Apple’s Mac sales impinged by Intel CPU ‘constraints’

“Apple crowed over its best three months ever for its services biz, including things like Apple TV and Apple Pay, in its reported results for Q2 ended March 30,” Katyanna Quach writes for The Register. “iPads, meanwhile, continued to experience a comeback as sales were at their highest growth rate in six years, which CEO Tim Cook branded a ‘blockbuster quarter.'”

“Apple’s iPhones continues to dominate sales revenues and contributed $31.05bn for the quarter, a decrease of over 17 per cent,” Quach writes. “Cook said iPhone sales were ‘most challenging’ during November and December last year, but began to improve this year.”

“Macs came in at $5.51bn, a slight decline in growth of under 5 per cent,” Quach writes. “The decline in Mac sales were ‘driven primarily’ by Intel’s ‘processor constraints on certain popular models,’ said CFO Luca Maestri. CPU shortages is a long-running problem for Intel, though the chip maker’s boss reckons availability should ease by the second half of this calendar year. Everything else in Apple’s portfolio, however, including iPads, Wearables and Home Accessories, and Services were up.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Intel is the next bottleneck with which to be dealt.

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36 Comments

    1. Clearly, Timmy wants to deflect attention away from the abysmal iPhone and Mac sales and now infamous pipeline of poor new product on-time releases. Airpower anyone?

  1. I truly don’t give a hoot for Apple’s excuses.

    Mac Pro not being updated for years is not an Intel constraint.

    Macbook Pro not supporting more than 16GB RAM until 2017 is not an Intel constraint, it was an Apple decision to limit pro productivity for energy savings.

    iMac using mobile-class CPUs is not an Intel constraint, it’s Apple deciding their thin fetish has to be needlessly applied to a desktop.

    1. You truly don’t understand a lot on computer design “à la Apple”.

      Have you tried a iMacPro? Have you tried the new Macbook air? Have you tried a Macmini? Have you?

      Stick with windows my trolling friend… And stick one up your A** ROFL!

      1. Spike: anyone who starts off with an assertion “you don’t understand” has the obligation to back his opinion up with facts. You have not.

        As to your deflection: we have tried Apple’s latest iMacs. They are “good enough” for many workflows. But, yes, due to Apple’s design fetish, Macs today cost more, perform slower, and due to overly constrained user repairability are a poorer lifetime value than Windows workstations for any level of work. It was not always this way.

        Wintel boxes are available in many more configurations that are dramatically better suited to a person’s specific needs, whereas Apple’s lethargic team offers one-size-fits-some approach using old innards locked tightly shut. To match PC performance, you have to buy 3rd party external GPU boxes and whatnot.

        Mossman is entirely correct and you owe him an apology.

        1. @ Mike … well said.

          Unfortunately, therealspike appears to be just another Johnny-come-lately to the Mac who is used to having low standards … not only for quality, but on aesthetic design.

          Case in point, what good does it do to have a pretty $5000 iMac Pro when for getting any decent workflow work product, one needs to buy MORE THAN ONE Promise P3 R4 external storage arrays, at a mere $1500 each, which puts the minimum “replace my desktop Mac” at a minimum of $8K .. that’s roughly $3K worth of “Apple Tax” per workstation.

          In the meantime, the old “cheesegrater” Mac Pro with over 20TB internal doesn’t have the sticky keyboard like my MacBook Pro suffers from, such that one can still actually confidently touch-type and be productive.

  2. Obviously the word got out (and it only took thousands and thousands of articles): don’t touch the Macbook until Apple fixes the fucking keyboards.

    Signed, proud/reluctant Mac Mini + iPad owner

  3. Apple probably can’t wait till they dump Intel. Yet again Intel struggled to deliver CPUs. It wasn’t only Apple that was affected by production shortages but because Apple only uses a few very specific CPUs it does tend to hurt them more than other PC manufacturers. This sadly has become common place for Intel, lets hope the new CEO will sort things out before its too late.

    I think Apple has turned a corner with Mac hardware after seemingly being paralysed for so long. The iMac Pro is truly a great machine, the latest Mac mini is also fantastic if not a bit expensive. We have the new Mac Pro & Display to look forward to at WWDC. We may even see them show the next generation MacBook Pro (better have a new keyboard) there as well. Beyond that, all signs point to a completely new iMac design next year and further down the road, ARM Macs, which will make Intel’s constant delays a thing of the past.

    1. Which corner was turned? Apple still has horrid laptop keyboards, overpriced single port fashion models, a 2013 vintage trashcan, and a dearth of desktop options that work for education, small business, or high power computing users. I won’t be convinced until I see fresh hardware and see Apple declare that they will maintain their Macs with regular refreshes and price adjustments. The decline of the Mac is 100% on Timmy.

      1. I said turned a corner, I don’t think they’ve got around it or even reached the apex but they have started to turn.
        I completely agree with your list of issues with their current product line and I would probably add a few more, doesn’t anyone else hate their desktop mouse?

        They certainly took the eye off the ball and Tim is in charge so he has to take responsibility but I think there is one other person who must also bare responsibility and that’s Jony.

