Apple CEO Cook: Macs ‘do more’ than iPads

“Apple hasn’t updated some of its Macs in three years, and this has got Apple’s professional users worried – but Apple CEO, Tom Cook, took a few moments to promise bread and circuses during last night’s shareholder’s meeting,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “‘You will see us do more in the pro area,’ Cook promised. ‘The pro area is very important to us. The creative area is very important to us in particular.'”

“The Apple leader’s statements may be understood as a cool glass of water in the desert for many creative pros,” Evans writes. “There is little doubt, at least when it comes to Apple desktops, that the Mac Pro market has been poorly served.”

“In further statements, Cook suggested some philosophical change within company management,” Evans writes. “When asked if Apple has plans to merge Macs and iPads in some way, he said: ‘Expect us to do more and more where people will view it as a laptop replacement, but not a Mac replacement – the Mac does so much more… To merge these worlds, you would lose the simplicity of one, and the power of the other… Don’t think something we’ve done or something that we’re doing that isn’t visible yet is a signal that our priorities are elsewhere.’

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: All eyes on WWDC 2017.

30 Comments

  1. It may well be damage control, effort to placate people (restless board members, shareholders, pro users…).

    Still, it may be a good sign. So far, we haven’t really been hearing much in the form of Apple acknowledging the noise from the original core of their user base on the issue of stale Mac line(s). This is the first time Cook is more-or-less explicitly talking about it.

    I’m not too hopeful for WWDC, but later in the year, I feel we’ll see some positive movement. I am quite reluctant to expect anything that would generate floods of emotions and widespread acclaim (after all, Jobs has been dead for over five years now), but it should be something that would allow Mossberg to again sing high praises…

    1. “Don’t think something we’ve done or something that we’re doing that isn’t visible yet is a signal that our priorities are elsewhere.” – Tim Cook

      It’s not what you haven’t done so much as what you have done, what is visible, that speaks to seemingly scatterbrained priorities.

      Cars and Watches and cultural wars,

      Coffee Table Books,
      Billions on Headphones,
      and reality TV? What for?

      monitors and airports and macPros NO MORE!
      macMini and iMac and MacBooks a snore.
      smaller and thinner and dongles galore,

      the leadership and values of a media whore?

      The pipeline needs plumbers.

    2. Tim is not just some guy opening about something. He’s the CEO speaking in that official capacity at the shareholders meeting. He can’t make false statements without consequences. Of course, there is a lot of room for interpretation in his words. He was not specific about what will happen. His plans and our expectations may not agree.

    1. If they are working on something big for the Mac, things like that take a while. Given that Apple doesn’t publish roadmaps, we have no way to know. People complained bitterly that the Mac Pro hadn’t had much of an update since the switch from PPC to Intel chips, and then a completely redesigned Mac Pro showed up. Now it’s in need an update. We don’t know they aren’t doing exactly that, maybe even for the entire Mac line-up. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

      1. C’mon, be reasonable What could Apple possibly be doing for desktops that would take years to do? New motherboards (Z270) for Windows PCs come out and within days people are building awesome systems around them. Everything is ready to pick and choose, DRAM chips, CPUs, GPUs, NVME disks, AIO water coolers, any RGB crap you can stick in a custom case. What the heck is Apple waiting on? Magic dust? You just know they’re going to put some year-old mobile GPUs in the iMacs no matter how long they wait.

  2. Promises! Promises!

    So far, Apple can keep their Macs and I will keep my money. Apple lost an iMac sale last year because the current models just were not worth the money to me. They also lost a replacement router sale since the old Airport Extreme was not worth the money.

    Time will tell. But, for now I will limp along with my SSD enhanced 2011 iMac and the FREE router from my ISP. And I will keep my money.

  3. When I can buy a Mac desktop that allows me to use industry standard Graphics Cards and add memory without some special tool or a 30 minute video teardown, I might begin to think he is serious.

    The Modular concept HP is using with the Elite Slice allows for stackable modules connected by USB C (no cables). Need an CD/DVD drive, or a conferencing module, buy it and connect it to the stack. Want wireless charging? Buy a snap on charging cover. The same could work for those wanting a discrete GPU. Why did Apple not do this for the Mac mini instead of sealing it up?

    Mr Cook, I want a Mac that lasts years- not 2. Bring back the cheese grater Mac Pro updated to current spec. You might also want to offer a version with Quad Core i7 CPUs- some of us need a tower, but not a Xeon Class CPU.

    1. “some of us need a tower”

      If all of the whining “us” agreed on what “us” wanted, “us” might achieve a mass large enough to justify diverting precious resources or producing a different Mac. But “us” can’t do that.

