Here’s the problem: Apple is ignoring the Mac

“Apple sold 4.03 million Macs in the March quarter, a 9% decline from the same period in 2015. It was the second consecutive quarterly contraction for the personal computer line,” Dennis Sellers writes for Apple World Today. “The problem, according to Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research, is that Apple is ignoring its Mac line-up. He’s right.”

“Gottheil cited the line’s lack of innovation on both hardware and the OS X operating system—and confusing customers with overlap between models, particularly the 12-inch MacBook and the MacBook Air,” Sellers writes. “Of course, just updating the Mac product line would be welcome. Last week’s refresh of the MacBook and MacBook Air was merely incremental (I expect the Air line to disappear and the plain ol’ MacBook to be available in different sizes a la the MacBook Pro). The Mac Pro desktop hasn’t been updated since 2013. The Mac mini hasn’t been upgraded since 2014. And the Thunderbolt Display, which needs a 5K display, hasn’t been revved in four years!”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: When you’ve sold yourself on the idea that the iPad is the future of personal computing by swallowing your own marketing hook, line, and sinker, and then fail to deliver on that promise for too long (skimping on RAM, offering underpowered multitasking, etc. – now, finally, largely corrected with iPad Pro), you neglect the horse that brung ya (Macintosh is his name) and shoot yourself in the foot (Q216 results, Mac sales unable to make up for the continued iPad sales decline, and Mac’s streak of outgrowing the PC market shattered).

Mirror, Tim Cook. Tim Cook, mirror.

A big picture revision and course correction would be well advised. Perhaps some new blood — not stuffed quite so complacently with RSUs, perhaps? — high up on the food chain, as well?

Here’s hoping Apple has big plans for Mac (software and hardware) at WWDC this June.

Hey, in the name of bridging the gap between traditional computers while we wait for tablets that can really displace them, how about a 12.9-inch device that’s an OS X-powered MacBook when docked with its keyboard base and an iOS-powered iPad Pro when undocked?

How many of those babies would Apple have sold last quarter, had they been available?

Illustration from Apple's hybrid Mac-iPad patent application
Illustration from Apple’s hybrid Mac-iPad patent application

Apple’s Mac sales tumble 12% in second-biggest downturn since ’07 – April 27, 2016
Apple reports earnings miss in Q216 – April 26, 2016
Apple’s languishing Macintosh: Is a massive re-invention near? – April 25, 2016
Hey Apple, how about shipping a new computer sometime? – April 15, 2016


  1. The “overlap between models” doesn’t bother me.

    The gaps in Apple’s Mac product line is a bigger problem – especially for the underpowered, non-expandable Mac minis.

    We need a mid-range Mac mini – somewhere between the existing models and the Mac Pro.

    My eight-year old Mac Pro is still better that the newest Mac minis.

    1. It’s endearing the way that in any general story about the Mac line you can count on people still asking for the MMRM (the Mythical Mid-Range Mac) after all these years of being totally ignored.

      It would have great utility for more than appliance users, and be a cult hit in that demo, but I guess the volume projections – even when desktops were more of a mainstay – just never justified it in the bean counters eyes.

  2. When a major investor like Icahn starts dumping your stock, you’re in for a long beating.

    So many people have enabled Cook, knowing full well he’s an incompetent. The fallout of letting this clown ruin Apple over a 5-year period will be enormous.

    I believe they will finally boot him this year, only I fear it will be too late! I told everyone right from the beginning when he dumped the 30-pin connector (for no other reason than pure greed, mind you) that he was lazy, incompetent, and a joke!

    I also know how patient MDN has been but the fat lady is singing like Mariah Carey. Time to send Mr. Cook to a place where his social activism can take front stage, while a real innovator can lead Apple to the next big thing.

    1. “when he dumped the 30-pin connector (for no other reason than pure greed, mind you)”

      I stopped reading right there. It was not “pure greed”, the lightning cable is better than the 30-pin cable in many ways, not least of which was compactness and reversible plug. No checking both device and cable Every. Single. Time. to make sure they’re lined up right, because some devices have the shorter edge on the bottom, others on the top.

      The 30-pin cable was a decade old, and portable devices had switched “standard” USB ports *two times* already in the same period (full-size USB to USB mini, then USB micro).