        I think there are positive signs already that things are changing. I mean at what point in Apple’s history has Apple invited journalists to a round table meeting to admit that they messed up and designed themselves into a thermal corner. Sometimes admitting you have a problem is the first step to correcting it.

        1. Granted, one can cite the “we screwed up” Mac Pro bit as an alleged corner turn, but that trip to the confession box was already two (2) years ago, and was in regards to a set of hardware that was already four (4) years old and overdue for an update.

          In contrast, the speed at which Apple moved from the G3 to G4 PowerMac is illustrated in their respective release dates: the G3 B&W was released in January 1999 … and the G4 “Yikes!” AND the G4 “Sawtooth” .. two separate and distinct designs … were released in August of the same year.

          And if that wasn’t enough, elven (11) months later, two more designs rolled out to supersede the above … and needless to say, even if you want to claim that the G4 “Mystic” was highly derivative and not a meaningful technical challenge, the G4 cube certainly was a major redesign.

          So within just this <two year period, Apple delivered (yes, shipped) no less than four distinct Mac desktop designs, most of which were intended to be the most powerful macs being sold.

          YMMV. but based on Apple history, I’d say that they’re moving at 1/4 the speed & agility that they used to be capable of, back when they were cash-strapped and <9000 employees.

  4. I agree. The “Mac” is on shaky ground at Apple. That’s not because of intel. Many vendors are delivering compelling and attractive laptops using intel’s processors and delivering MacBook Pro crushing performance numbers for much lower costs. Their laptops are thin and offer ports as well. They even come in black with light up logos and much better and sharper OLED screens. No need to mention keyboards.

    Apple continues to offer form over function, apparently assuming thinness is the feature we care most about for some god awful reason.

    The major attractive feature of the MacBook Pro is macOS. If MacBook Pros came with Windows, no one would buy them. In fact, if any Mac was sold as a Windows computer, it would not be able to compete. The Mac is not the hardware. Apple’s Mac hardware is basically unimpressive. It is the macOS that Mac users cling to.

    This is where it gets interesting with regard to Apple’s all iPad world vision. If the Mac is allowed to languish while iOS is improved daily, how many of us will remain as Apple customers to buy all those iOS appliances. If I don’t have the Mac, I don’t want the watch, the phone, or the tablet, and I sure don’t need the services. Once again, The Mac is the foundation upon which my relationship with Apple is built.

    As it stands, any performance hungry “Pro” that hasn’t already moved to Windows, or built a Hackintosh should receive a badge of courage from Apple. And a new free Mac Pro when and if they are ever released.

    1. That depends on what pros, most don’t use Autocad, Navis, Photoshop or Revit, my company is using those programs with Windows 2009…. Apple needs to git rit of Intel soon if they want to maintain margins and improve performance. The iPad 12.9 is a great piece of hardware that needs to be used on all Apple desktop systems.

    2. There are lots of Apple II users that went Windows after being “betrayed” by Apple. People dropped Apple after the OS X transition, after the PowerPC transition, they WILL drop Apple after the 64-bit only transition, it has happened before will happen again and is nothing new. Picking up new users at a consistent pace means they don’t have to be concerned about those folks waiting for the return of the cheese grater or hefty laptops. 🙂

      1. Apple gained many users following its switch to Intel chips.

        Apple would lose users if it eliminated full compatibility with x86 processors, which remain by far the most popular platform supporting the deepest software library. It is truly puzzling what fanboys here think can be gained by licensing lower capability ARM chips. If Timmy doesn’t think Intel produces enough chips at prices he likes, there’s nothing stopping him from buying from AMD or licensing from Intel.

        1. “Apple would lose users”
          As they do during EVERY transition, this wouldn’t be anything unique or new . New users would wonder why all the old folks are going on about some Intel whatever while they happily surf the web, send their emails and post their social media updates.

            1. No, the MAJORITY of regular everyday mom, dad, Jill, lil’ Billy, uncle Jake, granma Clarice kinda folks use ANY computing device they get their hands on for a few mundane tasks. Why’d they buy a Mac when they obviously don’t need one? Well, granma’s only ever used mice and just aren’t comfortable with that touch thing (and she’s afraid she’d drop or misplace it). The kids like the bigger screen for gaming, etc. Apple has said ONLY 20% of their users open a Pro app at least once a month. So, yeah, it’s clear that the majority is doing a whole lot that’s interchangeable between laptop, desktop and mobile.

  5. i again urge all those “pros” out there to whom apple products do not suffice to please lave the platform and go to windows. Enjoy it…. or don’t……. i am the only person in my office who works on a mac and guess what every single day someone has some issue with a windows computer… we are a company of 35 people to put that into perspective and all of our computers are less than 3 years old. My mac is worked on every day for 11 hours a day doing photo editing, 10-12 spreadsheets open at any time, powering 2 additional monitors, with 8-10 browser tabs open across 2 browsers and the only downtime i ever experience is software updates. I use a 2016 MBP with 16g of ram and 500g drive. i think the machines they make are more than sufficient for 99% of people and if that is not for you again exercise your options and go elsewhere. I have a strong feeling you will be back.

