Opinion

Mac design decline: The solution staring Apple down

I no longer perceive Apple as an innovator.

And I no longer believe they are at the top of the heap with respect to creating products their customers crave.

I would suggest you can argue that for every product Apple makes, you can find a reasonable facsimile that does the same job.

Accordingly, it’s hard to be the top innovating dog when the degrees of separation between Apple and its competition are so slim.

Apple lost its focus when it prioritized profit over pleasing its customers. This is nothing new. It happens all the time with companies that become successful — no matter the industry or sector.

Additionally, when you combine the pressures to constantly be the expected leader regarding “state of the art,” there really is no other destination to journey towards than downward.

Which leads us to current events for Apple.

Steve Wozniak recently predicted Apple, Google and Facebook (not necessarily in order of importance) will still be around and viable in 2075.

That’s great. But instead of designing another thing we don’t need any more of, like automobiles (of any kind), I wish Apple would get involved in the science of longevity. This way, Steve Wozniak and I could both appreciate all of the neat stuff available in 2075.

But Apple is poised to give us some other stuff we don’t particularly need.

Political polls are an extension of market research and studies. We all know how objective and accurate they are. Seriously, the truth of the matter always bring the logical person back to more simple ways of assessing customer needs.

For Apple, its professional Mac user base is set to receive a Mac Pro refresh by the end of 2018. It’s not like these few remaining Mac Pro machine folks haven’t already waited long enough or availed themselves of other options existing on the dark side (read: Windows).

Apple is also rumored to be coming out with a professional grade iMac.

Again, this is something the world, and particularly loyal Apple customers, do not in the slightest, need.

Any Apple tech or person who’s taken apart an iMac for repair understands that behind all the sexy sleekness is a ticking time bomb of cumulative, heat-induced repair expense. To put it another way, Apple’s iMac designs stuff ten pounds of components into five pound bags.

Since heat is the enemy of computer hardware, it would stand to reason that an informed consumer would understand they (and their iMac) are on the clock in terms of needing repair work, the moment they take that shiny beast out of its box and fire it up (no pun intended).

It’s called planned obsolescence. I tire of reading tales of Apple fans who are forced to say goodbye to their iMacs after eight years (or sooner). The sad fact of the matter is that even though Apple is an Intel-based platform, their iMac computers do not last as long as the hardware designs of yesteryear.

Which brings us full circle.

Hell, even Steve Wozniak can’t do this, if I could get Tim Cook and Jony Ive in a room together, I’d start out by telling them I understand the enormous pressure they are under. I’d also be frank and honest. I would tell them they chose the direction of planned obsolescence for their machines and this fate is entirely on them.

By prioritizing profit over the needs of their customers, Apple in essence turned their back on the desires of the base it had when it went by “Apple Computer.” Apple made it clear what customers needed from them was not nearly as important as the Cupertino monolith’s quest to remain among the most cash-heavy multinational corporations in the world.

There is no light at the end of tunnel for Apple’s Mac customers. Apple will remain content to give us tidbits like touch bars when we really should be getting the biggest bang for our hard-earned buck.

I would suggest looking to the past for supreme computer hardware design.

Copycats abound that have sought to imitate Apple.

Instead of doing more of the same, Apple has the power, ability and yes, swagger to do something audacious. They can reinvigorate the present by virtue of its glorious past (when it comes to computer hardware design).

You’ve read this far. You have an idea, if not a complete understanding, of what my suggestion would be to both Cook and Ive regarding what kind of Mac should be built next.

I’ve been told that I have a command for the obvious. If this piece is any indication, you’ll know exactly the hardware case design I’m hinting at: the tower. It’s one that is tried and true. It’s one that should be resurrected. It’s respected and is timeworn, tested architecture. And we need it again. Badly.

Why do I feel so strongly about this? That is a discussion for another time.

So until next month, talk amongst yourselves.

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