that apple was looking to improve upon. And even keeping the old 17" pro would look ridiculous if the new hotness has a smaller screen.

    Apple is notorious also for saying whatever they want in order to justify their product decisions.

    A new 17" retina would only be a plus. No downside.
  • Reply 103 of 132
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    9secondko wrote: »
    Back to the original point, I seriously doubt the 17" didn't sell enough.

    It's what I've seen most of at Barnes and noble, Starbucks, my contemporaries from other organizations, etc.

    I seriously doubt that. Reports at the time that it was canceled were that only 3% of MBPs were 17".

    APPLE obviously thought it didn't sell enough to keep around. I suspect that they know just a bit more about their sales than you do.
    9secondko wrote: »
    Retina screens were new. And expensive. 15" and 13" worked.

    But no doubt there is a gpu performance hit compared to the old screens as well. Take that up to 17" and it would increase gpu demand. It's logical then to wait for you tech to be available that suits such demand with power to spare in a thin mobile enclosure.

    The 17" likely just didn't fit with the tech/performance/price that apple was looking to improve upon. And even keeping the old 17" pro would look ridiculous if the new hotness has a smaller screen.

    Apple is notorious also for saying whatever they want in order to justify their product decisions.

    A new 17" retina would only be a plus. No downside.

    Nonsense. Of course there's a downside. It costs money to produce a new product. It adds to inventory levels. It adds to spare parts inventories at Apple Stores. And there's an overhead cost to product proliferation. Arguing that there's only a plus to introducing an additional product indicates that you don't know what you're talking about.
  • Reply 104 of 132
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,583member
    jragosta wrote: »
    I seriously doubt that. Reports at the time that it was canceled were that only 3% of MBPs were 17"..

    Was that Apple that said that or an analyst? Serious question as I don't know.
  • Reply 105 of 132
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    gatorguy wrote: »
    jragosta wrote: »
    I seriously doubt that. Reports at the time that it was canceled were that only 3% of MBPs were 17"..

    Was that Apple that said that or an analyst? Serious question as I don't know.

    Apple doesn't give out breakdowns, especially products that don't sell well but the analyst that noted that actually predicted the discontinuation of the 17" before it happened:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2012/04/23/apple-predicted-to-discontinue-17-inch-macbook-pro/

    He also mentioned an Air/MBP hybrid, which of course was the Retina Macbook Pro and that launched in June, 2 months later.

    You can sort of work out volumes from Apple's revenue and unit shipments. In their quarterly filing before they dropped the 17", they reported $3.646b revenue on 3.010m units for laptops, which means $1211 average revenue per unit. That means the bulk of the laptops are towards the lower end of the $999-2499 scale. The 17" started at $2499 and if it was above 5%, the averages just couldn't reach $1211 without being offset by an unrealistic amount of entry laptop sales.

    It's the same story with the Mac Pro sales volume (people who have them assume lots of other people must have one too). Apple decided to make another revision but it has a stronger unique selling point, which is that it will be as much as 3x faster than an iMac. The 17" MBP's USP is only that it is 1.6" bigger. No extra workspace any more vs the 15", no extra performance, just a bit bigger. Given that they'd make the same profit from one 17" as 2.5 Macbook Airs, they'd only really need 10% to make half the money, which would probably be enough to justify it. When it goes below 5%, there's not really that much incentive. It's not as if every 17" owner will switch to another platform. I reckon most people who are committed to the platform enough to spend $2500 on an Apple laptop would eventually settle with a 15" even if it wasn't their preference.
  • Reply 106 of 132
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,583member
    Marvin wrote: »
    Apple doesn't give out breakdowns, especially products that don't sell well...

    (Headslap!)
    Yeah that was a dumb question in hindsight. No one breaks out specific product numbers unless they're attention-getting. Thanks for the detailed response.
  • Reply 107 of 132
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    I rode around Cupertino/Sunnyvale with Woz in his just tuned Porsche with a [then] top speed of 13 mph...

    I smoked a cigarette in front of John Draper AKA Cap'n Crunch -- and got screamed at (in my own store)...

    Cool! But who is Cap'n Crunch?
  • Reply 108 of 132
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    There was a video posted on macrumors today showing John Lasseter accepting an award on Steve's behalf:


    [VIDEO]


    He describes some of Steve's involvement in the process of making some of their first movies. He mentions a few things that have been said a few times before but the story of the timelessness of movies vs computer hardware is quite important. This is something Steve realised back then and it still applies now. Although consumers plan computer purchases for today, a company selling computers has to plan for what's happening in a decade or more.

