Long product cycles are the now normal for Apple’s Mac

“Rogue Amoeba co-founder Quentin Carnicelli stirred up some discussion this past week by examining Apple’s current Mac lineup, and pointing out that, with the exception of the new iMac Pro, none of it has been updated in over a year,” Dan Moren writes for Macworld. “(The most egregious case being, of course, the Mac mini, which is closing in on four years without a revision.) That’s prompted some clamor that Apple should commit to yearly updates of its computer platform, just as it does with the iPhone.”

“Apple’s Mac release schedules have differed wildly from product to product, though it’s not hard to draw a line between the frequency of updates and the popularity of the models: the iMac and the laptops that get the most attention, while the Mac Pro and Mac mini are often left to languish on a multi-year refresh scale,” Moren writes. “The most significance dependency here is, of course, Intel. On the iOS side, Apple has long been designing its own chips, which gives the company far more control over design and production, and thus over scheduling when it can expect to manufacture and release those products.”

“Given Apple’s close-mouthed nature about forthcoming products, long waits often seem inexplicable until new products appear and we realize what might have contributed to such a wait,” Moren writes. “If a new MacBook Pro appeared in October with a redesigned keyboard, for example, would that explain (and be worth) the wait?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The excuse train stops here. A properly managed company with $250+ billion in cash should have every product they offer up-to-date and salable.

Could different upper management do a better job with the Macintosh and with new product launches not named “iPhone?” Well, they certainly couldn’t do much worse.

In the annals of Glorious Apple Failures, the Mac Pro is doing its damnedest to earn top billing.

There is simply no excuse for a company swimming in a lake of cash atop a mountain range of money to not have every single product they offer, including their top-of-the-line flagship Mac, up-to-date and state-of-the-art at all times. If even Dell et al. can manage it, why the hell can’t Apple?

A team of interns with petty cash could come up with a Mac tower in 6 months or less that Mac professionals would line up to buy in droves.

We’re going to operate on the idea that Apple was so consumed by The Colossal Distraction (Apple Park) that even such obvious issues fell through the cracks because the alternative, that Apple’s management team has become so fat and lazy without Steve Jobs to drive them that they’ll let even their flagship Mac languish for half a decade, is too horrifying to contemplate. _ MacDailyNews, May 31, 2018

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s 2013 Mac Pro, five years later – May 31, 2018
Why can’t Apple keep their products up-to-date? – April 10, 2018
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

37 Comments

  1. The most egregious example is the MacPro, and simply no excuse. What good is it to release a new Mac OS, year after year, and NOT release NEW Macs each year? In other words, Apple has it bass awkwards. Don’t need to learn a new OS every year and replace software every year. Pros and businesses can easily go five years or more …

    1. Indeed. Pros and businesses can’t even afford to take the time out to replace with a new OS that may cause problems with their workflows. They are always in a state of being behind, intentionally. OS improvements pale next to applications & OS stability and getting the work done. A new OS X isn’t needed until at most every 2 years. Give us back Snow Leopard stability in your current offerings please.

      Also remember “Actions, not words” in your “the Mac is important to us” hollow assurances. The Mac Pro goes high up on the list of corporate screw-ups, the Mac Mini next in line, of all time and is something Apple in particular should never have allowed to happen. (Only putting together a Mac Dept. NOW, after the horse has escaped years ago from the barn, in order to pay better attention – give me a freaking incompetence break!)

      1. “They are always in a state of being behind, intentionally.”

        True dat! My company has been using the same software complicated workflow for close to ten years. The disruption is not worth for a couple whiz bang superficial features.

        Speaking of SUPERFICIAL — that is exactly what pipeline has turned Apple into …

    2. Pros that use a lot of 3rd party stuff like plug-ins often don’t upgrade OS for several years because it can take a long time for those 3rd parties, some of whom are quite small businesses, to stop adding new features and, instead, spend chunks of time making sure they’re compatible with new OSes.

      e.g. I had a music mix done yesterday by a pro who still uses Snow Leopard because he’d lose so much functionality by “upgrading”. Yeah, his setup’s complicated, some plug-ins aren’t compatible with later OSes, etc. etc.

      1. Ahhhh, no!

        Customers should be afforded the opportunity to buy the latest and greatest Mac up to date computers on a yearly basis, like first time buyers, college students, etc.

        Pros and businesses spread out purchasing decisions over time. That said, MY POINT was whenever anyone pulls the trigger they should have access to the finest Apple computers of all time any day of the week …

  2. People (MDN included) might consider the historic reason for slow Mac upgrades is ALWAYS down to Intel’s late, slow, hot and power hungry chips. Bring on an IOS-chipped Mac with a one week battery and faster performance.

    1. Intel or no, Apple could…
      1. revamp the form factor, adding USB 3.1 or user replaceable RAM/HDs, for example.
      2. lower prices
      3. raise capacities–bigger HDs, more RAM
      4. add GPU options

      What we’re talking about here has almost nothing to do with Intel.

      Intel didn’t force Apple to make an iMac Pro with no option for the user to swap out HD/RAM/Power supply.

