Mystery abounds with Apple’s upcoming Macs

“Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported Apple will launch a new low-cost MacBook and and updated version of the Mac Mini for professional users sometime later this year,” Todd Haselton reports for CNBC. “But there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding the new computers.”

“It’s unclear, for example, how Apple will price what’s supposed to be a refresh to the 13-inch MacBook Air, and what it will include in the professional version of the Mac Mini, a computer that hasn’t been refreshed in years,” Haselton reports. “I’m not the only one who’s confused on how these Macs will play out. Apple watcher John Gruber recently posed the same question about the MacBook lineup.”

“Apple’s Mac lineup has been in flux for the last few years. Professional users have complained that Apple has been slow to update its pro line of Mac desktops. And there have been a lot of complaints with the MacBook Pro’s redesigned keyboard and lack of ports,” Haselton reports. “As Apple gears up to refresh its Mac lineup again this year, it’s still unclear how the new computers will fit in. Let’s take a look.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A little mystery has never hurt Apple.


  1. Mystery is fine as long as it results in timely updates instead of defections in disgust to other platforms. I long for the day when new Macs were greeted with excitement instead of trepidation, exasperation and boredom.

  2. “I long for the day when new Macs were greeted with excitement instead of trepidation, exasperation and boredom.”

    Perfect summation of what I have been feeling about Apple since the passing of Steve …

  3. Let’s be clear: Apple’s mismanagement of the Mac goes far beyond its inability to offer regular updates to its basic models. It has also abandoned any pretense of flowing out technology consistently.

    Examples of poor product management:

    1. To sync or charge a new iPhone to a new MacBook (any model except the antiquated air), you need to buy an adapter. And all the things one would like to do with an iOS device hooked up to a Mac are not enabled. Wacom has nothing to fear from the hapless Cupertino idiots who can’t figure out that an iOS device could be a good input device for a Mac.

    2. Two years ago Apple pushed out a touchbar. Poorly supported by software, including Apple’s own software, it hasn’t been a huge selling feature. If Apple wanted it to become a compelling feature, why is it not offered on new desktop keyboards? Why is there no TouchID on desktop trackpads or mice? Why is FaceID not built into every Mac with Facetime camera?

    3. Default software used to be better than what Windows offered out of the box. Not anymore. For example, iTunes has come to represent a frustratingly bad mess of software. Once a super handy and efficient piece of software, it now performs too many duties very poorly.

    4. Apple still sells computers with Thunderbolt 2 ports and 5400rpm hard drives. It is an insult to computer buyers at any price.

    5. Apple seems eager to kill off MagSafe, a valuable feature that no other laptop maker offered.

    6. Apple can’t make a decent keyboard on its laptops anymore. Talk about a self-inflicted bonehead move.

    7. No Airports, No Displays, No Aperture, no NAS or server of any kind… No reason to trust in an all-Apple office. Apple feels entitled to pull the plug on value-added products without warning or let them die on the vine with neglect. That kills off any faith most businesses or high-level household should have in trusting Apple to support their needs down the road.

    8. Negligible new pioneering technology on any Mac for over a decade. They don’t get credit for pushing USB-C (not an Apple innovation) out in a single leap without a well planned transition period. Think about how incrementally slow Apple’s progress has been on the hardware front: Apple no longer is first to market with the best chipset or hardware, and when it finally is released, it’s thermally constrained and has major firmware bugs. Touchbar isn’t new, it’s just a tiny overpriced touch screen input, other computers have entire screens with touch capability to cover with fingerprints. Apple was late with fingerprint readers, late with high resolution screens, always late with GPU performance. The only effort Apple has made to Macs is to make them unrepairable.

    What Apple has done with the Mac in the last several years — basically raising prices and squashing profiles to thin solid state unrepairable units- is absolutely disgusting.

    The loss in Mac market share under Timmy’s reign is an indicator that should not be ignored. Apple has been on the wrong track for WAY too long. It needs to clean house and hire competent product managers.

    If Apple refuses to produce a superior value product, it will lose loyal customers. Hackintosh, Linux, or Windows is going to be the future if Apple wastes another opportunity to offer Mac innovation and user value.

      1. and they all making me ask, why? Why Apple, why Mr. Cook are you permitting, endorsing or not able to see (impossible) the decay encroaching at all ends?

        “Making products that delight” used to be a phrase that led the way. Now, limited and unpredictable and minimal (not as in “less is more”) seem to fit.

        I know the company just past a zillion dollars and the stock hit all-time records this week. Please put the auto-retort down and try to consider the two realities are happening simultaneously.

      1. it fits to what’s happening…albeit a lucrative chaos.

        B/c it’s lucrative chaos, it supports the idea leadership knows what’s happening, but it’s awfully hard to understand why it’s permitted.

        Jettison the dross, or clean it up and let it represent Apple well…is what I expect from VPs of the richest company in the World.

        1. You hit on as to why: Because the corporation is lucrative and, as many have already observed, that’s like the very wealthy MS before its decline. I hope I am wrong to think that Apple is on this cusp too, ready to decline. It’s already declining in quality as is in its vision, it seems to me. Apple may be tackling too many individual projects to keep them all straight. I hope that it will remedy this, now that the Apple Campus is mostly done, and assuming that the Campus was the hold up.

