Apple’s Mac division has ‘lost clout’ with Jony Ive and Apple design team

“Apple’s Mac team has ‘lost clout’ with the company’s industrial design group and software team, claims a new report, arguing that Cupertino has ‘alienated Mac loyalists,'” Luke Dormehl reports for Cult of Mac. “The picture painted by the article is of a division with a lack of clear direction from senior management, departures of key employees, and technical challenges — all conspiring to make the Mac one of Apple’s forgotten divisions.”

“The Bloomberg article notes that ever since last year’s reshuffle of Apple’s design team, meetings between the Mac team and the industrial design team have become less frequent,” Dormehl reports. “A similar thing happened with a reorganization of the software engineering department, which no longer separates macOS and iOS — and therefore invests most of its engineers’ time on the more profitable iOS.”

“As for the internal turmoil in the division, the article observes that more than a dozen engineers and managers working on the Mac have left over the past 18 months, with at least a sizable percentage put off by their lack of clarity about the ‘future of Mac hardware,'” Dormehl reports. “One possible problem is the lack of a singular vision driving the division. Instead of having one concept to work on, increasingly engineers are — in the words of one source — ‘asked to develop multiple options in hopes that one of them will be shippable.’ The result is that resources become more thinly spread than ever, while products ship later.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s wishing Cupertino gets a clue in their Christmas stocking this year.

SEE ALSO:
Marco Arment: Apple’s Mac Pro is ‘very likely dead’ – December 20, 2016
How Tim Cook’s Apple alienated Mac loyalists – December 20, 2016
Apple’s not very good, really quite poor 2016 – December 19, 2016
Apple’s software has been anything but ‘magical’ lately – December 19, 2016
Lazy Apple. It’s not hard to imagine Steve Jobs asking, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ – December 9, 2016
Apple may have finally gotten too big for its unusual corporate structure – November 28, 2016
Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Apple’s disgracefully outdated, utterly mismanaged Mac lineup is killing sales – October 13, 2016
Apple takes its eye off the ball: Why users are complaining about Apple’s software – February 9, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015

56 Comments

  1. Don’t know about you but I feel like smacking some of the higher ups & design-precious at Apple upside the head. Hopefully waking them up. Probably should do it in any case for them letting things get this out of hand, even if not true.

    1. I think the fact that Tim was responding to an employee question about the “future of the Mac” speaks volumes. If an employee asks the question, that means even internally there are serious doubts. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next iMac only gets modest spec bump and is even less upgradable. And yeah the Mac Pro is likely dead IMO.

      1. When (hopefully) a new Mac Pro or similar get released, anyone saying “told you so” or “good things come to wait” or the patronizing “patience, padawan” that MDN likes to spew, can get stuffed.

        Patience is fine if you’re meditating and improving yourself. It is not applicable when your work tools fall behind so far that your competitors can produce stuff twice as fast as you can.

        Waiting over 3 years for a new Pro (and even longer for those waiting for a decent tower), is not “rewarding patience”, it’s blatant abuse of trust. Trust is earned, and Apple has squandered literally decades of it by keeping the pro market hanging for this long.

          1. Just stop, Kingmel. You have nothing to contribute to this conversation except for “stuff you”? Really? No wonder you’rr viewed so negatively on here.

      2. AustinX – Exactly!

        When employees are questioning the future of the Mac you KNOW that Apple’s nice public comments about the Mac are baloney.

        I am afraid the only reason Tim Cook wrote about supporting the Mac was because he knew the Bloomberg piece was about to be published. (Bloomberg asked for comment ahead of publication). He did not want the Mac abandoned before users had switched to iPads.

        Unfortunately, even when Apple does introduce new Macs it appears that they didn’t have their heart in it. Instead they look like greedy attempts to keep customers spending money while Apple waits for the world to switch to the iPad.

        Some examples:

        Leaving the MacBook Air with 8gb of ram and a low resolution screen. This is the most popular Mac and they totally neglect it.

        Choosing low end graphic cards for most of their offerings. Limiting application performance. Then Apple brags that the iPad Pro has better graphics performance. Of course, and we know the reason why!

