MacPad? Apple CEO defends Mac line as analysts foresee Mac+iPad hybrids

“Apple CEO Tim Cook yesterday defended the company’s iconic Mac line, which saw a second consecutive decline in sales last quarter, and promised that Apple would continue to crank out personal computers,” Gregg Keizer reports for Computerworld. “‘I don’t think this [personal computer] market is a dead market or a bad market by any means,’ said Cook during Tuesday’s earnings call with Wall Street. ‘I think it has a lot of life to it. We are going to continue to innovate in it.'”

“Mac sales have been affected by many of the same factors that experts have cited to explain the poor performance of the PC industry, including longer stretches between computer purchases by consumers, a saturation in developed countries like the U.S. and — most importantly — a shift in dollars from computers, including Macs, to tablets and smartphones,” Keizer reports. “Even so, Cook stuck up for the Mac and gave no hint that Apple would abandon the market. ‘We’re going to continue making the best personal computers. Our strategy is not changing,’ he said. ‘We’ve got some more great stuff planned [and] so this is an area we’re continuing to invest in.'”

Keizer reports, “Analysts interpreted Cook’s defense of the Mac as a signal that, while sales have stalled, Apple plans to adapt its personal computer line as the PC market mutates. ‘The personal computer market is not dead,’ asserted Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. ‘Apple can redefine the market by creating a device in between the iPad and the MacBook Air.’ … Riffing on the idea that consumers, but also businesses, are keeping their personal computers for longer periods — spending the money for replacement machines on tablets instead — [Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research], argued that Apple is better positioned to benefit from the trend than most Windows OEMs. ‘That may be an opportunity, the pony in the manure heap,’ said Gottheil. ‘If consumers know they’re going to keep their computers longer, they may be more tolerant of the Mac’s higher entry prices.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Would you be interested in a MacBook Air with Retina display, running OS X, with a removable display that is actually an iPad running iOS when detached?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
MacPad? Apple patent application reveals hybrid MacBook+iPad details – April 4, 2013
Apple’s big secret: The iOS MacBook? – March 22, 2013
Tim Bajarin’s tech industry predictions for 2013 include hybrid Mac+iPad – December 14, 2012


      1. I like the idea of an iPad-Pro running OS11 that includes the Leap Motion sensory. (mikepl) in another article mentioned Leap as a wonderful UI. It certainly would be a differentiating Apple addition. Apple should buy into Leap.

        In fact the two sectors of business “pro” and “consumer” is getting sour. Better Apple goes “pro-consumer” one level targeted since processors are incredibly powerful and efficient.

        Tim Cook says Apple is not interested in convergent products. How silly is that statement? Innovation and improvements are always catered by the adoption of new technologies and services. Adding those advancements is convergence. Leap Motion offers both PC and MAC the magic of Hand waving magic closely related to Kinetic on Xbox. To harness this and keep Leap specifically Apple would be a sweet benefitting victory on Apples part.

        As for OSX or OS11, if it were a hybrid of iOS, or if either OS were to meld into the other… again, it only shows that Tim has purposely mislead those who are inquiring to think in the opposite way. Of course Apple still thrives on convergent products.

        Now, displays that are detectable from hardware? Docking stations. Keyboards… I for one do find a keyboard far more useful… however, virtual keyboards are really all apart of iOS. And Apple inc. really is driven by its consumer products which use iOS. This is the money making success of Apple. iOS. How powerful will iOS7 be? What devices will it run on? At what point will Apple decide to leave the upgradable factor of older idevices incapable due to advancements in a new better iOS? One OS… if ever occurs… say OS12 or OSx12 might run on iPad and Desktops. But until then – we all wait and wonder.

        1. Assuming Apple wishes to remain consistent with Roman numerals when updating their operating system, the transition from OSX would be to OSXI and not OS 11.

    1. it would be top-heavy, so it would need to have a “kickstand” like Microsoft’s Surface, a “laptop” you can’t balance on your lap. And it would have to be heavier than an iPad, because you are asking it to do everything a Mac does.

      In other words, the MDN Take’s question is asking if you would like to see Apple copy Microsoft’s Surface… (NO)

      1. agree – no… please Apple do not fallow Microsofts surface.

        But continue to allow bluetooth to offer optional hardware keyboards to wirelessly connect for those who need it.

        Again, 3rd party, filled the gap before Microsoft ever came to market with Surface… so how is coping who?