    1. Beautifully written. While I hold Pipeline forever in contempt for his abuse of the Macintosh product line, it is also Apple’s board of directors who have been complicit in Pipeline’s criminal neglect of the Mac. They just rewarded Pipeline with 120 million worth of AAPL. Good God, he should be shitcanned, not praised!

      1. Both beautifully written. I suspect he has ignored and allowed more products to die than introduce new ones. So obvious his attention span does not move far from the iPhone cash cow to keep his job. Any caretaker CEO can ride that gravy train. We need a new CEO with creative vision to move Apple forward …

  4. LISTEN- Every time there is rumors about this or that (MAC) A huge $h!t Storm of Rumors abound and nothing comes about from that. There are always rumors about a new mac or that mac, and we are left Disappointed. If you’d pay attention to Intels releases you’d know what’s possible. The past few years EVERYONE has hoped for something Great but we got left disappointed again. We hoped for a Gaming machine, zip. We Hope for a Apple TV Screen, Nothing. New Mac Pro, Nada. What are they doing with all those employees, a new building, Billions in R&D and Manufacturing up the Wahzoo? Eh? I bet the Next Announcement will blow. Update to Quicktime? Haha, nope. Totally Lame.

  5. It is inexcusable for a company with the resources of Apple to have let the Mac business twist in the wind for as long as it has.

    As to the clueless comment as to what a Mac mini update should be, one need look no further than the H-P Z2 Mini. It scales from Core i3 to Xeon, offers BTO up to Nvidia Discrete graphics, user access to the chassis to add wireless, memory and storage.

    Plenty of ports to include DisplayPorts capable of driving any display you could want.

    1. Mac problem.

      The weight of Mike’s posts goes WAY beyond the bizarre tardiness of the Mac refreshes. He lays out a carelessness that points to the Apple cultural mindset. Macs can be refreshed in time and people will be happy and, largely forget the past frustration.

      A company’s changing/changed, or eroding gestalt/paradigm is like cancer. Severe measures are needed to abate or turn around the huge ship. If no change is introduced, the result is prescripted and, it seems more here would say, it’s not good/desirable.

    2. Yes indeed, DG. I vividly remember the video you posted of the Z2 Mini and it blew me away. The size, the look, the power, the expandability, the options, the ports for under a thousand dollars! And what has Apple been doing in the meantime? …

  6. I strongly agree with many of you on this thread. I don’t just complain about Pipeline, I offer ideas for solutions with my “Dear Apple” letters (which was rejected by Apple on their “suggestions” website). The lack of focus Pipeline Tim has is really unacceptable. I am a CEO to 15 corporations, and I’m in the millions world and I accomplish way for than Tim does; and he’s in the TRILLIONS. Taking 1% of the revenue and hire 50,000 workers, and pay them $50,000 base medium salary, and diversifying it with 10,000 China, 10,000 India, 10,000 Mexico and 20,000 American to diversify your manufacturing, so you have redundancy to manufacture the small sku count in a timely fashion and shorten the process and increase the product refresh and new product cycles.

    I tried to get some attention with a petition to remove him from CEO and it hasn’t grown as fast as I wished, but I clearly see I’m not alone with my thoughts on Apple –

    I too think this keynote will be another huge failure in opportunity and I’ll go away with a disappointing take-away of the keynote. Actually, since Tim took over, the excitement and magic has diminished to the point of sadness and 3rd party embarrassment.

    For those who never read my wish list and suggestions:

    Dear Apple,

    1 – MacPro
    Update the MacPro every year with any updates that exist – more ram, faster graphics, MORE I/O ( not less ), more storage, expandability and upgradability. THIS is what a PRO user wants and needs. No reason not to update this yearly. In the Q1 timeframe, a time when companies allocate funds towards equipment and the consumer market slows down. It’s not a fluke why the consumer electronics show, NAMM, auto show, etc.. all pimp new products in Jan/Feb.. now sell to them. 5 YEARS since last update.. unacceptable.

    2 – Displays
    No reason to blow this market off. You proudly advertise how great your retina display is, yet you ignore making a desktop one? Confusing. Make displays to compliment your MacPro and MacMini. Not to mention having a Apple logo in front of millions of users helps sustain the brand in people’s minds. 5 YEARS since last update.. unacceptable.

    3 – Mac Mini
    I still think this product is used and should still be made, just update it.

    4 – iMac
    WHY is this not a priority to Apple? Make NEW iMacs every year. Announce AND release it in Q3 for the Holiday season; and make sure you manufacturer enough to meet the demand. Not having inventory available for the holiday season is unacceptable.

    5 – iPhone
    Increase battery life. More innovation. Don’t neglect the 4″ size, just because Samsung made you think the world wants huge phones… not everyone does. Loose the “s”, it makes no sense on the marketing side to the consumer. And if you are going to do a keynote, and release a new model, make sure it has more than “look how thin it is”

    6 – Apple Watch
    Utilize the board of directors you built on this device to help recognize heart attack and stroke symptoms before they happen. Having the watch excel in the medical and health field will reap dividends for years to come… making it a must-have product.