      1. I agree – the 30 pin connector was actually one of Steve Job’s failures (we miss you Steve!). That cable was ridiculous from the beginning. 30 pins and it was NOT reversible? What the hell EVER used 30 pins (in the modern age). It was an overreaction to old tech – an “improved” parallel cable. It was big, clunky, and ugly. One of the worst designs to ever come out of Apple.

      2. Wrong. Switching from the 30 pin port to lightning was all about eliminating analog output. The 30 pin port could do way more than the lightning cable can do. While we gained reversibility (big whoop) we lost features in the switch. We didn’t even gain USB3 which has been on macs for years.

        1. You are 100% wrong for saying it was “all about” something, because that’s an unprovable absolute.

          I at least noted Lightning was “better […] in many ways” and listed some of the ways.

          Not having USB3 data speed from the start is admittedly one serious design blunder, especially for the price they were charging. The new iPad Pros apparently supports USB3 speeds, but this means we’ll now have a mix of Lightning cables, some of which are USB3-capable, while most are not, and how are we supposed to distinguish between them?

    2. “No…” <-Do please STFU. You have a significantly large stick up your back orifice and it's showing. I suspect that large stick might be homophobia, in which case, you might want to ask if you're actually phobic about yourself. You are SO consistent and persistent in your hate Hate HATE.

      Oh and do enjoy ranting your usual 🐂💩 back at us all. We find it amusing in its stupidity. Laugh at the clown.

      1. “No…” There is no evidence for your suggestion of ‘homophobia’ and as a result, you have painted yourself silly. Clark IS a social activist. I don’t care what the social activist cause is – his main raison d’être should be the Mac/Apple and not his cause.

        1. ‘Gok’, you oblivious anonymous coward: The guy’s name is Cook. And I don’t care if you don’t like Mr. Cook’s personal life. He lives in the USA, where he is NOT a slave to a corporation and has every right to say what he likes. It is of course professionally prudent to NOT say anything that compromises the company he leads. As any dolt knows, Mr. Cook has NOT. Instead he has helped bring Apple into the 21st century. You might want to try joining us here in the future as well.

          Oh and “GM”: Still as anonymous cowardly as ever. Yeah, we want your support about anything, ever. 😛

    3. Anyone who invests in the stock market understood that at some point Carl Icahn would pull out of Apple. He just executed that move. It was certainly no surprise. It was prompted by AAPL’s poor performance. He’s an investor not a fan boy. Move on, nothing to see here.

          1. George, silvershicken is one of the enlightened Apple fanboys who believes that anyone who does not share his mindless obsession with Apple is a person worthy of his contempt. Consider silverchicken’s moronic insults validation of your capacity for independent though and analysis.

      1. I want the features of El Capitan with the interface and reliability of Snow Leopard. I run two machines so I can have both. Guess which one requires frequent reboots?

    1. Not just OS X either. They’ve systematically alienated many core Apple users by failing to upgrade pro and semi-pro software such as Aperture, and endlessly screwing around with other software such as iTunes), just ’cause they can. While professional users might be relatively thin on the ground, they provide credibility for other more casual users to buy into the eco system. Pro software for Macs is like “halo” model cars for car manufacturers, few sales but big trickle-down effects. Imagine if BMW dropped it’s M cars or MB dropped AMG because they don’t sell by the truckload. This is basic marketing stuff and Apple is failing to see the bigger picture.

  3. As the owner of several Macs, an iPhone and and iPad, I can say that the Mac is the key to the other two. Let the Mac go downhill and the iPhone and iPad will suffer.

    The idea of using an iPad instead of a Mac for serious computer work is a joke. Just as using the MacBook as a portable phone is a joke. I have two old Macs that I would like to upgrade but the current line, and it’s current price, simply do not encourage an upgrade. At least put a 500 GB SSD drive as minimum in each Mac. That would be a good start. I

    What is Apple waiting for? For me to get a Windows machine? If that happens what makes them think an Android phone and tablet are not far behind.

    Wake Up, Apple. Wake Up!

