Apple preps massive Mac overhaul

“Fans of Apple’s Mac personal computers are about to see a very long overdue refresh, according to a Bloomberg report that cites ‘people familiar with the matter,'” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool. “The report claims that the company’s iMac desktops, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro lines will all be improved. These new Macs are expected to see the light of day ‘as soon as late 2016.'”

“All told, Apple’s lack of action on the Mac side of things seems to have had a real impact on the performance of the company’s Mac business — it’s seen double-digit unit shipment declines in two of the last three quarters,” Eassa writes. “To be clear, Apple’s Mac business isn’t small, even relative to Apple’s gargantuan revenue base. In the company’s fiscal 2015, it brought in more than $25 billion in revenue — good for more than 10% of Apple’s roughly $234 billion in revenue that year. ”

“The good news is that if Apple can roll out a bunch of new Mac products early on in the current fiscal year, the company will be setting itself up for growth in both unit shipments and average selling price,” Eassa writes. “Although Apple has let many of its Macs go stale, it seems that what the company has planned is both significant and, frankly, exciting. It’s not clear why it’s taken so long for Apple to finally put together a comprehensive refresh of some of its most important product lines, but investors should hope that this phenomenon doesn’t repeat.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Something(s) obviously happened behind-the-scenes to put Apple into the position of having longtime users publicly lamenting the staleness of their Mac lineup. The good news is that the wait is nearly over and it sounds like it will have been worth it for a majority of Mac users!

As we wrote way back in April:

Patience, padawans. Always in motion, the future is. Much longer now, it will not be.

Apple hardware pipeline includes new iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air models and 5K monitor – August 29, 2016


  1. Apple is a company that not only tries to sell the best products ever, they also try to educate their customer, like when they removed the floppy drive, or the APB, or the CD-ROM, or like when they skipped the Bluray in favor of medialess content.
    I really think that apple is trying now to educate us all about the no need to update every year. I am using a mac mini from 4 or 5 year ago an still very capable of editing HD video and it is also able to watch the videos I take with my 4K cam (no sure is can edit 4k video yet).
    My point is that the regular consumers gets amazed with a little increase in speed and apple wants you to wait for a real increase (at least in the Mac arena).

    1. For many, many computer users, the machines have gotten so powerful that using the same equipment for several years should be viewed as a positive. On the other hand, there are many professionals and/or power users for which every incremental improvement in performance is valuable. I know that Intel has been behind in CPU rollouts, but GPU and other components have seen improvements over the past couple of years that have been largely ignored by Apple. I’ve been a major purchaser of Apple computers since 1985, and the pace of Mac improvement has never been slower than this past almost three-year span. Lucky for me my Macs are still doing the job I need, so I’m not hurting. But I sure understand the frustration that many Mac users have experienced recently. And I hope I never see Apple again sit on the Mac product line like this period.

    2. I agree with your premiss, but not with your example. Apple has not released new hardware because something bit in GPU is about to take place. Metal, eGPU support in Sierra, all point to some very new technology that will make the Mac viable not only for work, but also for Gaming.

  2. The delay may be for a Mac-wide transition.

    For what? Perhaps a secure enclave. Perhaps a new non-aluminum design (liquidmetal?). Perhaps some addition yet to be conceived by the masses, like multiple cameras for a VR experience, or a display tech, or the ability to do something wild like remotely receive electricity over the air.

    Whatever it is, you can bet there’s an “is” there. They didn’t actually forget about the Mac.

    By the way, Apple has a massive cash horde to insulate them so they can do things like the above. A few quarters of lackluster sales are no big deal if you’re playing the long game.

      1. For many of us the killed the hard drive a long time ago. I’ve had my current SSD MacBook Air for five years. I had another SSD MacBook Air for the three years prior to that. So 8 years with no hard drive.

  3. There is no excuse for the Mac Pro “trashcan” closed design.

    And, it is inexcusable that a company with Apple’s resources allows multiple products lines become stale to the point of being rotten, even if “something big” is in the works.

    Apple, we have work to do, we need equipment, and we don’t want to buy stale computers at “fresh” prices!

  4. The good news is that if Apple can roll out a bunch of new Mac products early on in the current fiscal year…

    This is actually the tail END of Apple’s current fiscal year. So huh? (Q1 = October – December). This is the second article I’ve read in two days where the author didn’t bother to know Apple’s fiscal year schedule.

        1. Listen you insufferable twerp. It will be a cold day in hell when you are in ANY position to offer up meaningful advice to me. Your mindless claptrap isnt of high enough quality to even help out your fellow drooling morons in the asylum.

    1. Way to many authors these days don’t check simple facts like you point out.

      It is no different than those that claim that since Intel announced the Kaby Lake processors a few days ago that Apple MUST be waiting on them and will ship a full Mac lineup refresh before the end of this calendar year!

      Never mind that the versions of Kaby Lake announced are only good for the 12″ MacBook or *maybe* the 11″ MacBook Air. Never mind that the announcement said that even this chips won’t be in full production for another month or two. Never mind the Kaby Lake variants that will go into the rMBP, the iMac, the 13″ Air, and all the rest except the Mac Pro is supposed to ship in volume during the first half (some first calendar quarter some second calendar quarter) of 2017. Never mind the fact that the -E and Xeon variants of Skylake likely won’t ship until the second calendar quarter of 2017 for use in the Mac Pro.