    7 – AppleTV
    The i/o again is lacking for systems that run like Control4 that needs better options for i/o. Get the deals done with the networks to help consumers rid the stranglehold on cable companies that over-charge for a million channels.

    8 – MacBook Pro
    Bring back i/o!!!! If you want to be respected as a PRO machine, allow there PROS to USE it without 1,000 cables coming out of it. Pro users do not want to deal with dongles.

    9 – MacBook / MacBook Air
    Give them a refresh more often than 3 years
    I really don’t understand the difficulty to update these yearly, without the need for a re-design…

    10 – Stock
    Keep buying back diluted shares so it’s harder to be manipulated. AAPL is one of the most manipulated stocks on the market.

    11- Aquisitions
    Make sure what you are looking to acquire is not something Apple can achieve on it’s own with the talent within. (See Beats). And whoever is negotiating these deals needs to grow a pair. learn how to get better deals, and not waste so much money on some of these companies. When I see what Apple pays for these acquisitions, I shake my head. Paying $3B for beats was a terrible decision. Tim didn’t get the memo that Apple CREATES ecosystems and doesn’t just buy them.
    If you’re gonna acquire a company, acquire Adobe; for the assets.

    12 – Diversify Manufacturing
    Apple needs to diversify manufacturing to more than one resource to meet the demand. Be the leader in bringing back manufacturing on a large scale back to America. Utilize China, Mexico and India to meet demand for products so the consumer can purchase the products you are advertising.

    13 – Advertising
    More money needs to be spent on Advertising and aggressive advertising. Apple has gotten a little weak on ads. Marketing is everything.

    14 – iTunes
    Fix iTunes. It’s such a pain and over-bloated. iTunes 2010 runs better than iTunes 2018… that is messed up.

    15 – Software
    Fix Mail. Fix spotlight. Bring back Aperture.
    Allocate staff to interact with users of your software and aggressively update them based on the users input. It’s not that difficult.. the users will give you the answers to the quiz. Listen to them and your software will shine.

    16 – iCloud
    This is kind of embarrassing. Other companies offer better services for less money. it almost makes more sense to roll $5 – $10 more into each product and offer iCloud for free with a generous space to sustain the user base, offering tons of services with all that content. 1TB free is what I would offer.
    Get the servers out of China and on U.S. soil for security reasons.

    17 – Retail
    Allocate more employees to help people at the help desk. Every store I go in has 10-20 sales people, mostly talking to one another, meanwhile 2-3 tech people are backlogged with pissed off customers. This is mis-managed and can be better handled.

    18 – Keynotes
    Tim, step aside and let someone with passion, excitement, and a great stage presence, do the keynotes. Make them count. Don’t assemble the press and your fan base to come to one of these events to tell them the new iPhone is thinner. Don’t waste everyone’s time and understand when you have the stage.. perform… sell… and if you lack things to talk about, then it should be telling to your allocation of the talent around you and how you utilized them.

    19 – Apple Pay
    WHY is this not being advertised like crazy? No excuse for the lazy approach to this. Advertise this everywhere. Co-Brand with world brands. Do a co-brand commercial with subway showing people buying a sandwich and paying with their phone in seconds. Show how easy and secure it is. Almost every person I tell about Apple Pay has no clue about how much more secure it is than the other choices. Even the retail staff doesn’t know. Who’s job is that to tell them? Apple! Run ads showcasing that strength.

    20 – HomeKit
    See how users use products like Control4 and start building the ecosystem for that. I feel this, along with CarPlay, can be a game-changer if done right. You create great things like HomeKit, yet trying to educate the consumer about it is lacking. There should a fun section on the website all about these technologies you have. Consumers should not have to dig for that info. The website and marketing should be promoting them more aggressively. This is a under utilized sector for Apple.

    21 – iPad
    iPad should be updated every year and announced and released Q3 for holiday quarter sales.

    22 – R&D
    Make sure the products are tested enough so you don’t have issues after the release (see maps, EarPods, Macbook pro 2016 battery, etc.. )

    23 – Fix your Christmas failures
    2017 – missed releasing HomePod release for Christmas
    2016 – missed AirPod inventory to sell
    2015 – missed inventory on iPhone to meet demand
    2014 – missed iMac inventory to sell thru Christmas
    This is a ongoing problem. The date for Christmas has not changed in 2017 years.

    Take around 1% of your revenue $200 – $250B and hire 50,000 workers averaging $50,000 each
    and diversify them into manufacturing plants: 20,000 in the U.S., 10,000 in China, 10,000 in Mexico and
    10,000 in India to meet your product demand so the cycles of the products are announced, released and
    exercised in ONE financial quarter so your analytic data points are more accurate sand consumers are better served.

    24 – Better communication
    Way too many PR nightmare from one CEO for such a small sku product line. Throttling the iOS without
    letting people know was one of the worst executions this company has ever done.. again under Tim Cook.

    Those are some of my ideas.
    Richard Hofherr

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