    I am not sure who commented about Windows based machines having a better lifetime value than macs but they must be puffing that good stuff. On average a PC which is 3 years old is worth next to nothing whereas a 2016 MB you can still get 30-40% of the original price for it right now on any reselling platform. When you put this into perspective the cost to own a mac and then to replace it it much lower across the lifespan than any windows machine being built.

    1. Already did that, my friend. Used to be a 100% Mac company. Today we have two Macs in the house. Apple simply doesn’t offer the hardware or software on the Mac platform to compete anymore. Cookie took his eye completely off the ball, grossly underinvesting in legacy cash cows that should have another 2 decades or more of market leadership in them. Instead Macs are constrained overpriced fashion statements. Exactly the opposite of what small businesses and wise consumers need.

      1. The Apple ][, seen at one point as the most popular home computer, lasted 17 years. The Motorola Macs lasted 22 years, and the Intel Macs are currently at 13 years and you think they would be able to go for 20 more years? 33 years? That would be like the Apple ][ existing up until right before Intel Macs were introduced!

        And Apple hasn’t been at market leadership of ANYTHING PC related since the Apple ][, or do you seriously think that the OS most of the world is using right now is NOT some variant of a Microsoft system?

  6. “Macbook Pro not supporting more than 16GB RAM until 2017 is not an Intel constraint”
    Except for when it is. I mean, it’s painfully clear that Intel sucks at all things mobile and the MacBook Pro needs a high performing efficient chip, something like Cannon Lake. Why isn’t Apple just buying some Cannon Lake processors? Hmmm, let’s see…

    Apple: I’ve got a thin and light form factor laptop I’m developing, can you support it?
    Intel: YES, we constantly improve our products!
    Apple: Great, when will you have a CPU that’ll support 32 gigs of LPDDR4 in this form factor?
    Intel: 2016! Without a doubt! You can BANK on it.

    Now it’s 2019, and Intel STILL hasn’t shipped a processor that uses 32 gigs of LPDDR4. Maybe this year, but history doesn’t favor them.

    On everything else, Apple made the decision to not update them, that was fully in their control. For mobile, everyone is constrained by whatever Intel is actually able to ship. MANY vendors were even forced to use desktop parts in laptops JUST to have something to sell.

      1. Why? specifically why? Nobody has yet put forth a legitimate reason to incur massive changeover costs. Just blind hatred for a US chip company. Is that all we have here?

          1. The Mac is not an ultraportable. We are not talking about thin-client iOS. We are talking about Macs. Why do you think Macs would be better served with a less capable, less compatible chipset?

            1. The future is mobile. Actually the present is mobile, Apple ships FAR more MacBooks and MacBook Pro’s than ANY of their desktops. If Intel can’t keep Apple supplied with high powered efficient mobile CPU’s AND specifically if Apple can do BETTER, they should. And remember, according to Intel, next year they will.

  7. As we all know, iOS is a pathetic excuse for a personal computer OS. That alone is enough to make me cringe at the thought of Apple degrading MacOS in order to make the two separate systems one big clusterFsck.

    Think about what the iPad offers: no file system, sandboxed programs that don’t work well together, and a dearth of I/O options constrained through one physical port.

    Compare that to the simplest NUC from Intel:

    See a difference? Even if you think an iPad has the computing power you need for your lightweight tasks, almost everyone is better served with the versatility that a real PC offers. To get a ARM machine to work, Apple would have to add:
    – multiple USB channels
    – much greater hard drive/SSD memory, preferably multiple slots
    – SD card, preferably without buying an overpriced white plastic “Camera Kit”
    – PCI lanes, preferably internal card slots
    – multiple video outputs using DisplayPort and HDMI
    – a few legacy USB-A ports to be kind
    – an RJ45 ethernet port
    – proper audio interfaces, preferably digital

    To date, no iOS device has a fraction of that stuff and most of the commodity stiff Apple would want to use doesn’t play nice with ARM architecture.

    Why reinvent the wheel for no performance gain other than theoretic battery efficiency? Just install a better battery in Mac laptops if you want longer run times…

    1. Why reinvent the wheel for no performance gain other than theoretic battery efficiency? […]

      I’m afraid the answer is nothing more than corporate profit.
      Because it clearly ain’t “delighting the customer” anymore.

      The trick to all of this is to figure out the timing for when the APPL stock buybacks come to an end and to sell it all before the inevitable price collapse and corporate hollowing out.

      Wonder if the giant glass “Homer’s doughnut” office building will then become a giant skateboarding park?

    2. You forgot “outdated 14 nm process node” 🙂
      If Cannon Lake was shipping in quantity to everyone that wanted it, this would be a different story. However, they’re not able to, yet Apple’s able to iterate several generations in the mobile space with smaller process notes yielding better performance. Intel has already said Apple’s making a switch next year, likely based on the fact that Apple hasn’t contracted certain CPU’s from them next year. SO, it’s a done deal.

      “RJ45 ethernet port” oh yes, just like the one on my MacBookP…wait a minute!!

    3. Apple owns iOS and OSX both can be anything Apple wants it to be, Intel is Sh_t at this time, they are not performing. Motorola is gone, IBM, and Intel are on the long slow decline to nothing.

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