    When you see where we've come in 30 years, what does a professional computer even look like in another 30 years? Like an Apple TV? What happens when they can't shrink things down any more after about 10 years? I assume they just make things cheaper and cheaper until they get like appliances and are mostly the same from one year to another.
  • Reply 109 of 132
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,240member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eng12 View Post



    The return of the 17" MacBook Pro would be great. 4k screen, 16x10 aspect ratio...


     


    As someone who despises 16x10 ratio screens please convince me of the error of my ways.


     


    When did we all stop working with portrait oriented text documents and become HD video editors?

  • Reply 110 of 132




    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

    Cool! But who is Cap'n Crunch?


     


    Shock and horror. I'm certain you're older than me, and yet that makes me feel old. image


     


    He's the guy who discovered the Cap'n Crunch whistle had the same tone as AT&T's long distance call system! He was the catalyst for Steve and Woz to make blue boxes!


     


    Unless you meant "who's the cereal mascot". image

  • Reply 111 of 132
    z3r0z3r0 Posts: 230member
    The rise of the h4ckintosh Pro is inevitable. Pros don't want a can on their desk.
  • Reply 112 of 132
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    z3r0 wrote: »
    The rise of the h4ckintosh Pro is inevitable. Pros don't want a can on their desk.

    Why don't they buy the current model, available outside of the EU?
  • Reply 113 of 132
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,215member
    Shock and horror. I'm certain you're older than me, and yet that makes me feel old. <img alt="1tongue.gif" id="user_yui_3_10_0_1_1376278906380_1193" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies/1tongue.gif" style="line-height:1.231;" name="user_yui_3_10_0_1_1376278906380_1193">


    He's the guy who discovered the Cap'n Crunch whistle had the same tone as AT&T's long distance call system! He was the catalyst for Steve and Woz to make blue boxes!

    Unless you meant "who's the cereal mascot". <img alt="lol.gif" id="user_yui_3_10_0_1_1376278906380_1612" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" style="line-height:1.231;" name="user_yui_3_10_0_1_1376278906380_1612">

    Ah, ok, maybe because was raised a Brit I missed that, yes I thought he was a cereal box character but didn't see the connection. Thanks for the education. I just turned 35 by the way. :)
  • Reply 114 of 132
    duplicate
  • Reply 115 of 132
    I rode around Cupertino/Sunnyvale with Woz in his just tuned Porsche with a [then] top speed of 13 mph...

    I smoked a cigarette in front of John Draper AKA Cap'n Crunch -- and got screamed at (in my own store)...

    Cool! But who is Cap'n Crunch?


    John Draper AKA Cap'n Crunch was the original Phone Phreak..

    1000

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Draper


    So I am told: In the early days of Apple (and a little before), the 2 Steves and Draper were using 'blue boxes" to migrate through the AT&T phone exchanges and place "free" calls all over the world. In those days, the switching in the exchanges was done with audible tones. Draper discovered that the whistle from a box of Cap'n Crunch cereal had a pitch that allowed him to gain control of the switching...

    Phone Phreaking was considered a joke or game by the 2 Steves and they moved on to bigger and better things. Draper, however, made it a cause celebres -- and was eventually caught and sent to a minimum-security prison

    Draper continued programming in prison and wrote the first Word Processor for the IBM/PC (running MS DOS). EasyWriter was written in a programming language called Forth -- powerful but buggy.

    Every month or so, Woz would pick up Draper and bring him into our Sunnyvale store so he could continue working on EasyWriter (we also sold IBM PCs). Usually, they were accompanied by the likes of Andy Hertzfeld and Tog -- so we and our customers had access to some celebrities *.

    Draper always was sloppily dressed and disheveled -- he looked like he just escaped being a captive somewhere. Draper was oblivious to others' needs and demanded silence (so he could concentrate) and would scream if anybody smoked.

    Here, Woz shined... He would talk to Draper as a kid: "Now John, you must keep your voice down... there are others here...".

    Anyway, a Draper session in our store usually lasted 3-4 hours and was interesting to say the least.


    EasyWriter used a feature in Forth that pre-buffered "pages" of text and provided a rather elegant way (for its time) to quickly page up/down by a full page of text (as opposed to line-by-line scrolling). The screen would go blank for 1/2 second, then the top of the next (or previous) page would be displayed (no full-page graphic interfaces, yet **).

