Why can’t Apple keep their products up-to-date?

“The new Mac Pro won’t be coming until 2019. The next Mac mini doesn’t even have a public timeline. The MacBook Air refresh is still just a rumor. Add to that AirPort routers, iPod touch, and iPad mini, which haven’t seen updates in just about as long, and it makes many on the outside wonder just what exactly one of the world’s most popular and richest companies is doing with its product lines and resources,” Rene Ritchie reports for iMore. “So what’s going on?”

“If Apple was an airport, over the last couple of years, it has grown from a single runway with a few planes flying to a few, closely clustered cities, to having multiple runaways trying to handle an ever-increasing load of flights across the country and around the world,” Ritchie reports. “And there just aren’t enough runways to handle all the flights.”

“It’s strange to think about one of the richest companies in the world not having enough resources, but money doesn’t solve all problems,” Ritchie reports. “Apple could — and I’d argue should — keep all products it currently sells up-to-date with the latest specs. That includes Mac mini and MacBook Air, obviously. But I don’t have to run those projects. I don’t have to decide between the integration work needed to spin up Kaby Lake on the Mac mini requiring me to pull engineers off iMac Pro and blowing the end-of-2017 shipping window.”

“We know we have to do something but other things just keep coming up, delaying us, compounding the delays, making it easier if every more frustrating to keep compounding those delays. Each one may be reasonable in isolation, and each decision logical when its made, but over time the results are untenable,” Ritchie reports. “But it’s a problem Apple has to solve. It’s a faith with its customers that it can’t break — especially for devices like the 2013 Mac Pro where Apple removed the ability to upgrade them on our own and, hence, took on that responsibility itself.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: By SteveJack

A veritable routine of apologist gymnastics peppered with airport metaphors cannot obscure the fact that Apple Inc. is mismanaged from the very top.

It does not take a world class manager to realize that if you neglect the Mac Pro, you royally piss off the very core of your customer base – the very ones who brung ya through the very darkest of days (i.e. bankruptcy). It doesn’t take a world class engineer to take the cheese grater Mac Pro and modernize its internals. That should have been started in 2014 when Apple realized they’d screwed the pooch with their dead-end, Jony Ive vanity project and shipped in 2015, at the latest, while they worked on a modern replacement that catered to professional Mac users’ actual needs.

Tim Cook suffers from misplaced priorities. They simply do not match what Steve Jobs’ Apple was about: Attention to detail, striving for perfection, delighting customers, hard work, “it just works,” ease-of-use, shipping on time in proper quantities, etc.

Here’s a quote from Tim Cook, from 2008. To see how far off track he’s gone in a decade, apply it to the current Mac Pro which the company he now runs — supposedly; we’d like to see him try to tell Jony what to do — last updated in 2013 and which he is planning as selling as Apple’s top-of-the-line professional desktop Mac into 2019:

You kind of want to manage it like you’re in the dairy business. If it gets past its freshness date, you have a problem.Tim Cook, November, 2008

Tim, you have a problem.

If you can’t stand the heat, or recognize where and/or when to apply the heat, get out of the kitchen and let somebody who genuinely cares about Apple’s products, services, and brand integrity take over.

To end on a positive note, I’ll quote myself from last November: “Of course, it’s all hugely complicated by the fact that the transition happened the way it did. Jobs was taken way too soon. He left Cook with the albatross of building the massive Apple Park, a huge distraction that is still ongoing. Hopefully once the core of the company is moved in there and working, strange things like neglecting the Mac Pro for years will stop happening.”

SEE ALSO:
Why is it taking Apple so long to update the Mac Pro? – April 10, 2018
Apple’s latest announcements about the modular Mac Pro really ramp up expectations – April 6, 2018
Apple needs to stop promising new products and start delivering them – April 6, 2018
Apple: No new Mac Pro until 2019 – April 5, 2018
Apple reiterates they’re working on an all-new modular, upgradeable Mac Pro and a high-end pro display – December 14, 2017
Why Apple’s promise of a new ‘modular’ Mac Pro matters so much – April 6, 2017
Apple’s cheese grater Mac Pro was flexible, expandable, and powerful – imagine that – April 6, 2017
More about Apple’s Mac Pro – April 6, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Who has taken over at Apple? – April 5, 2017
Apple’s embarrassing Mac Pro mea culpa – April 4, 2017
Who’s going to buy a Mac Pro now? – April 4, 2017
Mac Pro: Why did it take Apple so long to wake up? – April 4, 2017
Apple sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro over the last 3+ years – namely, nothing – April 4, 2017
Apple to unveil ‘iMac Pro’ later this year; rethought, modular Mac Pro and Apple pro displays in the pipeline – April 4, 2017
Apple’s apparent antipathy towards the Mac prompts calls for macOS licensing – March 27, 2017
Why Apple’s new Mac Pro might never arrive – March 10, 2017
Dare we hold out hope for the Mac Pro? – March 1, 2017
Apple CEO Cook pledges support to pro users, says ‘we don’t like politics’ at Apple’s annual shareholders meeting – February 28, 2017
Yes, I just bought a ‘new’ Mac Pro (released on December 19, 2013 and never updated) – January 4, 2017
Attention, Tim Cook! Apple isn’t firing on all cylinders and you need to fix it – January 4, 2017
No, Apple, do not simplify, get better – December 23, 2016
Rare video shows Steve Jobs warning Apple to focus less on profits and more on great products – December 23, 2016
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
Rush Limbaugh: Is Apple losing their edge? – December 9, 2016
AirPods: MIA for the holidays; delayed product damages Apple’s credibility, stokes customer frustration – 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