  1. I don’t know if I actually would want a MBA iPad at the moment. It would be thick, heavy and/or probably only have a few hours worth of battery – qualities in direct conflict with both the iPad and MBA’s purpose.

    People have been *trying* to build these/similar hybrids for quite a while and they all suck imo.

    I think Apple will probably release such a device in the future and do it right. I can’t see it happening for at least a few years.

  2. Hmmm not sure I want a hybrid device running 2 different OS’s. The devil would be in the details of how this 2 OS system is implemented. Just seems like there may be situations where the 2 OS’s wouldn’t play so well together.

    If it were running the exact same OS when attached and detached, then yes, probably pretty cool.

  3. I’d use anything that ran OS X. I guess I’m the last holdout for the real OS. Not a glorified phone OS. How about a 13″ Tablet running OS X that is made by Apple and not a Hackintosh? (I’m forgetting the name of the $4000 tablet made by another firm) You could run Office on it for those whiners. I think thats your gap.

      1. Because people do want and need portables. They may not leave the house, may be for purely personal computing, but the old paradigm of your computer being chained to a desk is dead.

        People want a portable because entertainment is connected, no one want to get up run to another area to look up something they just saw on tv. They want the internet at their fingertips while on the couch, in bed, on the toilet even.

        It’s simple, Joe just has a narrow definition of what people “need” and he is wrong. In todays society the line is blurred between need/want. He is stuck in the past it seems.

      2. I use my Macbook to read email while watching TV, or trade stocks while lying in bed. I use my Mac Pro to pay bills, do taxes, and record TV shows. The differentiator is whether I need my desk and my physical files. It’s like the difference between my Chevy Suburban and my Honda Civic. Different devices for different purposes. A combination tablet/desktop would be just as stupid and useless as a combination of a Suburban and a Civic in one vehicle would be.

        The article misses the main reason for lagging PC sales, which is Windows itself. Until there’s a desktop computer manufacturer who can bypass the Windows OS, the PC market will continue to decline…No, wait! Apple has its own OS. Thus Apple’s computer sales remain constant as PC sales dramatically decline in the face of massive tablet sales.

      3. I agree, people do like Mac books (pro and air).
        Laptops have a good following.

        With many creative software titles, large onboard storage and a beautiful OS – have us committed to the platform. So, Desktops and Laptops are both a sector of computing that is still strong. Furthermore, though iOS is sweet, and offers some creative power – its just incomparable.

        Until it is, Tim is right.

    1. Essentially the Mac book air does drive in the direction to something more iPad-like.

      The technologies in Mac book air are far different however then iPad. The science of power efficiencies maybe similar – yet the two products are vastly different.

      The PC market has offered touch screen interaction to desktops and laptops in Metro Winblows 8. I imagine Apple owns most the gestures and patents covering those operations and could sue later on. But no worries at the present. Mighty mouse and smart pads all saw muti-point gestures in OSX long before Windblows offering.

      However the point I guess here is, Cook must be stating that there is no rush to have a iPad pro running OSX.

      Well okay Tim you are the boss.

  4. All I can say is, “Fu__…He__…(ahhmm) HECK YEAH, I would be very interested!!!!” Where do I sign up?

    Frankly, I wish you hadn’t mentioned it because its all I’m going to want in a device from now on. Just not sure Apple will make it, but here’s to hoping!

  5. “MacDailyNews Take: Would you be interested in a MacBook Air with Retina display, running OS X, with a removable display that is actually an iPad running iOS when detached?”
    Yes, even if it sacrificed a little weight in the process.
    A screen that functions as a pad, with it’s own internal memory and running iOS with its own apps, but that can then be connected to a keyboard with OS X, lots of storage, and the means of swapping data between itself and the screen would be an incredibly versatile machine, allowing more powerful business and graphics apps to be run, like Creative Suite, but with the ease of use for reading books, surfing the net, etc., that a pad gives.
    It wouldn’t be cheap, but the ability to upgrade the screen/pad section independently of the base/keyboard section would extend the useful life of the whole computer, while allowing the older ‘screen’/pad to be handed down to other family members.

    1. I can understand why some people would want such a device, but what I don’t get is why they don’t see the inherent kludginess of such a device?

      Take a look at all the ports on an iPad. Now add at least one more. Something probably integrated into some sort of “connector/hinge structure/mechanism” along one long edge of the display… and the “base”.