      Damn the simple facts and let’s loudly proclaim that Apple skipped Skylake because Kaby Lake has been announced and is “just around the corner”.

      1. And the fact that Intel are WAY off their intended CPU release schedules doesn’t help. There are points where it is well worth berating Apple, as I have. But Moore’s Law is dead (for now) and Apple does, to some extent, suffer from that fact.

    2. Derek, the article says early in apple’s fiscal year and refers specifically to late 2016. which would be apple’s first quarter. But in general you are correct, most people do not understand that Apple’s fiscal year begins in the holiday quarter.

          1. In full: “The good news is that if Apple can roll out a bunch of new Mac products early on in the current fiscal year, the company…” I think what Derek is saying that “early on in the current fiscal year” is a period of time that ended several months ago, so “if Apple can” points to a verb tense problem. Let’s just fix it for the author: “The good news is that if Apple can roll out a bunch of new Mac products early on in the next fiscal year, the company…” Or, “The good news is that if Apple can roll out a bunch of new Mac products late in the current calendar year, the company…”

            1. Or perhaps the copy should have read, “in the COMING fiscal year”, rather than “in the current fiscal year”. In any case, I managed to overlook the actual words and understood the intent.

      1. no real mac user wants to go windows

        but DavGreg is saying he might be FORCED.

        having GPUs even in the Cylinder MacPro that are one third the speed of a Windows box (not to mention slower subsystems etc) and not upgradable is NOT a sustainable option for certain kinds of work.

        look at games, see how they get ever more complex with 3D, virtual reality etc, the hardware to MAKE those things have to keep up or in a competitive world you are dead.
        (I have two large Cintiq pen monitors, one 27 inches and other big monitors and I need powerful GPUs).

        (tests show a 2010 tower Mac Pro with slower subsystem but upgraded PC video card having 190 fps vs 70+ fps for a current cylinder . PCs and Hackintosh with faster subsystems would even be faster. This is absurd and not sustainable for pros)

        A Mac high end graphics house for example can’t survive for long if their competitors have machines (PCs) which are way faster and can be upgraded to specific needs (GPUs are different for different needs).

        I dislike Windows, am all mac now , but I’m hoping for a reasonable Mac TOWER ( I think the cylinder is so unique it’s making it very hard for Apple to keep up so STANDARD parts for pro machine might be sensible so Apple and users can upgrade them easier)

        on other notes about Mac Pros :

        1) Pro users might be a MINORITY but not providing for them is bizarre as Apple today under Cook is supposed to be very concerned about minorities, so are Minorities who are CUSTOMERS less important than outsiders?

        2) Also not helping pro users might be detrimental to the Mac line in general for high end is where a lot of research goes into, that’s why car companies often have sports or racing divisions as TECH TRICKLES DOWN .

        3) Also Pro users are very influential disproportionate to their numbers as they write and comment the most on blogs, forums, conferences (like games, tech, media conferences) and are the go to ‘experts’ for reporters — imagine if all these users are WINDOWS users….
        I remember many years ago Apple even GAVE macs to some of these high end influential people…

        4) Finally the Mac Pro is MADE IN USA. think about the BAD publicity for Tim Cooks vow to bring some manufacturing back to USA if it flounders… Also USA tech will be laughing stock for Asian contract manufacturers. That’s bad all round for Apple P.R and USA manufacturing sector. I remember in a recent TV show Tim Cook when asked about USA manufacturing did NOT mention the Mac Pro as he probably realizes how outdated it is and an embarrassment, that is too bad….

        Here’s hoping Apple will dazzle us with good sensible Pro upgrades.

  5. It doesn’t matter how good this refresh is, it’s pointless if the next refresh cycle is in four years.

    We need continuous, ongoing, best in class hardware and we need to stay ahead of the curve.

    I can understand (just) baking in the memory and ssd’s but GPUs need to be user upgradeable.

  6. I don’t get the “stale” comment. Apple typically launches state of the art – ahead of the curve devices – which have LONG shelf life’s. For instance, I have a late 2007 24″ iMac. Last year was the first time it started to show it’s age and earlier this year, I swapped out the tired disk drive for a 500GB Flash drive and the damn thing is better than the brand new Dell work forces me to use. I have two 27″ late 2012 iMacs and one early 2013 21″ iMac and see no reason why I would want to “upgrade.” They all run beautifully and show no signs of slowing down. Yes, a new iMac might give me some new feature that I might want, but does it mean my “old” machines are “stale”? Hell no. I’m sure everyone’s experience is different but if my boss said to me today you can use your personal 2007 24″ iMac or the brand new Dell I just gave you, I’d hand him back the Dell..happily. Nothing stale here.

    1. I am still using an iMac from 2008 everyday. Original drive. There’s a MacMini from 2005 still used in my office as well for e-mail. These machines last a long time and work.

  7. “The good news is that the wait is nearly over and it sounds like it will have been worth it for a majority of Mac users!”

    And you have proof of this?

    Yes, we ALL want the Mac line refreshed as soon as practical. There’s no reason why the entire Mac line (even the Mac Pro) was not refreshed earlier this year. The chips from Intel were available. New standards had been out and ratified for some time allowing for updated technologies in the systems.

    Yes, Apple will update at least some of its Mac lineup in the next six months. Hopefully, they will significantly update the entire lineup within that time frame. However, since some of the systems are damn near three years old (and some non Mac, but Mac related, hardware is older than that), I’m taking the “I’ll believe it when I see it.” approach.

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