    1. I’ve always loved this all in one from HP. A quick look at the HP website shows that Apple is way behind in the specs/price vs HP. I have a macPro 13″ that I purchase last year and it is by far the worst computer I’ve ever had. My 8 yo iMac (lost during a move) was far superior than the “new” Macbook. The beachball is almost always present, It has a hard freeze at least every week, and it restarts itself usually once a day. If I could afford to, I’d smash it to pieces with a bat

  4. Apple has shiny “puck” syndrome.

    Look at the high end software they have purchased. These go years between periods of attention.

    Apple cares more about disposable electronics and less and less about macs and mac os and especially high end professionals who make their living with “truck” computers.

  5. I would have loved to buy a brand new 17″ Macbook with a matt screen and lots of ports.

    Instead, I bought the late model 2011 17″ Macbook with a matt screen and lots of ports. It came with 8 gigs of ram and a .75 TB drive, both easily upgradeable. As an added bonus it only cost me $1500 and was in brand new condition.

    Apple’s newest line of Macs, especially their laptops are not what I want or need. I need a replacement for my Mac mini server at a reasonable price. I also need a 17″ laptop. It’s a joke that their 15″ laptop with a decent sized HD is $3500.

    1. I just did the same thing. As a pro video editor who travels for work a lot, I NEEDED a 17 inch laptop. Just bought a 2011 17 inch souped up on eBay. 1 TB SSD, 16GB RAM, 2.5Ghz i7. I will use it for many, many years. Apple has forgotten that the necessity of creative users to use Macs was the source of all “halo” effects. We were the first people who could use iPods after all…

  6. MDN .. When i wrote about hybrid, adaptable os device from apple.. Starting 2 years ago and i wrote quite a few times (here, other forums and and to many Apple top execs..)
    You bashed the idea! And many called me clueless .. Troll etc. they still do if i dont act like a blind apple fan boy ..

    MDN.. You also wrote several times that you would not touch a smaller iphone with a 10 foot pole..(a product i have been an advocate of from the get go,.. 3 size product line , my comments about this go back to Jobs times…. they have all heard from me re all issues and still do)

    Thank God apple listend to some who believed…
    Apple cant keep up with demand now.

  7. This is a very scary day for me. It feels like 2013 all over again. The rumors that the IPhone 7 will now be evolutionary to the 6S and the 2017 IPhone 8 will be the game changer. Shows that Apple might be resting on products too long like the Mac and the stocks gets hammered. Much like the IPhone 5S having a 4 inch display and Apple doesn’t have the right size till a year later. This earnings feels the same with all of the current Apple products. The fact that the IPhone 6S shoots 4K video and the new Apple TV does not support is insane. The beautiful Mac Pro which is now underpowered does not have an Apple branded 4K display makes no sense. And no ITunes studio for original content and ITunes Netflix competitor.

    1. “does not have an Apple branded 4K display makes no sense.”
      Makes total sense. Intel hasn’t shipped the chipset that would make it possible via Thunderbolt. If the tech doesn’t exist, Harry Potter isn’t going to aid them 🙂

    WAKE UP !!! ..act… Fast.. Quick… Dont forget your startup roots and MO.

    Read what JOSH said above… There is a lot of truth there.
    Kids have already strarted migrating over to the other side..
    You know why?
    Gaming , Customizatin and flexibilty.
    OPTIONS… ( i drool when i see one of those curved monitors )

    You cant just be arrogant and say.. Hey they dont know.
    We do know.

  9. Funny, who asked for Retina displays? I’m all for more pixels, but if I can’t see them, what’s the point? Looking for a 4K 42″ high quality display, with the same dot pitch as the old 30″ Apple Cinema Display.

  10. Maybe I’m nuts, but Apple needs to get back to the simple four quadrant model of computing models that Jobs envisioned.

    Consumer Desktop: iMac
    Consumer Laptop: MacBook or MacBook Air (keep one and kill the other)
    Pro Laptop: MacBook Pro (Lots of ports, big screen, big SSD and possibly HD)
    Pro Desktop: Dump the can and the mini and create a couple versions of a box that can be expanded. It can be a pretty box, but it must be expandable.

    Also, don’t do a MS and mess with the look of OS X. Just keep improving it.

    Finally, pay attention to your software, especially the pro stuff. Professionals are jumping to Windows because Apple is ignoring the market segment that hung with Apple through the dark days.

    It seems to simple and straight forward.

Reader Feedback

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