Are Macs a priority at Apple?

Anthony Caruana
27 November, 2017
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We are just a month from one of my favourite times of the year. Not just because of the looming holidays – which are a double-edged sword for someone like me who is self-employed – but because it’s a time of family, friends, love, laughter and rejoicing. It’s also the time of year when tech pundits do two things: put together gift guides for their readers and reflect back on the year.

I don’t really like the idea of gift guides. Many are driven by commercial considerations rather than what might be most appealing to readers, but I am thinking back to things that have really grabbed my attention this year.

As is the case most years, Apple released a bunch of things we expected. Updates to all four operating systems were announced at WWDC in June with the various updates arriving, after beta testing in September or thereabouts. October saw the arrival of the evolutionary iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and the revolutionary – if you believe the hyperbole – iPhone X (which is pronounced ‘iPhone Ten’). A new cellular-enabled Apple Watch was released as was an updated Apple TV, a new iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch display (which I purchased just last week), the iMac Pro with its sleek dark grey finish and a swag of updates to their apps, the App Store and a new program called Clips.

In other words, Apple has been busy.

Despite all that I cannot help feel something is missing. Other than the iMac Pro, which is a stop-gap product intended to placate users waiting for the new Mac Pro, Mac users have had a year of point updates. When I look back at this year with Apple, it’s clear that the company’s priorities are iOS devices and software, expanding their ambitions as a media company, pushing into ‘lifestyle’ tech via the Apple Watch and emerging technologies such as augmented reality (which is the payload inside the iPhone X Trojan Horse).

Of course, the MacBook Pro’s new Touch Bar represented a new way to control your computer, but the utility of that innovation and the price premium it added to Apple’s flagship portable computers meant many users aren’t all that interested in it. Family members who are Mac users bought new MacBook Pros this year and skipped the Touch Bar versions as they simply didn’t see the value in the feature.

Perhaps I’m a little cynical about it all. I’ve been a Mac user long enough to be considered an ‘old timer’ now. I still do most of may ‘real’ work on a Mac – a Mac mini connected to a 27-inch LED cinema display – but that’s a computer Apple has not updated in over three years. While iOS devices and the Apple Watch get annual updates with big announcements and strong advertising support by Apple, the Mac is very much a second class citizen.

When it comes to my computing life, this Christmas I’d love to see Apple make the Mac a priority again.

What do you think? Is Apple slowly alienating the audience that kept it alive during the dark days at the turn of the millennium? Or do I expect too much from them?

2 Comments

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  1. Neil Fiertel says:

    I do not in the least consider the upcoming iMac Promas a stopgap at all. From the specifications on Apple’s website imsuspect it is likely the fastest and most complete desktop machine ever made with its many levels of choice upgrades which though one cannot do after marketing to it that has been Apple’s philosophy for a very long time. I have several Mac Pro of the old design and yes, I upgraded Amy parts of it but that was partly because it was actually in need of an upgrade when brand new. I do not think this new iMac will suffer that indignity. I hope along with this iMac Pro I hope there is a huge high quality monitor available as well. We shall see…

  2. Rod M says:

    Good article Anthony.

    I own my third iMac now (the 2017 27″ 5K) and my second mobile phone (an iPhone 6), and I have never owned an iPad nor a laptop of any type.

    I guess I just like big screens (and Unix)!

    Cheers.

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