Apple doesn’t need to ‘kill’ the Mac in order to replace it

“Apple has no plans to kill off the Mac,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “It does not need to. It just needs to focus on replacing it in an era in which PCs are becoming ‘trucks.'”

“Please ignore the Wall Street Journal today,” Evans writes. “Apple has no need to ‘kill off’ the Mac in order to increase its focus on future computing – the company responsible for the world of mobile computing we live in today is already focused enough on creating a better alternative.”

“Steve Jobs nailed it when he famously said, the PC will become ‘a truck’ – Macs won’t disappear, but our interactions with them will simply shrink,” Evans writes. “Apple has always been good at creating simple experiences that mask incredible complexity. This was its calling card with the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. And it’s in the latter product you’ll see the emergence of the new Mac.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote over the weekend:

The main problem with iPads, and the main reason why we reach for our 11-inch MacBook Airs while on-the-go over our iPad Air (gen. 1) units for work, is that the iPads do not have enough RAM. This limitation puts a severe damper on multitasking on iPad. iPad Air 2, has a decent amount of RAM and can therefore handle real multitasking, including the ultimate in multitasking, iOS 9’s Split View. This is a major reason why we can’t wait for “iPad Pro!”

Our tests of the next-gen iPads plus iOS 9’s Split View multitasking are likely to have a major effect on how compelled we are to replace our MacBook Airs with whatever Apple’s smallest, lightest Mac is at the time. We may actually replace, not just complement, our Macs with iPads while on the road.

When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks. But as people moved more towards urban centers, people started to get into cars. I think PCs are going to be like trucks. Fewer people will need them. And this transformation is going to make some people uneasy… because the personal computer has taken us a long way… But it changes. Vested interests are going to change. And, I think we’ve embarked on that change… We like to talk about the post-PC era, but when it really starts to happen, it’s uncomfortable. – Steve Jobs, June 1, 2010


Why Apple’s new split-view multitasking feature is exclusive to its best iPad – June 13, 2015
Split-view multitasking: Hands on with Apple’s iOS 9 beta on iPad Air 2 – June 9, 2015


  1. Indeed, Apple is allowing the Mac to wither on the vine while Cook & Co turn all the attention to subscriptions and fashion. Business customers now as much as ever are forced to buy their software and hardware from companies that listen to their needs. Apple sure doesn’t. 4K display with a Mac Pro, graphics options, current processors, GPU and user internal expansion, and efficient pro-level software? Not since Cook arrived.

      1. The new Mac Pro is a nice machine, but not suitable for many of us who used Mac Pros. It is disheartening.

        * No cost effective GPU upgrade path
        * No 3 or 4 GPU options
        * No nVidia CUDA compatibility
        * No nVidia Tesla level card compatibility

        A downside to Apple’s consumer focus is its loss of support for scientific, engineering and high-end education. Makes me sad.

        1. Especially in the 4K video, graphics, 3D animation world I live in. PCI 3 16X slots alone are much faster than Thunderbolt, even in a Thunderbolt 3 version which doesn’t yet exist. Might take Thunderbolt 4 to reach parity on what’s available in a PC workstation NOW as much as it pains me greatly to say that. I am reaching a breaking point on buying a new machine and I was hoping WWDC 2015 might see upgraded Mac Pro’s – but all for naught sadly.

          The situation sucks as I would prefer to stay Mac, obviously.

          1. The Macs you used 5 years ago must have been useless then, right? You couldn’t do any work with them back then and your work must have gotten 10X more processor and graphics intensive for the Mac Pro to not be able to keep up even though it is 40X as fast, right?

            Is it possible that you will never be happy unless you have the processor/graphics cards of ten years into the future but have them right now?

            1. I have squeezed everything I could out of two old Mac Pro’s, the most recent of 2007 vintage (and will remain in use even though stuck at Lion).

              I have a Star Wars VFX Oscar winning old friend who is also extremely knowledgable, knows what our area of expertise needs (and yes it’s endless demand for faster machines as higher resolution, tighter schedules and increased rendering needs continue to mount), what is out there and what’s needed to get the job done. He is also Mac-centric and distressed by the reality he may have to switch platforms. He woke me out of my Mac-reverie to more objectively select the tool I need. It’s just the nature of the beast and nothing to get upset about. The sad reality is most effects work is done on Windows and Linux platforms.

              I’ve been on Macs since 1992 and the thought of platform switching with my own gear makes me wanna puke.