68 Comments

      1. Scott Forstall, that is, was a likely sacrificial victim (as Herself observed) who was tasked with completing and releasing Apple Maps by a certain impossible-to-meet deadlinefor the complex project which everyone expected to meet Google Maps standard. Having fallen short of that standard and not having met the deadline, Cook used these as the unfair and, really, irrational pretext to fire him when we know that he was kicked to the curb because he could be as nasty as Jobs but lacked the charisma and gravitas that that a founder of Apple had to keep him on staff.

        1. I believe that Cook used the Maps debacle as a convenient excuse to get rid of Forstall, who was costantly at loggerheads with Ive. Cook did not want to see “Game of Thrones” enacted on his watch.

    1. Good point: the PRODUCT ({[REDD)] products are a very good illustration of these misplaced priorities.

      Particularly since any attempted explanation — such as “a color is EASY to change” — does not fly.

      Case in point: the 2012 cheesegrater Mac Pro had to be EOL’ed from Europe because of the lack of a suitable finger guard on a cooling fan.

  1. “A veritable routine of apologist gymnastics peppered with airport metaphors cannot obscure the fact that Apple Inc. is mismanaged from the very top” …

    “Tim Cook suffers from misplaced priorities. They simply do not match what Steve Jobs’ Apple was about: Attention to detail, striving for perfection, delighting customers, hard work, “it just works,” ease-of-use, shipping on time in proper quantities, etc.”

    – WELL SAID, SteveJack!

    1. I know most of you know Botty is Russian, but, but getting rid of Cook is the right thing to do. Apple should be a company almost worth 2 trillion dollars. Why? Because to all those iPhone user should have been also desired a Mac, iPad, AirPort Extreme, sorry the watch is lame, with a lame design, so no watch sells, mainly because they would have wanted everything to work together well.

      Who is next in line to run Apple? Don’t use them. Go find Scott, even with that crazy hair thing he may just have enough fire in the belly to try new things. But, if all he can do is iPhone he can stay in the wilderness.

      1. No, they should be a company worth 4 TRILLION dollars. Why? Because I know that 4 trillion is more than 2 trillion, just like 6 trillion is more than 4…..
        No, wait, they should be a company worth 6 TRILLION dollars.

        Yes, let’s bring back “Broadway” Scott. He’s been SO in demand in the IT sector since leaving Apple! He’s been in like how many tech companies since then. None? Well, still bring him back. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be another SJW like the current leaders. I mean, Broadway OBVIOUSLY doesn’t have any SJW’s. Right?

        1. I advocated Ahrendts and Ballmer, and was ridiculed. I was on the Elon Musk bandwagon, but that crashed. Any other ideas? I don’t have a lot of pull with Apple’s BOD but I do know two of them and I could drop a name. Gimme a name, that’s all I ask, instead of sarcastic trolling, which is the opposite of constructive criticism. Everybody knows about the problem in Cupertino and is interested in seeing something done about it. Consider being part of the solution, instead of aspiring to being chief of the Harpies.

  2. Why? Because Tim Cook doesn’t care about Apple aside from the iPhone. He has ruined the innovative culture at Apple. Hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue and Cook let Aperture rot until it died. He’s did the same thing to the routers, the Mac Pro, the Mac Mini. He’s taken great, wonderful computers and simply ignored them until they are near junk.

    Tim Cook is 100% responsible for how awful Apple is today.

    1. What’s become obvious is that anyone who wants to get ahead in their career tries to latch onto a hot project…

      …which results in a constant ‘brain drain’ out of the Mac & peripherals product lines. They’ve been written off as “yesterday” and “not sexy” …

      … and most importantly, as “career dead ends”.

