Dear Apple, an Open Letter on Your Mac Update Fatigue:

I love your minimalism. No heavy designs, just what’s needed, and you Apple know what people need. Your creation of demands — iPod, iPhone, iPad — is unmatched in the consumer world. Yet there are two minimalisms you provide, and the latter one is disturbing. Love your clean, minimalist designs and UI without frills. But in terms of minimalist hardware upgrades, today everything is about the iPhone. Your computers on offer are outdated and almost outrageous. Don’t you fear customers could one day take revenge?

Yes, happy birthday Apple. It was 40 years ago, on April 1, 1976, that Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded Apple Computer Company. First there was a handicraft computer and then the first commercially successful computer with a graphical user interface. A history of ups, downs and near collapse followed.

In 2007, when you Apple were really successful again, the company redeemed the component “cromputer” from its own name. It was the year of the iPhone introduction, after your successes with the iPod MP3 player.

And today, 40 years after your founding, you threaten to insult your most loyal customers: Mac users. After all, I have a hard time if I want to buy a Mac today. Sure I have a 5-year old MacBook Air at home still running smoothly, it might even be faster than when I bought it. But your current models, dear Apple, are across the board equipped with obsolete Intel processors, and Mac users wait for updates of multiple models — so far in vain.

The latest Mac computer was released in October 2015 when Apple launched a new iMac. But if I’d like to buy a MacBook Pro with Retina display, well since May 2015 we’re waiting for an update of this series. Since then, you Apple have not even reduced the price of the computer, even though the components used therein have become cheaper. Sure, we don’t always need the latest and greatest, and good for you Apple to enjoy even higher profit margins.

Some Mac models haven’t been updated since 2013. Are you, Apple, becoming a phone company? And with Tim Cook trying to pitch the iPad Pro as the better computer, we get iPads in all forms and shapes, yet on the computer front, the MacBook Pro is not even the most extreme case.

The small MacBook was introduce in April 2015 and since then never updated or reduced in price. Customers wait since March 2015 for an updated MacBook Air, and the stand-alone Mac Mini was last updated in October 2014 while computer components become faster, cheaper, better. Look how on the Windows front companies are churning out ever better models.

Yet most absurd, dear Apple, is the situation with your professional Mac Pro, your most powerful and expandable computer ever. The Mac Pro was introduced in December 2013. And has since sold unchanged. And are you, Apple, still selling old stocked MacBook Pros without Retina screen? A model from June 2012 is still unchanged and available. At least in June 2014 you offered a slight price reduction on the discontinued model.

Whatever you say, Apple.

Know when to buy thy Mac -- Apple authority MacRumors isn't too keen to recommend Mac buys these days.
Know when to buy thy Mac — Apple authority MacRumors doesn’t seem too keen to recommend Mac buys these days.

Just don’t say MacRumors is not a Mac force to reckon with. MacRumors advises to currently not buy six out of seven Mac computers. At least the iMac is rated as “neutral.”

Because who cares. You Apple are still making good money and defy the general negative trend in PC sales while you build yourself a magnificent palace. Despite your update fatigue, you sold 5.3 million Macs in the first quarter of this year — almost as many as a year earlier. Year-on-year revenue fell by only 2% to 6.7 billion dollars.

In the preceding quarter you even announced new Mac record sales. Must be because your hardware and software are so superior. or is it a marketing thing? Again, even my old Apple hardware works just fine. In benchmark tests, your aging models sure still beat the hell out of Windoze? But maybe, due to ever-new record sales figures for the iPhone, Macs are not that important anymore. In the recent quarter you sold iPhones for more than 32 billion dollars. That makes Macs relatively unimportant, and now that you push for the transition from computers to iPads, Macs become even less important?

Could it be, though, that some professional users are turning away from you, Apple? Your iPod, iPhone and iPad successes helped Mac sales, you still dominate the market for computers over $1,000 almost alone.

Yet computer professionals are a different breed. For them, your computers become increasingly unattractive while Windows is beginning to make inroads.

Apple’s video editing software Final Cut Pro X, which appeared in 2011, doesn’t support the color correction system Color and other functions any longer, Aperture R.I.P., and other OS X applications, such as iWork Suite, have been lightened in functionality, thus making them more similar to iOS versions.

Mac users still can enjoy rock-solid platforms, and it’s unlikely that no new models are introduced at WWDC developer conference this summer. If, however, again no new Macs are announced, then Apple you seriously threaten to squander the loyalty of professional users.

