Here’s why Apple doesn’t care about updating Macs or something

“There’s been a bit of a hoopla over the past few days about Macs, and why Apple is slow to update Macs,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes for ZDNet. “A quick peek over at the Mac buyer’s guide on Macrumors does suggest that Apple is slow at updating Mac hardware. Other than the MacBook — which, at the time of writing was updated 108 days ago — every Mac feels older than dirt, and has a ‘don’t buy’ rating. Apple’s top-end, aimed-at-the-pros Mac Pro is nearing 1,000 days since an upgrade, and it’s been over 650 days since the Mac Mini saw an upgrade.”

“OK, so what’s going on here?” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “Apple works for Apple. Everything the company does has its roots in either saving money or bringing more money in… It would be trivial for Apple to update its Macs, especially if we’re just focusing on say the CPU, GPU, and RAM… Changing things like the shell is a different matter, and involves more engineering and testing, but for a company with the resources that Apple has, even this isn’t a huge deal… The only reason Apple is slow to update Macs is because it chooses to be slow to update them.”

“Mac sales have been hovering around the four to six million mark for the past 12 quarters. Apple is clearly happy with sales being at this level, and clearly believes that constantly tinkering with the Mac lineup wouldn’t move the needle significantly. Another factor to bear in mind is that the longer Apple can go between upgrades, the more profits it makes on a Mac thanks to ever-decreasing component prices,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “I get it that if you’re someone who likes to buy new hardware every year or so that this lack of new Macs is frustrating, but this doesn’t seem to be how Apple operates any more. If you don’t like this, then maybe you’d be better switching to the Windows ecosystem, where OEMs release new hardware on a regular basis.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Let’s enjoy a couple of Tim Cook quotes, shall we?

Companies that get confused, that think their goal is revenue or stock price or something; you have to focus on the things that lead to those. — Tim Cook

Apple has a culture of excellence that is, I think, so unique and so special. I’m not going to witness or permit the change of it. — Tim Cook

Does ignoring millions of customers in order to greedily milk old Macs for profit in any way fit with either of those two quotes?

Apple should stop peddling four-year-old Macs – August 4, 2016
Is Apple phasing out the pro-level Mac? – August 2, 2016
Apple confirms Mac market share loss – July 29, 2016
Apple prepping new MacBook Air with USB-C, reports claim – July 27, 2016
What’s happening with Apple’s Macintosh? – July 14, 2016
Sales suffer as Apple neglects the Mac – July 12, 2016
Apple’s Mac sales fall, economies shudder – July 12, 2016
IDC, Gartner: Apple’s Mac no longer bucking PC industry’s sales slide – July 12, 2016
Here’s the problem: Apple is ignoring the Mac – April 28, 2016
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
Apple’s aging Mac Pro is falling way behind Windows rivals – April 12, 2016


  1. If Apple fails to update the Pro then maybe someone should step in with an upgrade package geeks could buy for a do-it-yourself solution or offer the option of shipping your box to them (or just buying an old one) and having the firm install that company’s update solution.

  2. The pro hardware should be modular, user-accessible & upgradable. It should also be refreshed by Apple every single year (if they would just get the form-factor right, they could use it for ten or more years with only processor, memory and storage upgrades — just like they use to do!).

    For all of the other Mac models, I don’t think a longer update cycle is a problem. An iMac or MacBook lasts 5 years or more. If Apple would update the specs every two years doesn’t seem like a problem to me.

    It’s the specs of the phones, watches & iPads that should be churning on an annual cycle.

      1. Pro users use Macs HARD. Requirements change and we upgrade hardware for dozens of reasons.

        As it is, we only get to upgrade keyboards, mice and externally plugged in devices. Give me a MacMini sized set of stackable units so I can pick what I need when I need it for extra functionality.

  3. Apple should get busy on Mac Hardware engineering- not styling- engineering or license the OS to a trusted partner who can build something decent.

    The day I can buy a user expandable tower with industry standard cards and memory, I will order/buy it. I have a real Mac Pro tower that is in need of replacement.

  4. MDN, I’m not impressed with Cook’s incessant cheerleading. Actions matter. Either he doesn’t get it or he doesn’t care. Both are grounds to remove him. Apple continues to ignore the Mac at its own peril. There is much more at stake than quarterly Mac sales. When a company can’t maintain its heritage flagship products, it loses trust.

