Apple is listening again

Afterburner on the new Mac Pro allows video editors to decode up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW video and 12 streams of 4K ProRes RAW video in real time.
All-new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR are the most powerful tools Apple has ever put in the hands of pro customers and will change pro workflows forever.

Marco Arment for Marco.org:

Something big changed at Apple around the beginning of 2017.

They had encountered significant turbulence in the product line over the preceding years, especially Macs. It was a rough time to be a pro Mac user.

it became clear that the Mac Pro was an embarrassing, outdated flop that Apple seemed to have little intention of ever updating, leaving its customers feeling unheard and abandoned. I think Apple learned a small lesson from it, but they learned a much bigger one a few years later. [The generally poor reception of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.]

The only company that can make computers for our OS seemed incapable of making good computers anymore… Then, in April 2017, out of nowhere, Apple held a Mac Pro roundtable discussion with the press to announce that they were in the early stages of completely redesigning the Mac Pro. It sounded like they’d gone from not listening to their customers at all to an institutionalized process of listening. And the newly designed Macs released since then have been great.

Apple is listening again, they’ve still got it, and the Mac is back.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, yes, yes! After a horrid few years there, Apple is clearly back on track and so is the Mac!

Of the new Mac Pro, every Mac user should be proud.

The Mac Pro is sort of like why you fund a space program, if you’re smart. Yes, there are pressing needs elsewhere (and, btw, there always will be; it’s a bad excuse for not investing in exploration), but if you’re not pushing, you’re stagnating. Nothing unexpected can be discovered, no new solutions uncovered when no new challenges are ventured. It’s why smart car companies make esoteric supercars of which only a few will ever be sold and on which the investment will never be recouped. As with supercars, lessons learned from the Mac Pro, the Mac flagship, will percolate throughout and improve all of Apple’s product lines. Yes, Apple worst-selling Mac is their most important.

May the Mac Pro never be dead-ended, abandoned, and ignored again!

Think about what you thought of Apple’s Mac lineup when it had a half-decade-old, neglected, dead-end design as its flagship. The entire Mac lineup was diminished. Apple’s management who allowed this to happen were diminished, too. People could only see the flaws – in the machines and the people. Now, with the new Mac Pro proudly raising the flag high atop the mountain, all Macs, and everyone responsible for making Macs, are lifted up along with it.MacDailyNews, June 6, 2019

13 Comments

  1. It’s true they may be listening better but are they interpreting what they are hearing correctly? And therein lies the rub. I think Macs were also ignored in recent years since the current CEO did not grow up with the Mac, nor have anything much to do with it’s progress and invention and so his passion for it questionable.

    But a CEO needs to have a passion for every device they make to be firing on all cylinders and keeping the brand strong or inevitably fail. It will be telling as they fix their various Mac problems to a strong lineup across the board how much in increased sales ensues.

    1. what are the chances that the Mac was ignored on the assumption by Apple higher ups that the iPad will replace the Mac!! When the iPad sales slowed, the same higher ups started to rethink about the Mac….

  2. I really think the most ardent complainers don’t really use their Macs for work.

    I took a lot of heat over the cost for “making the switch” to Mac from Dec 2012 to Mar 2013 after I got my 2012 iMac(my first Mac). I took me 3 months to switch because I was being extra careful. Looking back, I could have made the switch in 10 days or less. I made the switch because I was tired of spending SO much time on backups, updates and screwing with everything inside my computer. My iMac runs all day, everyday and it does “it’s thing”- backups, updates, security, ect- all by itself and it does it in a cool, fast, and crisp way. I don’t think about the iMac. I have opened the back once to add more ram, added a external backup drive and an external thunderbolt ssd. Only the case for the SSD was really expensive but I’ll be able to use it on my next Mac. I consider the $4000 spent over 6 years to be CHEAP. The iMac saves me 3 to 4 hours a month- that’s big money.