      Excepting FY2016 annual Mac unit sales have increased every year since 2005. This while, at the same time, Windows unit sales were declining. Go ahead, threaten to switch to Windows. Its a hollow threat from a very small demographic.

  4. The pro area is very important to us. So important, that we merged OS X developement to our important iOS department.
    And sorry for the Pro hardware trouble of many users, we cannot fix definitely. And yes, nearly 4 years old Mac Pro Hardware, we offer starting at 3000…

  5. Please Tim, make sure the breif for the new Mac Pro is “make it ugly as sin, so no one within Apple has any illusions about what it is”.

    It’s designed to sit in an equipment rack or under a desk. It’s designed to be powerful and expandable. It’s designed to use large and growing amounts of local storage.

    It should be and look like a beast. It can be beautifully designed, without being aesthetically pleasing in any traditionally Apple sense of the word. The old x-serve was a good model. It’s beauty comes from it’s dogged form-follows-function.

    1. The Cheesegrater Mac Pro was a brilliant example of form follows function. Simply the greatest workstation hardware design ever.
      I think Jon Rubinstein was in charge of Mac hardware engineering for that project. Call him up and see if he wants to do it again.

      Other than the dual bays the design is still perfect.
      Build it and I will buy one on day one.

      1. And the Intel version solved even the limited bays issue. They converted all of the space consumed by the G5’s ducting and fans, into four super easy to use slide-in drive bays.

        Beautiful and functional.

        Just go back to that approach, and give us modern specs. And then don’t change the chassis again any time in the next 20 years.

      2. The cheese grater was good design for its time, but improvements are definitely possible, especially given the new technologies available today. It could be slimmed somewhat.

        In addition:

        1. round the sharp edges on the aluminum chassis. The handles cut into your hand and chafe wires pulled against the machine.
        2. The dual optical drives should be configured to have the option for SSD drives installed in them from the factory
        3. The 4 hard drive bays should be accessible without needing to remove the side panel.
        4. front ports need to be better marked, and located further away from the power button
        5. better cooling for newest GPUs (liquid cooling?)
        6. better shielding for audio cards
        7. top spec workstation needs to support more than 12 cores and/or more than 4 GHz speeds (again, a better cooling scheme is needed!) Today the Mac Pro is easily destroyed by current workstation PCs in real computing power, just look at any benchmark.
        8. obviously a new Mac Pro workstation would have to support USB-C and Thunderbolt 3, but I contend it should also have HDMI 2.0, analog audio input & output minijacks, Toslink, and at least dual ethernet ports as before. The option of a card to add legacy stuff like Firewire, USB 3.0, TB2, or a TV tuner is probably an aftermarket chore, but expansion slots need to exist.
        9. RAM needs to be priced reasonably. Some users need it, some don’t. Let the user decide at any point in time.
        10. A Mac Pro deserves to have a matching 4-5K display, full size wired keyboard, etc.

        I also contend that Apple is missing the boat in not offering a slim server of some kind. We all know the cylinder is the dumbest shape for rack mounting at studios or field work. There is plenty of need for at least 3 different pro-level workstation form factors. The cylinder could be updated to be the mid-level consumer desktop Mac with i7 chips, an all new Mini family could offer some server & rack mountable options, and the cheese grater replacement needs to get back into competitive shape with both new hardware and software.

        1. “The cheese grater was good design for its time, but improvements are definitely possible, especially given the new technologies available today. It could be slimmed somewhat.”

          I respectfully disagree. Apple should make it a little larger, and waste a little space inside. Just because. Because it doesn’t matter. Not one bit. This form-factor was bulletproof. Bring it back and don’t change it one bit. Hand the project over to a couple of geeks inside Apple and tell them “go get the coolest bleeding-edge components from our suppliers (the volumes are so low they’ll probably get all the chips for free), and do whatever you like to jam them into this box here. Use duct tape if you need. Update it twice a year just because we can.”

          1. Cook updates no products more than once every 2 years. Airports and displays, never. IPods perhaps once a decade. This is the new rotten apple we are talking about. Cook just can’t afford to be a performance leader you see.

        2. I did not mean to that detail- obviously technology has changed- but a smaller version would be amazing. Nobody else has ever built a tower as modular and as easy to maintain and upgrade.

          You can order a CPU upgrade this day for those units and swap out the CPU Tray in about a minute with no tools. Try that with any other Workstation ever made or the glued shut stuff Tim Cook seems happy to ship these days.

          If you have one of these units you can add USB 3 for about $20-30 the last time I looked. They do hold SSDs- I have 2 installed in the optical bay of mine.

          Best of all, there is no spaghetti bowl of cables like the Trashcan.

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