    Anyway, Draper always was fussing with this "page display" feature -- it seemed that every update (and there were quite a few) to Forth or MS DOS would break his code. Typically, when he came to the store, he would install all the latest updates and then test his code... It was almost predictable -- after an hour or so of swapping floppies, applying updates, rebooting... The moment would arrive! Draper would launch EasyWriter, open a long document, scroll around a bit -- then hit one of the page buttons. The screen would go blank for 1/2 second... 1 second... 5 seconds... At this point Draper would throw a tantrum -- stomping around the store screaming ...

    Picture it: a troll-like visage with blank eyes, flailing about, screaming...


    Our staff and regular customers * were aware of this tendency, so it was not too disruptive!


    * In those days, techies tended to "hang out" in computer stores like ours -- just to see "wha's happening' man?"

    ** Early Word Processors gratuitously defined themselves as WYSIWYG (pronounced Wizzy-Wig) for What You See Is What You Get!   But the pages were displayed in fixed size letters on displays of 40-80 characters of 12-24 lines...   I made a joke that they should really call it WYGIWYW (pronounced Wiggy-Woo) for What You Ge Isn't What You Want!


    Ahh... Good times!
  • Reply 116 of 132
    z3r0 wrote: »
    The rise of the h4ckintosh Pro is inevitable. Pros don't want a can on their desk.

    I suspect that you are totally wrong.

    You can put it on the floor, in a cart, on a back bar or on the desk along with a Pegasus RAID or 2.

    I also can envision this form factor being used to house a home server / backup intermediary to iCloud.
  • Reply 117 of 132
    z3r0z3r0 Posts: 230member
    philboogie wrote: »
    Why don't they buy the current model, available outside of the EU?

    I'm sure they'll buy the current model, but down the road as the new xeon chips and gnu become available it'll make sense to build hackintoshes with bigger more expandable cases. Heck pick up an empty Mac pro case and modify it to build a hackintosh pro tower. It will cost less and offer more.

    Along with a Mac Pro hackintosh with the latest parts its would also be possible to build 1U rack mount servers using the latest xeons. Definitely easier then mounting a can
  • Reply 118 of 132
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    z3r0 wrote: »
    The rise of the h4ckintosh Pro is inevitable. Pros don't want a can on their desk.

    Pros don't want a cobbled-together kludge, either.

    I've built and used a Hackintosh. Even using perhaps the best laptop for Hackintosh use (HP Probook 4730s), it was a mess. Things that didn't work right, things that worked for a while and then stopped, and no ability to upgrade until some hacker got around to fixing things. And at least 20 times as much time supporting the computer as using a real Mac.

    Any pro who needs more power than the Mac Pro can't afford a kludge like that.
  • Reply 119 of 132
    jragosta wrote: »
    z3r0 wrote: »
    The rise of the h4ckintosh Pro is inevitable. Pros don't want a can on their desk.

    Pros don't want a cobbled-together kludge, either.

    I've built and used a Hackintosh. Even using perhaps the best laptop for Hackintosh use (HP Probook 4730s), it was a mess. Things that didn't work right, things that worked for a while and then stopped, and no ability to upgrade until some hacker got around to fixing things. And at least 20 times as much time supporting the computer as using a real Mac.

    Any pro who needs more power than the Mac Pro can't afford a kludge like that.


    Here's a short 8 1/2 minute video by Michael Cioni -- The Pro's Pro:

    Don't tell the ending... "No one will be seated during the last 2 minutes!"


    [VIDEO]http://player.vimeo.com/video/43125025?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&color=ffffff[/VIDEO]


    Likely that top-end pros will use multiple Mac Pros -- just as they do today.
  • Reply 120 of 132
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    Pros don't want a cobbled-together kludge, either.



    I've built and used a Hackintosh. Even using perhaps the best laptop for Hackintosh use (HP Probook 4730s), it was a mess. Things that didn't work right, things that worked for a while and then stopped, and no ability to upgrade until some hacker got around to fixing things. And at least 20 times as much time supporting the computer as using a real Mac.



    Any pro who needs more power than the Mac Pro can't afford a kludge like that.


    What type of pro needs more power than the new MacPro?  They may want more power, but it's very fast, and I'm sure with the optimizations of 10.9, it will do just fine.

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