      Politically, they need a charismatic champion to go evangelize … and to attract the budget and staff back to the Mac product line.

      Unfortunately, this won’t be even attempted until the iPhone Cash Cow finally becomes passe in the marketplace and sales begin to crash.

      That’s when the panic will really start at Apple, and it will result in a huge fall because Apple has become so reliant on the iOS ecosystem.

      1. All points spot on and sum up the current state of Apple. This one in particular is KEY:

        “Unfortunately, this won’t be even attempted until the iPhone Cash Cow finally becomes passe in the marketplace and sales begin to crash.”

        That will be the moment of cover the board needs to pull the plug. They have noticed the buggy releases; the late product releases; the promises of new tech that have not been released passed the due date; the killing and non-support of software and the STUNNING NEGLECT OF THE pro community. So they have more than enough documented ammunition of his past piss (sorry) poor performance overall.

        As long as the gravy train continues, Cook is fine. When the iPhone profit train slows down or stops, heads will roll …

  3. you know what is funny? I just checked Apple’s website to look at a Mac Pro desktop and you know what I get? a black screen.

    2012 iMac, Safari 11.1, High Sierra 10.13.4

    Click on Apple.com Mac+Mac Pro = black screen

    With “AdBlock” on and paused, no difference. I can see the iMac Pro page just fine.

    1. rp, since I take an interest in crapcode, I’m testing out this verified situation. It occurs only with Safari. I’m also using v11.1, using macOS 10.12.6. All my various other browsers properly resolve the Mac Pro page, (https://www.apple.com/mac-pro/). I won’t list them all. The issue has nothing-at-all to do with blocking scripting or ads. It’s a browser specific problem. I have not found any Safari Preferences affecting the page. That the browser is Apple’s own is of course preposterous. It infers that Apple isn’t eating their own dog food, or testing their own dog food. However, further testing to determine exactly what’s wrong in Safari is important.

      Apple has had previous trouble coding the unusual graphics scripting used by the Mac Pro page.

      As I test further on other Macs with other implementations of macOS and Safari, if I come up within any further useful information I’ll post AND send that information along to Apple.

      IOW: Excellent point at a highly sensitive point in the history of the Mac. The black page problem is specific to Apple’s Safari browser.

      1. Because of my work, I need to be able to work with all browsers, and also Microsoft stuff. It rarely works with any government or school sytem form. That’s been true for at least 10 years.

        Safari is the least compatible browser. Although it did open the Mac Pro page with no issues.

        I think its a vanity thing with Apple. They like to feel “exclusive” or something.

        What would be so hard about fixing it? Or is the desire not there?

        1. I primarily use Safari all day and enjoy it, (except for the idiotic forced removal of the Title Bar, *grumble* x ∞). There is no perfect web browser these days. For whatever diabolical reason, NONE of them can resolve every web page. It reminds me of the Bad Old Days circa 1995 – 1997.

          I still use (and paid for) iCab. It has a little round face in the upper right corner of the interface. It’s shows a smiling green face when a web page’s HMTL has been properly coded. It shows a frowning red face when a web page’s HTML page has errors. FACT: The only time I’ve every seen iCab’s face smile is on a blank web page or a simple page I’ve debugged to perfection. IOW: Crapcode on the web is rampant.

          Therefore, it’s a war between blundering by browser developers AND the consistent human propensity to screw up coding.
          😊😡🤢

      2. √ I Found The Fault. It’s obscure:

        Go into macOS Safari 11.1 Preferences: Websites: Autoplay. Note the box to the right entitled “Allow websites below to automatically play media:”

        Scroll to “apple.com” within the box and check the value set in its popup menu to its right. If it says: “Never Auto-Play” then the Mac Pro web page will be black when you visit it. If you change that popup menu setting to either “Stop Media with Sound” or “Allow All Auto-Play” then the full complicated graphics glory of the Mac Pro page will play for you.

  4. I think Apple took all available development resources for iOS products and left the MacPro in the dirt with no staff.

    Since Apple has the funds, even if offshore, to hire more product developers, I consider what they did to be quite harmful to Apple.

    Can I prove it? No, but it looks suspiciously correct.

    1. You’re more rooted in reality, I think, than most people that think Apple “forgot” to update the Mac Pro. Just like they “forgot” to update the Mac mini. Can’t prove it, no, but just look at other Apple products (hardware and software) that were eventually cancelled, they follow the same pattern.

    2. FYI, an exercise that I did a year ago on this “resource” topic was to shave 0.1% off of Apple’s Net Profits and convert that into how many new Engineers they could hire to work on the Mac Pro.