    The machine is over six years old and I’ll buy another one. The machine for me is a tricked out i9 iMac. The reason why I haven’t bought one yet is because it lacks the T2 chip. I plan on waiting until Apple announces an iMac with a T2. If my current machine should require an emergency replacement, I will be in no way disappointed.

    If I was a serious “prosumer” or a full professional in the photography, coding, audio, video, or AR fields, I’d pick from the iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro or a MacBook Pro and buy the tricked out version of one of them and concentrate on my work and not on what my computer is doing. It’s a joy not having to worry one bit about what your computer is doing for over 6 years. That’s why you buy a Mac. Over 6 years $4000 is nothing. To a video pro, an investment of $15000-$25000 with a 30 month working life is nothing.

    As an Apple customer, I’m glad Apple will produce a $25,000 computer for the pros that need it.

    ====
    Having said what I just said, if I bought a high dollar Apple Laptop and I had trouble with the keyboard, I’d be one unhappy camper. Apple needs to keep track of their Ps and Qs. And, no T2 in the iMac is a mistake. 🙂

    ps: the $4000 dollars spent on my iMac (with additions), is only the SIXTH most expensive machine I’ve used in my professional life.

  3. If Apple actually listened to customers, those customers would not have to go through multi-year droughts between significant app updates, nor be jerked around by horrid dumbing down of Mac Apps.

    If Apple actually listened to customers, it would have corrected its abysmal butteryfly (sic) keyboards by immediately moving back to the reliable low-friction mechanism with greater key travel.

    If Apple actually listened to customers, it would offer matte display options for all its screens, not just the $6000 one.

    If Apple actually listened to customers, all of its Macs without exception would use modern user-upgradeable SSDs, RAM, and video cards.

    If Apple actually listened to customers, it would have a full family of Airports…. A full family of different sized phones…. a full family of desktop displays … a full family of MacBooks … A full family of desktops that actually make sense, at multiple price points. Instead the Apple website looks like a garage sale of old and new with massive gaps in size and price, with many legacy products abandoned with no modern equivalent from Apple or anyone else (Time Capsule, for example).

    Apple obviously has selective hearing. They only listen when they think they can soak the user for a monthly fee or an outrageous profit margin. I was happy to pay Mac prices when they were a cut above the competition, but since Apple has squandered its lead, and most top notch software is now mostly Windows native, the price tag for Apple’s fashion-first product is hard to ignore.

  4. I’ll believe they are listening when they make user serviceable RAM/HD/SSDs for all their desktops.

    Swapping RAM or HDs should not be an onerous task for a desktop, and it should never be an impossible task for a desktop. HDs will eventually fail, a user shouldn’t be forced to go to a service center to swap it out or upgrade it. Ditto for RAM.

    The Mac mini is small for smallness sake, with no advantage gained. It could easily be an inch taller or wider or both (to allow easy RAM/HD access) and NO ONE in its target market would care, in fact they’d prolly be thrilled.

    And don’t get me started on an iMac “Pro” which is completely hermetically sealed.

    “Note that iMac Pro memory is not user accessible. If you think you may need more memory in the future, consider upgrading it at the time of purchase.”

    “Note: iMac Pro storage is not user accessible. If you think you may need more storage capacity in the future, consider upgrading at the time of purchase.”

    Show me one “Pro” (or semi-Pro, or non-Pro) user who wants to be forced to run to a repair center when his HD craps out or a RAM module goes bad.

    When Apple makes an iMac and a Mac mini which open just as beautifully as the MacPro, I’ll truly believe they are listening to users.

  5. I imagine that we might start hearing about super clusters being made of these Mac Pros. When Apple had rack-mounted servers, you’d always hear about a University that had created some new, monstrously large and powerful super computer from Macs.

  6. Who was making those decisions for around 4 years or so was it a design by committee compromised worst of both worlds or was it Cook mimicking Jobs going on a hunch that unfortunately only in his version played only lip service to innovation and design as a gloss to disguise the real focus on profit. Either way I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall over that whole period.

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