Gruber: In the short term, Mac OS X has an essential role in an iOS world

Complete your iPad experience with ZAGGmate!“After more than a decade of stagnant market share, the Mac is thriving,” John Gruber writes for Macworld. “Apple used to sell about 1 million Macs every fiscal quarter. Now it sells three times that many, and it’s getting close to four. The longtime lament of the Mac enthusiast—Why don’t more people who are unhappy with Windows PCs switch to the Mac?—has been answered. They are switching, in droves. Quarter after quarter, Apple reports that over half of all Mac sales in the company’s retail stores are to first-time Mac buyers.”

Gruber writes, “The irony is that there’s more doubt today about the long-term prospects of the Mac than there has been at any time since Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997… Here’s the short version of the ‘Mac is doomed’ scenario: iOS is the future, Mac OS X is the past, and Apple is strongly inclined to abandon the past in the name of the future.”

Gruber writes, “Long term—say, ten years out—well, all good things must come to an end. But in the short term, Mac OS X has an essential role in an iOS world: serving as the platform for complex, resource-intensive tasks.”

Full article here.


  1. How can anyone predict what will happen in 10 years? Who imagine that a phone like the iPhone will exist just 3 years ago? May be even the iOS will be out in 10 years.

    One thing is for sure though, if Steve is still in this earth in 10 years, it will be him who defines the times…

  2. I don’t understand him either. Steve stated that odd Trucks vs. Cars scenario. Trucks (desktops) will always be around to do heavy tasks and complement the Cars (iOS devices). I don’t see this changing. 10.7 should help this tard out when he sees it. He should understand by then lets hope.

  3. Hell, if Ray Kurzweil is to be believed, in 10 years we’ll all be waving our arms in a 3D nanobot field moving neuro-bits around, interacting directly with the borg-inspired monomind.

    MacOS X will be at the root of it all though (of course).

  4. I read the full article. He sounds like an Apple hater who is still trying to put that message out, while hiding it in an Apple is good article. Rambling and pointless.


    Just a thought,

  5. A long time ago, Jobs in the wilderness had once lamented that he had one more computer left in him. I think with the iPad/iOS that has finally come to pass. He has played it exceptionally well this time around (a masterstroke), held back the tablet production/development and allowed the mass to get comfortable with the iOS via iPhone/iPod touches. Market for Tablet wasn’t there, just like the Macs, but phones, why not revolutionise that first. Created an App store echo system along the way, so history like with fewer apps on the Mac won’t repeat. iPad was a blockbuster before it was even announced.

    I think, maybe it’s time for Mr. Jobs to take his leave while well on top. I envision him moving beyond anything tech. The man is gifted, and the world may demand something completely different (as opposed to Mike Jordan dreaming up baseball or golf stardom).

    Steve can and HAS done better on various different fields.

  6. I suppose if iOS becomes a replacement to OSX then sure. But I dont see a mobile device replace a desktop, workstation, laptop ANYTIME (sooner or later).

    People are abondoning Windows because it is a pain. Is Mac OSX a pain? I dont think so. Will it ever become a pain? I dont think so.

    I dont think OSX will EVER be plagued by viruses as so many predict it will when market share is significant.

    My conspiracy theory is that Apple has a virus shop in the back generating Window viruses.

  7. In 10 years Mac OS X probably will be gone, but it will be replaced by the next Mac OS. In 10 years there will still be a definite need for powerful desktop systems, and their OS will be different from iOS or whatever Apple is using at that time.

    We are not reducing the amount of data we are consuming, we’re exponentially increasing it. That goes for desktops too – 10 years ago, no one had gigabytes of movies, music, photos, etc. on their computers for casual use. As tools for manipulating this data get easier and easier to use, more and more power will be demanded of desktop systems.

    We’ll probably see the desktop system morph into a home server system, the central depository for all your data, syncing with a cloud for backup and mobile use, and iPads or similar systems for accessing that data. Laptops will still be around, but much less favored than tablets, phones, etc.

    Mac OS X isn’t yesterday’s news. It’s the bedrock that the future Mac OS will evolve from.

  8. When Steve Jobs did his preview on the next iteration of OSX (for the desktop) he also included a graphic where the innovations in the desktop OS made the iPhone/iPad OS possible since the foundation is the same. And the graphic also made the point that some of the iOS innovation was being brought into the fold for the desktop OS typically referred to as OSX. He called it a virtuous circle. I think that asking if OSX will go away is the wrong question. The right question is how will innovation on one side of the OSX development (desktop or iOS) lead to innovation on the other. And in either case any improvements in the foundation are shared by both implicitly.

  9. Try developing on the iOS…

    The synergy of OSX on these products is central.

    The real issue is where the action occurs or where it will occur…

    …increasingly it will move to the web as the file format and storage device.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.