            2. this is a silly post.

              people are using Mac Pros as ‘Pros’, i.e the are working and therefore COMPETING. If your competitors can get better hardware you are fucked.
              it is not just a matter that a Mac Pro is faster than a Mac ‘five years ago’ it is the issue whether it is as powerful as Windows PC today.
              PROS are not competing in a VACUUM.
              If the PC guy can do it faster and cheaper he is going to get the job from the client. If you render a job twice as slow your profit (for the rendering part) is going to be HALF. Without the proper hardware (and software) you often cannot even DO the job.

              (Your post is EXASPERATING as it show the typical non pro users lack of understanding what PRO means)

              I use macs exclusively (the interface is still way superior to PCs) but it is exasperating to see cylindrical Mac Pros updated so slowly and (although an interesting quite small footprint design) have so many hardware limitations as others have pointed out. In the past at least you could upgrade the video card with all kinds of PC cards.

            3. Well said, and it IS an unfortunate situation. The Mac Pro I think is one area Apple miscalculated. Pro’s aren’t looking for the most design worthy in looks and small size but the most versatile and powerful. (Though I must admit the current model is wonderful for sound work especially being so quiet.) It’s the only Mac device category that I eschew the wondrous minimalist design Apple achieves elsewhere. While the current Mac Pro is great for many it’s also limiting for some others with different needs.

        2. The No Longer New Mac mini HTPC dba the “Mac Pro” is a nice computer not well suited to the market addressed by the Real Mac Pros and PowerMacs that preceded it.

          That is what happens when you put a stylist in charge instead of Hardware Engineers.

    1. Since I did not know the market share for trucks and SUV’s, I looked it up and found this headline from Feb 2015:

      “Trucks, SUVs power blazing January auto sales”

      and accounted for 54% of January sales. The remaining 46% were cars.

      and this one in March 2015:

      “Forget Cars: Americans Just Want Their Trucks and SUVs!”

      1. 54% of the US are not farmers.
      2. The average person does not need a truck or SUV.
      3. “Logic” and “intuitiveness” do not matter in many situations.
      3. Trucks are not going away anytime soon…neither are PC’s.
      4. When a company tries to force consumer demand, they lose.

      End of sermon…Amen…

  2. I just hope iPads don’t become mirror products to the Surface Pro with a full OS, giving Microsoft any vindication of mobile approach. I will be forever happy with the distinction of what makes an iPad and what makes a Mac, portable or otherwise. Unless Apple pulls something out of left field that gob-smacks us all.

  3. ‘When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that’s what you needed on the farm. But as vehicles started to be used in urban centers, and America started to move into those urban and then suburban centers, cars got more popular. And innovations like automatic transmission and power steering and things, you didn’t care about in the truck as much, started to become paramount in cars. And now probably, I don’t know what the statistics are, maybe one out of every 25 or 30 vehicles is a truck, where it used to be a 100%. PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still gonna be around, and they’re still gonna have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people.’

    ‘Steve Jobs Bio: The Unauthorized Autobiography.’

    1. Funny thing is Steve Jobs got is wrong. Cars came first and the Pickup came later.

      Henry Ford saw how farmers were modifying Model T’s and incorporated the idea into the pickup truck.

  4. The interesting part of moving from the farm truck world to the automation world, is that most common programming today seems to be done on a MacBook of some type.

    We have already ditched the desktop workstation for most tasks.

  5. Actually our interactions with Macs will only GROW considering how great the quarterly sales are doing.

    The REAL future of computing is mobile devices and traditional computers all coexisting in harmony. Just like cars and trucks. Mobile displacing the desktop was a bogus prophecy.

  6. The article talks about “Apples incremental move to deliver feature parity between iOS and OSX,,,”

    That’s where I have a problem. Is Apple downgrading apps like Pages which does nothing more than occupy space on my Mac, my iPhone, and my iPad? The trend makes me worry. My “truck” is more important to me than my iPhone and my IPad because it is the only one of the three that can do what I need my system to do. Fine for all you who use devices primarily for social network and music consumption. No one argues that there are more of you than us, but where will you get your web content and your iOS apps if the Mac is degraded and right now I believe it is. Content doesn’t just appear on the back of a unicorn appearing out of a “cloud” People with trucks/Macs create it or edit it, or compile it.