        Outrageous prices for SSD (Flash Storage). SSD’s totally revolutionize the computing experience. If Apple wanted people to have a GREAT experience with the Mac they would get the prices down near Amazon prices. Instead they jack up price on the Mac in comparison to the iPad.

        Machines that cannot be upgraded – soldered ram and disk drives. This combined with outrageous ssd prices has seriously damaged Mac sales. Not everyone has $2,400 laying around. A significant percentage of Mac users initially purchased a Mac and then over time upgraded the ram and storage as they had cash. This is no longer possible. Unfortunately, for Apple these users did not switch to iPads.

        1. Problem is, a large percentage of the Mac users that Tim wants to switch to the iPad, can’t.

          They can’t because they need a bigger screen, access to a file system and pro apps.

          My big worry is Adobe. If Apple defocus on the desktop, and expect us all to use an underpowered laptop connect to a monitor, we’re gonna switch to Windows.

          If enough of us do that, then it’s only a matter of time before they dump the mac platform.

          Whether Tim likes it or not, nobody is going to switch from Mac to iPad, whilst there’s a perfectly serviceable, upgradeable and flexible platform to switch to.

          Yes it runs Windows and Windows is still the buggy mess it always was, but he is leaving us with no alternative.

    2. Apple is on a suicide mission. …
      Without seriouse Macs and MacPros…. the brand’s and platform’s credibilty will go up in smoke faster than most can imagine.

      something is seriously wrong at Apple…. wrong and massivly shortsighted.

      Add on top the dismal AI engine ….even at the most basic of levels, spellcheck.

      so where is Apple headed? ………..given their direction and pace………. six feet under …..

      very sad and disturbing !

      yup ..im 100% with you.. ..they need a massive smacking……

      Boombard Apple with your concerns.. everyone…. . DO IT.

    3. We’ve seen this before: John Sculley. This is exactly what Sculley did, and Apple was almost bankrupt after 8 years of his ruinous rule.

      Steve Jobs said it best in his bio about Tim Cook: “BUT… he’s not a product guy.”

      Apple died with Steve Jobs. I still use their products, but as time passes, things are eclipsing them, like the MS Studio PC.

  2. “…“As for the internal turmoil in the division, the article observes that more than a dozen engineers and managers working on the Mac have left over the past 18 months, with at least a sizable percentage put off by their lack of clarity about the ‘future of Mac hardware,’” Dormehl reports…”

    It shows.

  3. This is sad. I like the integration of the Mac with iOS, but if they continue the neglect of the platform my next desktops will have to be Windows. But that won’t be for years so there’s time to right the ship.

  4. “…One possible problem is the lack of a singular vision driving the division. Instead of having one concept to work on, increasingly engineers are — in the words of one source — “asked to develop multiple options in hopes that one of them will be shippable.” The result is that resources become more thinly spread than ever, while products ship later…”

    This is the Samsung methodology… aka “Keep tossing shit out there and see what attracts flies.”

  5. Fscking stupid. Finally…finally get to the point where people take the Mac seriously….after so much effort..and they just let it go. Mac users are the ones who kept the company alive. Mac users are the ones who sold the platform to their friends/teachers/relatives. Mac users are the reason Apple sold iPhones. Don’t diss the Mac user. We will diss you back.

    1. iPhone users are what keep apple alive. Apple was tiny until they released that.

      They are a phone/contentdigestiondevice company now.

      everyone could stop buy macs right now, it would not hurt apple in the slightest.

      especially since you can run Swift on Windows now… all you need to keep pumping out pointless apps forever…

      1. No, actually, it was the iPod that blew them up, the iPhone rode the momentum from that, and if you think all you need to be a developer is Swift, you clearly aren’t one.

      2. Mac users are the ones who >> KEPT << the company alive.

        There was a time us old timers remember when where was no iPod and no iPhone, No IOS. It was Apple Computer. Mac users kept the company alive long enough to invent all that other insanely great stuff.

  6. No one has lost more clout with Mac consumers than Jony Ive and his disciples. The trendy light-grey-on-dark-grey color scheme has made vast wastelands of text illegible, and his emphasis on form over function is killing those of us who actually use these things. I really wish he would just go away and let Mac be Mac.

