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Macs are no longer the center of Apple's attention; understand how and why this happened

Today, early in the morning, we published an article on the situation of Macs. In it, we address Tim Cook's statement that computers remain strong and strong in Apple's plans and that new desktops will come. All this politics around Macs (abandon or not) has come up with a simple detail, created by the company itself: the lack of updating almost all models, except the MacBook and MacBook Pro (this, incidentally, has gained news after a long period of abstinence).

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"data-medium-file =" https://.uol/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/10-macpro01-300×522.png "data-medium-file =" https: // .uol/wp-content / uploads / 2013/06/10-macpro01-600×1045.png "src =" https://.uol/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ 10-macpro01-600×1045.png "alt =" Mac Pro up and down "width =" 600 "height =" 1045 "class =" alignright size-large wp-image-352018 "style =" width: auto; max-height: 400px; "srcset =" https://.uol/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/10-macpro01-600×1045.png 600w, https://.uol / wp-content / uploads / 2013/06/10-macpro01-128×222.png 128w, https://.uol/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/10-macpro01-300×522. png 300w, https://.uol/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/10-macpro01.png 1260w "sizes =" (max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px "/> But nothing compared to the Mac Pro, which has been up for 1,000 days without being upgraded, the Mac mini has been up to 790 days, while the iMac is just over 430 days in a nutshell. which you heard from a source No. Apple itself has generated this situation of uncertainty and now needs to show that the Mac is still part of its plans.This, of course, given Cook's statement.

Renegade Macs

However, Mark Gurman (formerly9to5Mac, now editor of Bloomberg (who has great sources inside Ma) said he has spoken to people familiar with Apple's inner workings and that the Mac is getting much less attention than in the past. According to these people, the dedicated Mac line team has lost out with both the famous industrial design group led by Jony Ive and the company's software team. They also describe a clear lack of direction from company leaders, departures from key people who worked with computer hardware, and some technical challenges that delayed the arrival of new models.

Jony ive

Gurman also cites the fact that Apple can't afford to lose Mac users (even though computers now account for less than 10 percent of Apple's revenues), as this paves the way for a possible migration of other devices ( like swapping the iPhone for some Android), the lack of insight into what the professionals (especially creative people) want to do with a machine, the much more appetizing offers that the competition is finally getting, among other things.

He says that at the height of the Mac, people working on new models received a lot of attention from Ive's team. Once a week Apple designers met with Mac engineers to discuss ongoing projects. Engineers brought prototypes to Ive's studio while his loyal squire visited Macs' labs to analyze early concepts. These visits have become less frequent since the company began focusing on other products, and the change became even more visible after changes in the design team.

Another example of the power of the iPhone within the company: Apple has reorganized its software engineering department so that there is no longer a dedicated team for the Mac operating system. Now there is only one team and most engineers focused on iOS in first place.

Problems

An example of the problems / challenges Apple faced that Gurman cited involves the new MacBooks Pro, according to one insider.

Unmount iFixit from New MacBook Pro 13

Apple engineers wanted to use larger capacity batteries that molded inside the machine rather than the standard square cells found on most netbooks. The project would have boosted autonomy, but the new battery failed a key test. Instead of delaying the launch and endangering year-end sales, Apple has decided to revert everything to an older project. The move required "borrowing" engineers from other teams to finish the job. In addition to not advancing in performance, an error in the software that estimated the remaining battery time caused Apple to simply deprive macOS Sierra 10.12.2.

In recent years, Apple managers have also changed the way they work with product concepts. In the past, everything was largely focused on one view while engineers now must work on more than one concept at a time so that at least one option can be considered commercially viable.

When the company was developing the first 12-inch MacBook, it tested two prototypes. One was lighter; the other, less ambitious, was heavier. The lighter model prevailed, but because of the development of two competing concepts, engineers had less time to figure out how to stick all the electronics into a thin layer of aluminum. In the end, Apple launched the notebook in 2015, months after the goal (which was in 2014).

Apple's obsession with making thinner, less-input iPhones and iPads has been carried over to Macs, something inversely proportional to the idea of ??creating more professional machines with more options and power.

For a 2016 MacBook update, some engineers wanted to add a Touch ID and a second USB-C port (which would be great!). Well, these news did not come and we were only contemplated with the arrival of rose gold and a standard speed increase (processor).

Because of the problems in producing Mac Pro on American soil (not now, but in the beginning, which involved even creating machines and training people to use them), some Apple engineers have seriously considered taking the machine to production. Asia, where the most qualified workforce for this type of service. Today, as we know, this would generate a lot of controversy as the new US president even talks about taking production of iPhones out of China.

Curiosities

About the prototyping and testing game before launching, Gurman said Apple had come up with a Lightning connector MacBook (which fortunately didn't work and was replaced by a USB-C port). The company also considered offering golden MacBooks Pro, but came to the conclusion that the color did not go well with a large frame product like MBP.

What's next for?

Gurman made it clear in his article that Apple designers are testing putting Touch Bar (with Touch ID direct, of course) on Magic Keyboard so that users of desktop Macs can access the new features of MacBook Pro. The idea, however, It is still in the testing phase and it is unknown whether it will even be implemented.

Magic Keyboard Concept with Touch BarMagic Keyboard Concept with Touch Bar

Anyone who was expecting a redesign of the table machines in 2017 can get the horse out of the rain. According to Gurman, we will see ?only? updates of connectors (USB-A out; USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 out), GPUs and processors.

My opinion

Of course Gurman is correct in making such statements; On the other hand, there is no denying that Apple is also right in not giving the same attention as before to Macs. The world has changed, why. If in the 1990s Apple was 100% dedicated to the Mac, in 2000 iPods came to share that attention, and by the end of it, the iPhone emerged to become the center of attention in the company. Then came the iPad, the Apple TV, the Apple Watch and, perhaps in the future, an "Apple Car."

Apple has pluralized into markets that any user in the 1990s would never have imagined. Computers are still quite relevant, but it is undeniable that they tend to be less and less necessary for an increasing number of people. It would be stupid / stupid of Apple to give Macs too much attention and leave other products that position themselves much more interestingly in the future.

It's not easy to assume that. I don't see myself at least in the short term replacing the Mac with any device. For me it is simply impossible to exchange the Mac for an iPad, for example, to work. I spend more than ten hours a day in front of a Mac and would have to totally change my modus operandi if Apple kills the line overnight. Well, the MP3 player market has long since died and Apple still sells iPods; Why are some people thinking Macs are going to disappear suddenly?

Only this won't happen so soon. We may see some products being discontinued (such as MacBook Air, which is giving way to new MacBooks / MacBooks Pro). Maybe Apple can create such a powerful iMac that you no longer need to offer Mac Pro (which caters to a very specific niche). What I mean is that line changes will happen, but that Mac still has a long life ahead simply because there is still demand.

Cook is right to say that Macs are still important to the company and that desktop models are strategic to Ma; Gurman is also right when he claims that Apple no longer pays attention to Macs as it did before. One thing does not exclude the other.