  7. I am still most productive on a desktop Mac, with a full-size keyboard (with numeric keypad) and a mouse (not trackpad). I can compose and edit text-based content faster. I can create spreadsheets more efficiently. I can manipulate “elements” on the screen more precisely.

    iPad is more convenient when interaction is simpler and more limited. Like reading and watching video. This is because the screen is mobile. The user easily moves the screen to conform to the task instead of moving the body to conform to the computer.

    Even with the improvements to iOS (which are significant and meaningful), I will be more productive using a Mac “truck.” The Mac’s OS does not change as much, compare to iOS, because the “desktop” interface is VERY mature. The computing interface based on keyboard and mouse (or equivalent) is highly refined; it’s been around for more than 30 years. In comparison, the muti-touch mobile interface (as re-invented by Apple) has only been around for five years (at tablet size).

    Therefore, Apple does not need to make drastic changes to the Mac anymore. Refinements only. When unneeded changes are made for the sake of change, you get Windows 8 and Surface. And you alienate your existing customers who rely on their “trucks” to be productive. Macs will be around for a LONG time.

  8. People who say the Mac should be killed off have never used a Mac day to day before.

    The iMac is quiet, cool, fast, and the display is crisp. The Mac does all the “computer stuff” behind the scenes- backups and updates. “Handoff” is incredibly useful.

    I’ll stick with the Mac…..

  9. ‘When we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks because that’s what you needed on the farm. . . .”

    That’s a crock. All cars were not trucks. Hardly a fraction were trucks, and those that were, were modified cars, from the first Model T Fords in 1906 onward.

    It was a stupid thing to say and it remains stupid.

    Stop quoting it.

    1. In 1895 Karl Benz designed and built the first truck in history using the internal combustion engine. But trucks really didn’t come rolling out in earnest until the 1930’s. Gas farming tractors earlier than that in 1910-15. The U.S. economy was primarily agricultural in the early 19th century so by the 1930’s it was certainly far less so but still in the tail end of a primary agricultural economy. So Jobs was maybe only barely right but you raised a very good point and certainly there were more cars than trucks around in the early 20th century.

      1. Ford’s Model T was actually used as and modified as a truck the minute it came out in 1908. Independent “coach builders” could order the bare Model T and put whatever body on it they wanted.

        Why take 2 horses to get goods to a city when your Model T can do it faster?

  10. yes, trucks (computerly speaking) are always going to be around.

    but just because they may or will become a smaller portion of the personal computer fleet, does not mean their development and improvement (mac pro for the best example) should stall out because most people (or is that mr. apple ?) feel the lightweight nimble and speedy sports car version of a personal computer will or must become the wave of the future.

    beside that there are those of us who have no interest in the cloud where our information can be stored and even subject to storage failure. or storage intrusion.

    me, i prefer to have all my data at home where it is in my control, with serious backup drive safe in a separate locale.

    and i want a computer with horsepower, with minimal compromises.

  11. The “iOS’ing” of OSX and the lack of support for ProApps such as Aperture and the rise of junk like Photos in the latest OSX is extremely disturbing. Some of us care about our art and our work more than jewelry or social media. We do our design work ON our Macs, not just buying them to LOOK AT their design and the other much less capable iOS devices. Of course they are beautiful and useful when communicating with others. Just not for doing our real work. If Apple abandons the creative community and truly powerful computers they will be abandoning their soul.

  12. I use my iPad to read MDN, the news and play card games. I use one or other of my macs for everything else.

    MDN is right that the iPad is underpowered. It’s also crap to compose text on – correcting errors with your finger is too cumbersome.

    My iPad is just over 12mths old. It’s so underpowered that sometimes it just won’t render the Guardian front page in Safari and I have to resort to my MacBook Air.

    I agree with some of the comments on the Mac Pro. It’s a silly shape – it looks great when you have nothing attached, but it’s a shambles otherwise. I have lots of external disk, a card reader, dvd reader, sanlink fibre interface and tandberg lto6 tape. Cables everywhere… The power button is tiny and on the back – rotating the Mac Pro to find the power button often dislodges the cables. Send Mr Ive to my place to see what a mess this is in real life…

  13. The Mac Pro is definitely style over substance.

    Why can’t Apple produce a Mac? One with two 16-lane PCI Express slots and two M.2 NVM Express slots? For GPUs and SSDs and network adapters.

    Why is Apple so fixated on “cute” little computers and displays with laptop processors in them?

    Style has become an albatross around Apple’s neck.

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