  7. Unlike when Steve Jobs was alive, it seems that Apple and Cook can only do one task at a time when it comes to their hardware and software. They seem to have a one track and stay with the sure bets instead of having imagination about the future of computing.

    I also think that Ives has gotten a big head and has somehow convinced cook and the others that the Mac may not be as important to Apple as it once was.

    1. You cannot compare their situations. Steve Jobs did not have to manage an Apple of this size, and he relied on Tim to deal with a lot of things so he wouldn’t have to.

      The problem is that the organizational structure was set up to manage a relatively small enterprise with only a few products. Management needs to re-think that structure.

      They also need to kick Johnny Ive in the balls and remind him that great design is about a product meeting users needs.

  8. Apple doesn’t get any more of my money. Just picked up the Surface 4, i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, bundled with keyboard, pen, 1 year sub. office 365, skype, free AV, all for a little over 1400. Bye bye Apple as far as pro products go, since there are no more.

        1. That “funny little candy strip” is quite a nice feature and nicely done too. Yesterday, I set up a friend’s new MBP, trying out the strip for the 1st time. That strip has tremendous upside, especially as 3rd party developers modify their apps to support it. And surprisingly, I like the keyboard feel…didn’t think I would. My only gripe, and a significant one, is the lack of upgradability to the SSD and RAM. To me those 2 are contentious concerns I have.

          1. Not if you are using an external display, then the touch bar is literally useless. This has been billed as a pro machine, and an awful lot of professional work will negate the touch bar altogether. I’d imagine it will show up in other form factors, but I can’t see it having much longevity long-term, it’s a stop-gap.

        2. once again you go too far, trondude.

          The MBP is a good laptop. The problem is, it’s not great, and it’s not worthy of the Pro name.

          This is my biggest gripe. Macs no longer stand out ahead of the competition. The hardware forces the user into limitations and tradeoffs and MacOS has been dumbed down since Snow Leopard to force the flaky iCloud onto users. The PRO name slapped on Apple products no longer means anything.

          The Mac community has waited a long time for a solid product updates and Apple no longer delivers on that promise. All evidence shows the current Apple leadership has no clue how foundational the Mac is to the health of the Apple ecosystem. Cook and Ive have done immeasurable damage to the Mac brand by focusing on high-margin compromised fashion machines instead of high-margin performance machines that just work.

          Let’s hope it’s not to late for their successors to reinvigorate the Mac lineup with a well-designed array of Macs from inexpensive to cutting edge workstation — both consumer and PRO.

          Hints to Ive and his remaining minions who are authorized to work on Macs:

          – if you force an engineer to cut battery capacity so you can shave another millimeter off the thickness of your gadget, IT AIN’T A PRO PRODUCT.
          – if you change the screen size but make no fundamental OS capability enhancements to meet the needs of users who rely on interconnectivity and a real file system — IT AIN’T A PRO PRODUCT.
          – if users have no way to increase RAM, replace or add internal hard drives, upgrade to the latest GPUs, etc as their needs change and in the huge gaps between Apple’s substantial updates — IT AIN’T A PRO PRODUCT.
          – If your desktop machine is so thin that the CPU is speed throttled because of thermal limitations — IT AIN’T A PRO PRODUCT.
          – if your new gadget forces the buyer to invest in multiple adapters, breakout boxes, external card readers, cables, and so forth in order to use the industry-standard peripherals that he and his clients already use everyday — IT AIN’T A PRO PRODUCT.

          – if Apple’s software or hardware adds new constraints less flexible or intuitive than what Mac owers used previously, or if legacy Mac users are told to accept the incremental degradation/stagnation of GUI, file system, and hardware flexibility — IT AIN’T A PRO PRODUCT.

          The reason that AAPL continues to stagnate is because investors correctly see that Apple is being turned into a one-trick pony. iPhone-iOS-iCloud-subscriptions is the one sphere Cook cares about. Focusing exclusively on that led to impressive short term gains, but it foretells Apple’s decline in the long term. If Apple can’t make competitive Macs, Airports, Displays, pro level software, etc, then complacency has already set in.

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