The computer for the rest of us seems to be lagging behind the rest of the PC industry these days. Apple admitted the trash can Mac Pro was a failure, launched a long overdue iMac Pro, then helped to squash professional resistance with some decent MacBook Pro models.
What about the rest of us? Apple says 80-percent of all Mac sales are notebooks, and it’s likely the top sellers are the MacBook Air and the entry-level MacBook. Yet, Apple has other Mac models that haven’t seen an upgrade since a previous president’s administration.
What’s going on?
Well, the math clearly is on the wall. Mac sales are down; probably not because of the professional iMac Pro and MacBook Pro models. It’s just that professionals do not make up the great unwashed masses of mass Mac buyers and neither group is buying as many Macs recently as they did just a year or two ago.
What’s going on?
I detect a few distinct possibilities in Apple’s Mac strategy, some plausible, but not one of them acceptable. First, Apple just doesn’t see the Mac as an important part of the company’s future. Apple is the iPhone company now. iPhone gets all the resources it needs thanks to a billion customers. The Mac might have one-tenth that many.
See? Math rules.
Second, Intel has not been able to deliver enough improvements Inside to keep the Mac ahead of the rest of the traditional PC industry, so we Mac lovers are stuck with the same old same old. That’s just wrong. Other PC manufacturers have managed to stave of the industry doldrums with some innovative hardware; thin bezels, low prices, Intel’s latest Inside, touchscreens; even Chromebooks have become more Mac-like.
Apple sells a Mac mini with a 4th generation Intel chip inside and thinks that somehow customers won’t know the difference.
Third, Apple has something special brewing for the Mac. Let’s ignore the first two on my list, and stick with this one because it’s the only one that offers hope and hope is better than despair.
How about a new entry-level MacBook Air; thin and light and kinda sorta mostly fast inside but with Intel Outside, replaced by an Apple-designed A12 Fusion inside. You know, the kind that powers the iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max. Give it a touchscreen, a detachable keyboard, an always on cellular LTE option, and a minimum of 12-hour battery life, and Apple could get back into the game.
Look, Mac sales are going down. Windows 10 touchscreen notebook tablet hybrid sales are going up. So are Chromebooks. What does that tell us about the state of the Mac?