Fans of Apple’s Macintosh systems have been less than overwhelmed with the company’s motivation to update its iconic computers over the past few years. In a Bloomberg report, Mark Gurman talks about how Apple has alienated Mac loyalists by reducing the number of Mac upgrades from a frequent ritual to a once in a few years thing – disappointing a lot of die-hard fans of the brand.
Apple launched its latest MacBook Pro (2016) series laptop back in October, after almost one and a half years without an update. Among some hardware changes, the new MacBook Pro got a new multi-touch display called Touch Bar, a Touch ID and a new Force Touch trackpad. The company also amped up the pricing of the new MacBook Pro series, which starts at Rs 1,55,900 for the 13-inch laptop with Touch Bar.
Meanwhile, Apple’s primary rival, Microsoft had said in a blog post earlier this month that November was the best month for the sales of Surface devices following the disappointment in the tech industry following the launch of the much-hyped 2016 MacBook Pros. The company went ahead to say that the trade-in program for MacBooks in the US had also helped boost sales of Microsoft’s new Surface devices.
The Cupertino giant has been less generous with fans of other Macintosh systems like the Mac Pro, which hasn’t seen an update since 2013; the Mac Mini, which was last updated in 2014 and the MacBook Air, which was last updated in early 2015. The report says that people familiar with the inner workings of Apple have revealed that Macs are getting much less attention as they did earlier. A lack of direction from senior management and the departure of key people in the Mac technical and hardware teams have also led to delays in new launches.
A majority of Apple’s revenue is generated by iPhones, with Macs only contributing to 10 per cent of sales. This, however, does not mean that Apple can afford to alienate these customers by delaying updates to Mac systems. Gurman believes that as Mac users switch over to other ecosystems, Apple’s own ecosystem will be devalued by a lot that can open the door of people abandoning the iPhones and iPads to invest in the new ecosystem.
Even while the new MacBook Pros have received generally warm views from the tech community, it falls short on some key selling points of the series, for example battery life. Users of the new MacBook Pros have complained that the notebooks are unable to run for 10 hours as promoted by Apple. To tackle the problem, Apple simply removed the time estimate option that shows against the battery status on the top of the display. Gurman also believes that it is harder to make laptops that stand out, and whenever Apple has tried to create something new, it has failed to impress.