So as every Mac pro user now knows, Apple finally realised that they needed to do something.
Well I say ‘do’, but they didn’t really ‘do’ anything, they just ‘said’ something to 5 journalists.
Existing MacPro has been sort-of speed bumped.
New Mac Pro is planned, ‘but not this year’.
New iMacPro is planned for ‘this year’.
Mac Mini isn’t cancelled.
New monitor is planned to go with this new MacPro.
I’m of course very relieved, as I was seriously kicking the tyres on a Windows set-up come August, but Apple isn’t out of my, or other people woods just yet.
First, they have to deliver. I would say that Apple’s answer for the professional Mac market is as important as Apple’s answer to the entire tech market all those years ago when they released the Bondi Blue iMac.
They could still fumble and lose this entire market.
Secondly, they need to understand that professionals aren’t just after a new Pro Mac, they are after a commitment and an ecosystem for professional Mac users.
They need to have an updated version of the hardware, even before it’s released.
They need to have the ability to expand it themselves if they need to – the number of niches that this hardware services is too great for Apple to cover them all.
That little Bondi Blue iMac was a success not because of how it looked or what it did or did not have, but because they updated it roughly every 6 months.
Thirdly, they need to understand that the philosophy that governs the non-pro parts of their product lines, needs to be different for the professional Mac user.
We don’t care about form over function, or even function over form – we care about the balance of both.
The cheesegrater Mac was a perfect example of this. It looked wonderful, but the innovation was inside that metal enclosure – it really is a sight to behold.
The beauty was the innovation of the cooling fans, the ease of upgrading ram, hard drives etc.
This was seemingly forgotten when Apple released the Trash Can Mac Pro.
Fourthly and finally, my big worry and the link to the article above.
This meeting is a desperate attempt at damage control.
Why didn’t this meeting happen last year, why now? What’s changed?
This was a PR meeting where 5 carefully chosen people were prepped beforehand on what they could or could not ask – I’d love to hear about that discussion.
At that meeting, we didn’t see Tim Cook or Jony Ive. I know they don’t usually get involved, but this whole debacle hints at a company that’s split about it’s future.
Jony Ive is AWOL, and as a designer I call into question his entire tenure at Apple is simply smoke and mirrors. He keeps saying that design ‘isn’t just how it looks but how it works’, but example after example show that he doesn’t think like this.
Then there’s Tim Cook – how does this announcement sit with the CEO of your company telling anyone who will listen that you don’t need to use a PC anymore, now Apple sells the iPadPro?
Phil Schiller on the other hand is looking more and more like someone who is struggling, and not at all agreeing with the direction of Apple.
He had to stand on stage and sell us that shitty LG monitor, the MacBookNotPro and give us the ‘courage’ excuse for removing the headphone jack from the latest iPhone.
He was the person who convinced those inside Apple that they needed to make bigger phones because Samsung was eating their lunch. The ‘customer want what we don’t have’ presentation shows this.
This smacks of division and an almost civil war at Apple, where differing factions fight within a company to make sure that ‘their baby’ succeeds, regardless to what the customer actually wants.
All of this would not be so bad, if it were not for Apple’s competition.
Microsoft is steaming ahead, getting it’s house in order, listening to it’s customer and supremely focused under it’s new management.
Apple needs to do the same.