      After all, there has to be some way of exchanging data between the display and the rest of the device. It’s either that or double the amount of the components required for wireless connectiivity.

      The more I think about it, the more I realize how inelegant (and unApple-like) such a device would be.

  6. MacOS/iOS via 1 device – accessible by finger print recognition only. That will be my next purchase. Security is paramount in today’s tech world. Who has the most secure mobile OS? AAPL does. Fingerprint recognition apps will explode. Financial services & online transactions will require said fingerprint authorization. Passwords and user names are so yesterday and quite frankly poor implementations of Internet security. Ponder what iSay…. Think Different. Fingerprint recognition is the future of secure computing. Human retinal scanning will soon follow.

  7. This detachable display iPad laptop hybrid could be well suited for both Business and Education markets. Allowing the flexibility of light mobile computing that is always on and the additional horsepower of desktop processing when at the office or school. Combing the two into a synergy of applications and syncing could easily reduce upfront cost of hardware.

    Imagine for a moment you have an iPad with photographs taken on location. Arrive at the office and attach the iPad to an i7 quad pro base, process the images, syncing both, detach and mobile again. Markets, Medical, Photography, video, mechical engineering, software development, etc.

    Love the concept and still believe it will be common place in the future.

    1. Imagine for a moment…? Any number of people do that now. In fact, you don’t ned a “Pro” Machine, the quad i7 iMac is a powerful machine, and you can attach your iPad to it, sync it, detach, and mobile again. Why is a hybrid necessary?

      I don’t see any advantage in the hybrid aspect, but maybe that’s just me.

      In fact, I don’t even see the advantage in synching, or the office because everything went to the cloud anyway. It’s already available on my desktop. 😉 At home. Office? What’s that?

      1. For one, you only have to connect the iPad to the base. For education, the base could contain only the software needed for that department, say photography. The iPad would be the general purpose element. But connected to that base, would process the images on the iPad and the photos would remain on that device. That way BYOD would allow students to have there own equipment that is cheaper upfront and be school would only need the processing power for the desktop application. Plus the cost of the display would be eliminated for the base and placing the cost of the display to the users device. Any processor type could be used; however , being able to jump to a desktop lenvironment with your data and process it with more powerful hardware would be increability simple. The iPad would be mobile without merging two different OS’s together. Both separate and the data unified. One could even argue a point in which multiple OS’s could run and the selection of say Windows program could pull specific data from an iPad process it. Think more as blending, separation, and extendable desktop that could span multiple locations. Just to name a few.

  8. Ok. This is weird. The iPad is a great tool for lots of everyday uses. Incredible tool really, largely due to the form factor, user interface, 3rd party software, and Apple ecosystem.

    Still, OS X is where real work gets done. OS X, i.e. the Mac because OS X is the Mac, is what locks me into the Apple Ecosystem, not iOS.

    I use iOS devices because they are 1) Great devices, and 2) ecosystem friendly with OS X, including 3rd party cloud services, etc.

    Take away OS X, and I’m gone. I’m off looking for the best desktop experience I can find, most likely Windows if there is no OS X. Possibly Ubuntu or some other distro. At that point iOS doesn’t really matter to me.

  9. Us Mac users don’t have to worry about this anyway because Tim Cook is too lazy to do anything.

    Right now, I have a Lenovo ideaTab that suits the bill just fine. I still use my iPad 3 at home, but I take the Windows tab on the road. The Atom processor is phenomenal. I upgraded it to Windows 8 Pro and I’m using Start8.

    I am running the full version of Office 2013 and this thing is smooth. It get’s 8 hours plus battery life with the keyboard dock. As a tablet it’s lighter than my iPad. Then it converts to a small laptop when needed.

    If you’re waiting on that pansy Cook to innovate with a hybrid from Apple, you’ll be sitting in a nursing home and sucking down pureed beets long before that ever happens.

    1. To Randy,
      Four paragraphs of nothing:
      The first and the last one are the most recent anti-Apple rant, i.e. insulting Tim Cook with a subtle “us Mac users” intro!
      The middle two are pure advertising for products nobody cares for here!
      To conclude, I would ask you to stuff your “pureed beets” up somewhere it would help you see the light that you are a pathetic troll.

