Apple is getting serious flak this year from diehard Mac fans for losing sight of what its “real” users want in a new machine.
Take the new MacBook Pros. Rather than update them with significantly greater performance or extraordinary battery life, Apple chose to make them thinner and lighter, swap the keyboard with shallower keys and replace all of the ports (MagSafe, SD card, HDMI, etc.) for USB-C.
Moreover, Apple has been accused of letting its desktop Macs languish. Mac fans aren’t wrong to feel abandoned; the Mac Pro hasn’t been updated since 2013, the iMac in over a year and the Mac Mini in over two years.
Despite Apple CEO Tim Cook’s recent reassurance that “great desktops” are coming in 2017, a new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggests Apple really is neglecting the Mac.
Gurman’s usually reliable “people familiar with Apple’s inner workings” say “the Mac team has lost clout” with Apple chief design officer Jony Ive and the company’s software team. Compared to the old days, the report claims new Macs don’t get the same attention from Ive as they used to.
The Mac team is said to be burdened with developing two concepts simultaneously for new products.
The report goes on to say Apple was reportedly working on new MacBook Pros with even longer-lasting batteries that would have used “terraced” battery cells: batteries that are contoured to take advantage of every bit of space within the laptop’s chassis (like the batteries in the 12-inch MacBook). But those batteries reportedly failed a key test and Apple chose to “revert to an older design” to still launch by the holidays.
Additionally, the Mac team is said to be burdened with developing two concepts simultaneously for new products, in the event one doesn’t meet expectations.
The report cites the development of the 12-inch MacBook and how there were initially two versions, one that emphasized thinness and lightness and another prototype that was heavier.
The thinner MacBook ultimately won and was shipped; single-USB-C growing pains and all. Furthermore, the Mac team apparently wanted to refresh the skinny MacBook this year with Touch ID and a second USB port, but Apple once again chose to go with a more modest update, leading to some to feel the second-gen MacBook was still a disappointment.
As for exciting new desktop Macs that’ll restore faith to the biggest of fans, the report claims the updates for 2017 will be modest with mostly USB-C ports and new AMD graphics chips. MacBooks will reportedly also get minor performance bumps.
Maybe it’s really time to take a look at Microsoft’s Surface competition.