      So let’s redo that number.

      Last quarter, the net profit was ~$20B.
      0.1% of that is $20M (per quarter).

      Let’s say that their fully burdened cost for a good Mac engineer is $300K.

      $20M/q divided by $300K = pays for +67 employees for a year.

      * If this 0.1% reallotment is one 1x/year, then those +67 are paid for every year for their entire career.

      * furthermore, if this 0.1% reallotments is drawn every quarter, then it isn’t +67, but four times that: +267 new people on the Mac team…which works out to +1 new team member every business day for an entire year.

      So then, are there +267 new people on the Mac teams since last April’s “We goofed” Mac Pro meeting? If not, then this is empirical proof that Apple Leadership is lying to the public (and worse).

    1. 4-6 years for a total update. However, within those years, they always release incrementally improved models every year… which Apple has failed to do for the Mac Pro, running on 5 years now. That might be fine for cars, but totally unacceptable for a high-end pro computer.

    2. Apple should have wisely kept the cheese-grater case and upgraded the internals (a faster motherboard, CPUs and GPUs). It would have saved Apple a lot of money and would have more than satisfied the pro users. Do you think anyone asked for a trash-can Mac Pro with all those non-standard parts? Hardly. Apple over-thought the situation and they admitted they made a mistake. I don’t know who made the decision that the trash-can was the way to go. I’d love to hear the reasoning for that decision.

      If Apple had gone with upgrading the cheese-grater with new internals, it would have been a relatively quick update and not something that would have taken years to accomplish.

      Look how quickly gaming Windows PCs are upgraded with the latest motherboards, CPUs and GPUs. As soon as the new Intel 6-core i9 was announced there were manufacturers who had computers ready to go with those new parts. Intel releases those specs well in advance, so what’s Apple’s lame excuse? I’m not saying Apple should have yearly hardware updates but three years certainly seems reasonable for pro-level computers. Apple can definitely afford that much.

      It was mentioned that Amazon spent $23B for R&D recently. Apple was at the back of the pack with $11B in R&D. C’mon. It’s worth it to Amazon to stay ahead of the pack but not to Apple? I’m not telling Apple to throw away money but updating computer hardware every three years isn’t asking for something outrageous when a company is sitting on $100B in cash. Using most of it for stock buybacks is quite disappointing from a Mac user’s standpoint. It makes Apple appear, to me, as they either don’t care or are just lazy. As a shareholder, I’d tell them to use the money to upgrade computer hardware in a timely fashion because I believe they could sell more hardware if they did, unless they could actually prove I’m wrong.

      1. This would assume that they WANT to sell more Mac hardware. I guess the next 3-5 years will tell the story… actually 2019 will. At this point, I don’t think anyone should wait for OR suggest that anyone wait for a Pro desktop from Apple.

        If your needs aren’t met by the MacBook Pro (most pro’s computer of choice) the iMac or iMac Pro, OR the current Mac Pro, there is a VERY good chance that whatever the Mac Pro becomes won’t either. The new Mac Pro, by way of Apple’s on-campus “love ins”, will be tailored to those people who have been using those more recent products to pay their bills. To give a sneak peek, those pros don’t find the lack of expandability of current offerings a problem, they don’t consider the fact that they’re not the FASTEST systems in the world an issue… if those two things are at the TOP of your shopping list, again, don’t wait for Apple.

        I would NOT be surprised if whatever it is just becomes an external upgrade to the MacBook Pro, and the iMac. That WOULD fit the bill for them saying it’s “modular”.

      2. An article about 5 years ago stated that Apple employees NOT working on iPhone are 2nd class citizens and iPhone engineers look down upon them. It did not mention at what percentage the available resources were allocated.

    1. I agree in spirit but your scene is too dramatic. Steve would not come back as his 30 year old self.

      A real leader like the wise old Steve would calmly santer into the fancy glass office of the useless VP. If that VP was working, he would politely request a resignation letter and an emptied office by noon tomorrow. If that VP was busy decorating Christmas trees, tweeting about non Apple business, or attending a basketball game, Steve would pay a janitor a bonus to unload the office immediately.

      Apple managers today are drunk on the easy profits from the ios App Store. They are all distracted fat and lazy. The fact that they admitted publicly that they had to build a new team to design a Mac Pro 5 years after the trashcan disaster says it all. Total mismanagement of the Mac since Steve left us.

    2. Ah, you have played Duke Nukem, the ultimate anti-PC videogame. In its time, it was startling and provocative. Similar sentiments issued today, such as yours, are curiously dated and impotent.

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