      1. Den:
        I have a 2010 MacBook Pro, a 2011 Core i5 Mac Mini, an iPhone 5, my wife has an iPhone 4S (by the way, I’ve owned every iPhone except for the very 1st one), I’ve owned every iPad except for the iPad 4.

        I love Apple products, loved Steve Jobs, gave Tim Cook a try, but he is worthless as a CEO.

        Having said all that, I have patiently waited on Apple for a hybrid device, until reality dawned on me and I finally realized that I would die and go to hell long before that ever happened.

        I may be a troll, but I’m a troll that uses an iPhone!

    2. I tried my first Windows purchase in 6 years with a HP Envy X2 hybrid for $599. It is very much what’s being described here – works as a laptop but then can become a light tablet. The keyboard base contains a battery, all the ports, and a trackpad. The tablet portion is the same height as an iPad but 2 inches wider. The Atom processor is both it’s greatest strength and weakness. We’re talking 12 hours of battery life when docked, but try to use any legacy software on the classic desktop and it bogs down. Windows 8 is a Frankenstein monster of an OS, throwing you back and forth from a tablet experience to the old desktop. Ultimately I decided that I had no use for a full OS on a tablet and that an iPad can do what I need better. iPhoto, Garageband and iMovie are amazing on the iPad and MS has nothing like that. The HP went back for a refund.

  10. eh?

    — new mac mini no ads, new imac no ads, no desktop mac ads for YEARS already
    spent time and millions building advance glass metal bonding techniques to make ultra thin screens (so much so that’s its delayed for months) and then when the works of wonder are on shelves …. DON’T ADVERTISE THE SUCKERS!
    except for us apple fans who out there KNOWS there are NEW imacs?

    — Win 8 Vista 2 Dud of the Decade yet Apple does not advertise against it? Hello Defender don’t you want to pick up some Windows switchers? No Mac PC guy type ads for years already. Golden Opportunity dudes!

    Met many disgruntled Windows users who are pissed with Win 8 but they won’t switch to match because they BELIEVE:

    — OSX is JUST AS BAD (why? Because apple has NOT RUN a SINGLE MT LION IS GREAT and heck a lot BETTER than Win 8 vista Ad). — shoot because the lack of marketing even the mainline press believes Win 8 is as good as OSX.
    — they have to get rid of their MONITORS (why because since apple doesn’t advertise them, those win boys don’t know a MAC MINI EXISTS and think they have to get imacs)

    Mac has 5% market share, iPhone has 30%, there’s room to grow, the DEFENDER should advertise them. You could afford mac ads when apple sold fewer macs a year so why can’t you afford ads now? Run cheap PRESS ADS and not TV if you want to penny pinch but for petes sake advertise!

    Salesguys at Best Buy, Walmart etc can’t sell squat unless Ads help them with 50% of the sales pitch. Also they won’t bash PCs (“buy Macs they are better than PCs. OsX is better”) as they sell PCS so ads matter!

    Defend Mac?
    there hasn’t been a serious power mac refresh for years! your TOP OF THE LINE still hasn’t a thunderbolt port or even USB 3! The case is from PRE INTEL G5 Days.

    I’m using a power mac but hey it’s time for a refresh. My video card is so old it blew last week….

    DEFENDER upgrade and when you’ve upgraded like the the mac mini and imac … ADVERTISE, MARKET , SELL.

    (besides no TV, press or magazine ads for osX or imac etc. Apple’s not doing PR like sponsoring Mac game tournaments, telling people about Mac App Store, selling the advantages OSX – iOS joint ECO SYSTEM etc … )

    Defender if you sold a few more macs maybe you would have hit the analyst price targets for the mid 2012 and Christmas quarters (just I believe $200 m and 50m miss) and the stock would be at 700?

    1. … in short if the defender should improve marketing (e.g: defend CURRENT macs and MARKET them) even as he works on new tech otherwise even new tech won’t soar in the market
      (look huge amounts of money and time to building new imac screens yet no marketing push)

      Steve Jobs was a product guy but he was also a MARKETING and PR guy and right now the marketing is missing.

      like I said before the J.B movie Skyfall cost about $100 m to make but they spent TWICE that on marketing. To sell even a good product you need to advertise. ( the movie grossed over 1 billion. )

      I’m worried that Cook will spend huge amounts of time and effort building mac tech (like OS X mt lion) and then not market it. Cook seems comfortable building but unlike Steve he seems uncomfortable SELLING…

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