      Intel didn’t force Apple to wait years to offer a truly modular MacPro or upgrade the MacMini.

      Give credit where credit is due, Apple has to shoulder 99% of the blame here.

    2. Your claim is patently false.

      Apple is THREE generations behind on chipsets. Whine if you must, but slow product updates are all on Apple.

      Let’s not forget the other things that Apple could but refuses to update annually:

      – prices
      – RAM options and user accessibility
      – replacing a 5400 rpm hard drive with a modern one, or an SSD
      – improved batteries
      – TouchID
      – more ports and/or inclusion of adapters in the box so you can actually plug iOS devices into Macs without buying another dongle
      – display updates
      – etc.

      Even if Intel was slower than Apple, which they are not, there are many areas where Apple has fallen dramatically behind.

    1. Freaking sad, it really is. There can’t be any good reason for this when the parts are available and Apple can afford to upgrade any computer it wants. I fear they’re going to offer yet another low-spec, non-upgradeable Mac Mini.

  3. iPhone-centric Apple is so messed up it really sickens me how much money they’re leaving on the table through plain laziness. They seem to think desktop computers and laptops no longer matter to anyone.

  4. There’s a big difference between”long product cycles” and “I thought they didn’t make computers anymore”.

    Go into your local Apple store if you have one and look at the floor space given to actual computers.

  5. There is a simple explanation for this.
    However most of us don’t want to face it: The Mac is no longer relevant to Apple for 2 reasons:
    a) Apple has stated repeatedly and in public that the future in personal computing is the tablet.(iPad).

    b) Sales figures of iPhone is around ten times more than the Mac Sales (USD). This is a huge distraction, the big one. (not Apple Park).

    This reminds me of the Apple II situation (yes I am that old) when the company said that the future was Mac, and many (not enough) were still expecting updates on the Apple II (this almost tore apart the company)

    I don’t agree on Apple’s current stand (iPad is not there yet at least for me) however I understand WHY the state of the Mac is where it is.

    1. Yes, iPhone and iPad sales are many times the amount of Mac sales.

      Here’s you logic loop:

      Mac sales are very slow.
      Macs are hopelessly outdated.
      Why update them when sales are so slow?
      Macs don’t get updated.
      Mac sales are very slow.

    2. Thin client iOS can never be personal computing. If your data is “in the cloud”, then you are a tracked drone bee, not a personal computer user.

      Sales of the Mac are a self fulfilled prophesy. The less Apple invests in the Mac personal computing platform, the less people will trust Apple with their hardware needs. Already Apple has completely lost the plot on Mac apps. Most businesses cannot justify using second-rate capability apps to do their work.

        1. What are you trying to say, GoeB? Normally I agree with you on issues regarding the Mac.

          FYI, your hollow label pasting (“CLUELESS”) makes you look more like a primary school bully than a rational adult. Everyone just learns to ignore you. Consider changing your ways for better results.

    3. that Macs are ignored because they don’t make money is a tired argument that has been disproved EVERY QUARTER for YEARS.

      Macs make more than iPad. by Billions every year.
      Last Quarter Alone: Macs : 5.8 billion vs 4.1 billion iPad
      SO WHY MAKE IPADS (if we follow the ‘money argument’ ) ?

      Macs make more than the Other Products Category which comprises of AirPods, Watch, TV, iPod, Beats etc COMBINED.

      By Billions. Last quarter : 5.8 billion vs 2.8 Billion Other Products Combined !!

      SO WHY MAKE ANY OF THEM?

      Macs are Apple’s second largest hardware money maker.
      Please NOTE: Macs make all that with Slow or NO updates and (until recently) PRACTICALLY ZERO ADVERTISING. Imagine if they had new products and marketing !!

      If you compare Macs to iPhone ands say ‘don’t build them cause they make less than iPhones”…
      THEN NOBODY IN THE WORLD SHOULD MAKE ANYTHING AT ALL AS IPHONES MAKE MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD. by itself it makes more than most companies in the world , shoot iPhone X alone makes more than the other phones from estimated 600 phone manufacturers combined… .

    4. The Mac is no longer relevant…

      … except for how it is a necessary too, to write iOS apps…

      … except for how Apple’s revenues for the Mac exceed the iPad. Despite the negligence on the Mac line on everything from the product to its marketing,

      -hh

  6. While nattering nabobs of negativism decry Apple’s hardware shortcomings, this mighty juggernaut will be rolling out 16 offerings to bring Netflix to their knees!

  7. Hey friends don’t YELL at those poor Mac designers!

    they’ll run from their designer chairs and standing desks, press those ‘one and half years to make’ door handles, flee across the decorated atrium “all with select Maple’ , pass the football field sized gym , through the four storey ‘specially hinged’ glass doors and hide in the fruit orchard…

    Amongst those thousands of fruit trees so lovingly collected by ‘the top arborist in the country” from all over the USA, you might never find them again…

    BTW, the Campus didn’t even EXIST when the Mac Pro 2013 was launched….

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