By: +David Herron; Date: June 15, 2018
Despite appearances to the contrary, Apple might not be ignoring the Mac, instead Apple might be on the verge of announcing some big things regarding the Mac. Long-time Apple-oriented tech journalist Rene Ritchie tries to make the case that Apple has been making significant changes to the Mac, and has some interesting stuff in store. And, he points to a recent series of advertisements that Apple is indeed still focusing on Mac development.
I've been stating my opinion here - that Apple is ignoring the Mac, and it's beginning to be embarrassing:
- Apple's Mac Mini inexcusably trounced by the Intel NUC
- Is Apple ruining MacBook Pro or iMac performance with crappy cooling hardware?
- Apple's Mac Mini Pro: What it should be
Basically - Apple is screwing its customers. The laptops and iMac's are built to be non-repairable non-upgradable things that fit a corporate strategy of planned obsolence driving sales. Non-upgradable means the only way to get sufficient memory is to buy it from Apple, and Apple charges a pretty penny for memory upgrades (e.g. 16GB costing $200 when it costs under $100 at the retail prices). Non-repairable means if it breaks you gotta ditch the computer and buy a new one. Both of those representing screwing the customer to Apple's benefit.
Another issue is the bad design of the Mac Mini. It's not just that Apple hasn't "refreshed" the Mini design in over 4 years, it's that the last "refresh" truly hobbled the Mac Mini. Intel's NUC is a much better implementation of the same idea, offering amazing performance in a tiny box, and the Intel NUC can be taken EASILY apart completely for repairs and upgrades. Apple should be completely embarrassed by the NUC.
Rene Ritchie (the editor for iMore.com and long-time Apple-focused tech journalist) starts by noting that Apple's priorities are justafiably and clearly on iOS devices. Revenue from iOS devices is far and away the hugest portion of Apple's business. Obviously Apple is going to focus on this.
As he says - "no updates" in the Mac Mini in "half a decade" is "inexcusable".
But, Ritchie also points out a huge list of updates to the MacBook Pro, MacBook and iMac. Yes, there is interesting technology updates in all those, as Rene Ritchie points out. I am troubled by those updates because in every case the machines are now unrepairable unupgradable planned obselence devices.
In part the problem is, according to Ritchie, Intel - who "hit a wall" with 10 nano-meter, meaning that Intel has not been able to progress their chip design beyond 10 nM of granularity. That measure determines how tightly packed are the chips in the computer - what helps a computer maker cram in more capabilities is how much can be crammed into each chip.
As a response Apple may have to move to an ARM-based lineup, as has been rumored.
A known update is that in 2019 there will be a whole new Mac Pro. The 2013 Mac Pro, widely described as the "Trashcan Mac", is widely derided and looked down upon. As a result there's a whole lotta folks sticking with, and upgrading, the earlier cheese-grater Mac's. The 2019 Mac Pro is supposed to be modular and therefore go against the trend that Mac's are no longer upgradable or repairable.
Me? I'm sticking with this 2012 MacBook Pro because it is upgradable and repairable and works well enough for my needs. And I may look into building a Hackintosh Intel NUC.