Apple’s Mac is back — for now

“It should be a time for Mac lovers to rejoice,” Will Oremus writes for Slate. “After three years, Apple finally released an all-new MacBook Air. After four years, a souped-up Mac Mini.”

“The Mac, it’s now clear, is not dead yet,” Oremus writes. “And yet it was equally clear from Apple’s hardware event that the company doesn’t view the Mac as a big part of its long-term future. The devices are conservative in a way that the company’s leading mobile products never are. And on Tuesday, they were the opening acts; the headliner was the iPad Pro.”

“For the Macs, it feels less like a golden age than the golden years,” Oremus writes. “Eventually, if Apple has its way, we’ll all accept a flat tablet as a substitute for a laptop with a real keyboard. Thankfully, we aren’t there yet.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote half a decade ago:

iPad Pro can replace the vast majority of people’s MacBooks because people never had an alternative to a MacBook to accomplish what they use a personal computer for: Web browsing, email, light word processing, music-video-photo storage and playback, and maybe some messaging (but they do most or all of that on their iPhones or iPhone wannabes).

Note: Obviously, we are not talking about our readership which skews heavily toward techies who use their Macs for far more than the vast majority of current personal computer users.

For the vast majority of people even a crappy low-end Windows laptop is vast overkill for what they do. Therefore, the headroom for iPad remains virtually limitless, especially as Apple’s A-Series chips, iOS and iPad apps become ever more powerful.November 11, 2015

We still contend that Apple is missing the boat here, though , in terms of a transitional device who sales would be off the charts:

Here’s an idea: Apple could sell iPad Pros as they do now, and for those wanting a “Mac,” Apple could sell them the macOS-powered display-less keyboard/trackpad/cpu/RAM/SSD/battery base unit. Attach your iPad for the display and off you go, you Mac-headed truck driver! Plus, you get to use the iPad’s battery, too, extending battery life to provide a truly all-day battery for portable Mac users. Detach the display and you get your iOS-powered iPad back, same as always.

Too outside the box? We’d love to be able to take our 12.9-inch iPad Pro, mate it with this theoretical Mac base unit, and turn it into a portable Mac. Right now, we carry 12.9-inch iPad Pros and MacBooks in our backpacks. Guess what’s redundant? Right, the displays. We don’t need to carry two screens on the road. The iPad Pro’s screen would do just fine, thanks.

Buy the Mac base on its own (for those who already have 12.9-inch iPad Pros) or buy it as part of a package (get a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro at a nice discount when you buy it with the Mac base). Imagine if Apple had unveiled this headless MacBook that you use with your iPad at their iPad event… How many more 12-inch iPad Pro sales would such a product have generated? Enough to return iPad to unit sales growth, we bet. And, how many more Macs would have been sold, too? — MacDailyNews, January 7, 2017

Apple debuts all-new iPad Pro with Liquid Retina display, powerful A12X Bionic chip, TrueDepth camera system, and more – October 30, 2018
Apple reveals all-new MacBook Air with a gorgeous 13-inch Retina display – October 30, 2018
Apple unveils all-new Mac mini with a massive increase in performance – October 30, 2018


    1. they can do that with a press release since there would be virtually nothing new but the processors. But I agree it’s weird, in particular that the Mac mini can be configured with 6 cores, but the (non-Pro) iMacs only have 4. That won’t take long.

  1. The announcements were a big disappointment in that prices increased significantly. We would all benefit if Apple attracted more customers through lower prices. I have been an Apple user since 1984. I did not buy an iPhone X strictly because of price. $1000 was too much for my type of usage. I jumped all over the Xr at its lower price. Price matters.

    1. Agreed. The one big dissapointment is Apple keeps passing higher taxes on their products. They absolutely should LOWER ALL PRICES to bring more customers in. Know several people that like the products, but refuse buy solely on price. I guess the first trillion dollar company will NEVER have enough money…

    2. Indeed, the prices are getting absurd, even for longtime aficionados.

      Insofar as iPhones, I’m going to replace the battery in my 6s, or buy an 8 instead of one of these $1K models. They just aren’t a compelling value in comparison to the alternatives – – including an older iPhone.

      1. Same here. Going to replace the battery in my SE and hang on until I find myself in Apple court like Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone episode “The Obsolete Man.”

        $1,200 for the high end iPhone!?! Apple is out of control with pricing and GREED is off charts. The high end phone should cost no more than $600-$700. All the rest should cost less. No fscking way I’m going to pay more for a phone than a computer. After the SE is toast, here I come Android.

        iPhone owner since launch day 2007…

  2. Comment #2: Good idea! We’re part way there with the USB-C protocol on the new iPad Pro. Combine it with the new Mac Mini using it as a display device and you’ve got most of it, just not MacOS on the iPad.

  3. The Apple Mac is NOT back until new desirable Mac Pro’s (and iMacs) are also on sale. Apple is really stupid if they are giving up on the idea of increasing Mac sales. The Mac’s day is not even close to being done contrary to wishful and dumb thinking and they are incredibly irresponsible leaving money on the table not keeping them up to date on a regular and exciting basis.