  5. Just when Apple has everyone’s attention ..even enterprise…they decide to ignore the Mac… It is frustrating to witness.

    When they dumbed down the Mini to the point where the previous model was a better buy..I thought that was an anomaly… It doesn’t look like it was, unfortunately.

    1. I was lucky enough to get one of those last 4-core Mac minis. I use it of a server in my house… Maybe they are building an Apple TV Server running iOS… Who knows.. But the current Mac product line has me dumbfounded !!!

  6. I’m not even going to try to guess why Apple is willing to play second-fiddle to every other tech company on the planet when they can afford to do much better in terms of product upgrades. I’m not saying they absolutely have to but how much could it really cost a company sitting on $200 billion in cash to at least match or exceed competitor products. I think Apple is just being lazy. I don’t know what all of their R&D money is producing for end users.

    Maybe it has to do with quantities where Apple can’t get enough cutting-edge components or something. Only Apple will ever know why they do the things the way they do. I’d like at least an explanation as a shareholder but I know I’ll never get one. I can understand iMacs not being the most powerful desktops but why Apple can’t build the supreme Mac Pro to absolutely destroy the competition is something I can’t fathom at all. How hard could it be for Apple to use the latest technology if smaller and less wealthier companies can manage it?

  7. Erm, if Apple does not offer significant upgrades, then people like me simply use the old kit happily enough – and Apple loses from the refresh and cashflow.

    My 13 inch MBP is more than 4 years old, and just keeps running.

    I’m just about to spring for a new iPad tho’, as the Pro and Pencil together make a must-have package.

    1. The only issue with going all-SSD is the cost. If you want to bring hundreds of gigabytes or even terabytes of videos, music and photos, you’ll probably need a hard drive. Hard drives might be slow, but they’re great for mass storage because they have a much lower price-per-gigabyte. My ideal MacBook Pro would have a 512 gigabyte Solid State Drive, a 2 TB hard drive, upgradeable RAM, and an Ethernet port.

  8. There is no excuse for the Mac Pro being so old, but I do think the reason for MacBooks being so old is (hopefully) the first major design change we have seen in several years. They mentioned the MacRumors’ Buyer’s Guide… but they should also check out the MacBook Pro rumor page and see the conceptual work of what rumors are saying could potentially be the next MacBook. If those are true, then Apple did us a favor by not updating for a while, because anyone who has a computer that’s “good enough” for now is going to wait for these new models, and only people who really actually need a new machine are going to get one of the older ones that are for sale. I just wish Apple were more transparent about the whole thing. They should have announced it early like they did with the Mac Pro years ago when it was last updated.

    1. I don’t think it’s OK for Apple to just strive to be “good enough”. It’s also definitely not okay for Apple to charge the prices it does for outdated hardware. If Apple is too cheap to update the MacBook chassis, then they can get busy improving internals, offering better colors, or dropping prices. Some of us would be elated if they just dusted off the old 17″ MacBook Pro chassis and installed current Core i7 chips and one or two swappable 2TB SSDs in it.

      Most every reputable manufacturer on the planet is transparent with customers and has a steady update cycle. Competitors also seem capable of offering a full product range that suits the many different needs of their users. There is no excuse why Apple can no longer deliver newer better Macs.

    1. I’d say an iOS Mac is a given this fall. Given Tim’s operations expertise, it must irk him to no end to be at the mercy of Intel and other chip manufacturers. There is the potential with an A10, more cores and more ram that the new iOS laptop will be fast.

      However, that doesn’t do much to mitigate Apples greed and disdain for its Mac customers. All MDN did was highlight Tim Cook’s hypocrisy.

  9. A new Mac every 7 years is fine with me. A new phone every two years is OK, too. See the pattern?

    An iPad today is good for a lifetime. Well, almost.

    So if costs go down why not the prices, Apple?????

    My bet for the non-upgrade is the next Macs may be with a non-Intel chip inside. That would be way cool, especially if it is still able to run Windows, still.

  10. Tim Cook, folks. You are getting just what you want – a once great company declining with everything they do now. Happy with that outcome? The mass of lemmings here will say “you bet” and “he’s wonderful” but that’s what lemmings do. In the meantime serious people find themselves in disbelief of what is happening. Sad.

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