Or are you betting people won’t be using computers anymore, everything is going mobile?

Nevertheless, Macs are avaialble on Amazon, eBay, B&H Photo and Adorama.

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(inspired by Die Welt)
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  • reviveramesh

    totally agree n well analysed. sad that the apple company does not see it like this – i think they are betting that computers will die and mobile and pads will take over

  • Milkman

    Apple has always struck me as being a remarkably arrogant company bar none. All Jobs did to Apple since his re-emergence until he died was to behave like Hitler and commandeer the biggest, most insane and vacuous fan following. History proved that you can sell a poor-reception iPhone to a young idiot and get away with it. And even if they march back with a complaint, you can buy them off by throwing free (probably made in China) leather cases to the thronging fanatical mob.

    In other words, Apple can do no wrong. And if they think that they can dictate to the market that the PC (including laptop) is dead, they will pathologically believe it. They write their own prophecies and they believe in fulfilling them themselves.

    It looks like Apple is betting the house that they can repeat history, that is, to return to and revisit the brink of collapse. Hopefully this time, they will collapse because there’s nothing like looking disaster in the eye, eat the humble pie and hopefully have the chance of reinventing yourself. The problem with this scenario, however, is that a reinvented Apple might not remain Apple anymore. They might end up keeping good company with Blackberry.

    I’d love to see Lenovo buying up Apple and turning them into a division. LOL. Even better still, imagine Samsung buying them up. After all the lawsuits back and forth, that would be one helluva unbelievable event. You’d wonder if there’ll be riots in the Big Apple because of that.

    Now wouldn’t that be something.

  • Arrogance? Well, they just did a better job for so long. Call it marketing to a large extent, yet usually we only make repeat buys of things that work as promised. And most Apple products do so.

    There are advantages to designing products from scratch, so there is some hope with Microsoft launching its own lineups (Surface) this might turn into something like a competitive force to reckon with. But look how Apple gets copied. Even Google’s latest Chromebooks clearly have some Apple DNA:

    As long as Apple makes it attractive enough to buy its well-integrated products, well for that long I’m willing to pay a certain Apple tax. But there are limits.

    Even though, recently tried a Microsoft mobile device. Just didn’t cut it. Neither GPS was reliable nor was there this rich biosphere of apps and related services and functionalities Apple offers. Maybe the Apple genie is out of the bottle and they miscalculate consumer behavior. Highly doubt it, as entrenched as they are.

  • jcespite

    I don’t believe Apple believes iPad or mobile phones will take over, the have the sales numbers and they are not there. Apple doesn’t upgrade their computers as I believe they don’t have the cycles to work on them. Apple verses Google strategy is very different. Apple doesn’t throw money into all things like Google. Apple also believes that customer loyalty is very strong and will stay strong. Also, Apple focuses highly on marketing. Just look at all the moneys Apple spent on advertising and celebrity endorsement on the Apple Watch.

  • The major step forward would be to merge iOS and OS X, kind of like what Windows 10 does, who knows Apple might even be working on this. Now they have to nurture two completely different ecosystems that — and that’s the catch-22 — become more and more similar, yet separated. Giving any device access to a unified OS, now that should be Apple’s future.

  • Dave

    Intel interrupted Apples release cycles with processor delays. Apple now is forced to wait for the relevant new processors to make the next big step. To fill the gap with small updates only does not fit Apples strategy. Admittedly the end of Aperture made me think about some weird things going on behind Apples curtains, equally its price strategy. Apples Summer 2016 will decide whether my 8y iMac will be replaced by another Apple device or sth much cheaper from Windows.

  • While the right processor sure matters, especially for photo editing more RAM might offer a better performance increase. If you’re not into serious video editing or complex 3D renderings, most machines available will do alright. There is a wide list of things that can be upgraded or improved, just to mention the screen, battery power, sound system, etc., etc.

    Windows looks increasingly attractive.

  • Dave

    OK. E.g. to get a 15′ macbook we need to buy an overpowered expensive Macbook Pro. Could Apple try to imagine that surfing the net or doing more simple stuff than professionals would be nicer on a 15′ retina screen for the plain average user too? Maybe such a device, 15′ Air or Book, is planned to be release when GPU will finally be sufficiently implemented in those long promised processors from Intel. However, its all a bit vague where Apple is heading to and my waiting will end soon.