Christina Warren digs deeper into the possibility of an Apple Mac crisis.
Meanwhile, it’s Microsoft, not Apple, that is making real innovative strides on the desktop with the Surface Studio. So what’s going on?
According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the Mac team is a much lower priority than it used to be at Apple:
Interviews with people familiar with Apple’s inner workings reveal that the Mac is getting far less attention than it once did. They say the Mac team has lost clout with the famed industrial design group led by Jony Ive and the company’s software team. They also describe a lack of clear direction from senior management, departures of key people working on Mac hardware and technical challenges that have delayed the roll-out of new computers.
Apple has been fighting off critiques that it has forsaken the Mac for the iPhone for years. As far back as 2010, Apple had to hold its first “Back to the Mac” event to basically reassure the public that it still cared about the Mac. The company has continued to do those sorts of events to reassure the public.
But as time has gone on, Apple’s update cycle for its Mac products has slipped too. You used to be able to count on the Mac lineup getting refreshed at least once a year, but that’s slipped. Part of this, as Gurman notes, is on Intel. Apple’s product timetable is often tied to when Intel offers up the latest versions of its chips. If there is an Intel delay, as there was for Skylake in 2015, Apple is forced to either not release updated Mac products, or release them with barely-updated guts.
The deprioritization of the Mac is evident in personal changes within the company as well. In November, longtime Apple engineer Sal Soghoian, who had served as product manager for automation technologies on macOS for nearly twenty years, left Apple after his position was eliminated “for business reasons.” Plenty of Apple pundits found this news to be be ominous, with John Gruber going as far as to call it a “profoundly worrisome turn of events for the future of the Mac.” As Gurman notes there have been more than a dozen departures from the Mac team.
For its part, Apple is on the PR offensive, doing its best to assure everyone that everything is fine.
Click here to read the full article from Gizmodo