    If Apple no longer believe in the Mac let others make them and watch sales soar.

  4. Where is the Mac Pro? Does it really take Apple YEARS to design a new Mac Pro? Have they forgotten that much? Back in the day Apple could make such amazing computers in their sleep. Today they just sleep.

    1. the new mac mini is the new mac pro. they said it would be modular. you just plug a TB3 PCIe box in and put whatever GPU you wants an attach any other pro hardware. the dead giveaway is the 10Gig ethernet option. thats not a consumer level option. no one can afford a 10 Gig network at home

  5. Why would I want just an iPad or iPad Pro? Seriously I have my iMac core i7 3.1ghz plus I have a 2012 MacBook Air. I would like to update it one of these days. But I will never go to just an iPad. Touch does not work for everything. Anyone who thinks iPad Pro can just replace a computer is nuts. And some people I dont care if the iPad Pro can replace their needs some still like having a computer with physical keyboard and mouse. I know many that way.
    Stupid to say the Mac is back for now. How in the world can you go without a real computer is beyond me

    1. Indeed. There are a very large number of people who need larger screens and a file system that can handle tens or hundreds of thousands of files. None of the few people who work for me could do their work effectively on an iPad.

      1. Shock! Horror! On Halloween. I agree with you 100%. The high level pros I know laugh hysterically at the mere mention an iPad can replace their powerful workstations and large dual high resolution monitors.

        Agree with MDN the majority of people do not need a computer based on their needs. But the rest of us pros need the most powerful computers.

        The good news is it seems at this time Cook is finally coming to his senses…

      2. Can I write code on an iPad? Nope. So, not really a replacement for a real computer. The new Mac mini with it’s crappy graphics is definitely NOT a sign that the “Mac is back”.

    2. Agreed! I could NEVER do all my computing on a 6″ screen (or smaller). Too much finger-tapping, wondering where your files are, etc. Small screens have their purpose, but (for me) that doesn’t include spreadsheets, lengthy text documents, busy databases, etc. I prefer not to use my iPhone for web browsing either – too little information at a time on the screen.

  6. I was very disappointed. No news on the iMac which I need to replace. After checking out the Mac Mini, I find that the with the upgrades I would need to add to it I am already well above $2000 for a Mini! And that is before I buy a new monitor to use with it.

    I hate to say it but it looks like Windoze will be in my future. After that my next phone may be a pure Android phone. The Ecosystem is dead.

    1. Yes! Your Windows/Android paradise awaits! OR, have a modicum of common sense and wait three months for Apple to update the specs for iMac. They’re not going to let the mini outclass the iMac for very long.

  7. No update to iMac means no new Mac for me. And why isn’t the base SSD for a 27″ iMac 512GB? Who would want a small 256GB SSD as your main drive, PLUS have to pay $200 for the privilege. That’s $200 for a small SSD PLUS the fact that you’re giving up a terabyte harddrive AND a 128GB SSD if you had opted for a fusion drive.

    I swear (damn!) I’ve about had it with overpaying to this degree.

    1. If you think its rude to pay $200 to upgrade a 256 to a 512 …

      … PC World is reporting today that the SanDisk has a 1TB SSD on sale for $144 (retail).

      Time to buy a 3rd party 4-bay external USB-C and RAID-0 four of those puppies together for under $1K, rather than to pay the Apple Tax.

  8. For this Josh, at least, I have often been critical of Apple recently – as it continues to let me down. I cannot understand how Tim Cook can sell new MacBook Airs with 128Gb SSD and 8Gb RAM rather than 256 / 16 as standard.

    That said, I have been waiting over 18months for a Macbook computer to replace my ageing Air and these machines do that. It is just a shame that whereas Apple used to lead, the Air merely follows. Save OS X, there are other Windows ultrabooks that best it in every hardware category.

  9. Hell, Tim can’t win. Either he maintains margins and gets beats up for the lesser specs, or he gets beat up for the stock price not climbing quickly enough, when margins fall, because he gave everybody 256/16.

    And, the Air has never been a hardware capability leader, just in aesthetics/form factor.

    1. Tim is choosing to get beaten up.

      He can readily justify the slimmer margins by showing that he’s growing the installed base, taking market share and … (drum roll) “getting back to Apple’s core principle of DELIGHTING our customers”.

      Hope I don’t have to put an “/S” on this…

    2. @COD: Apple intentionally wasted time and money inventing new recycled alyoooominyom alloys for their new cases, and trimming a few more millimeters off product thickness. That money could be better spent addressing user requests.

  10. “Hell, Tim can’t win.”

    Not exactly and not as simple as that. Great step in the right direction and glad for the renewed Mac attention. However, the dampener is raising prices, like they need the money, and outrageously gouging loyal customers with ridiculous high prices for RAM and SSD.

    They should lower or meet the price of competitors. Until that happens, the griping will continue…

  11. For everyone complaining. The only thing the Tim Cook Apple listens to is money. Stop buying their products or just accept paying more for less.

    There are options out there, but not if you are not willing to look and change.

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