There isn’t anything flashy about computer towers.
And their lack of style made it easy for Apple to abandon them.
But do we really prefer Apple produces more iMacs and unconventionally shaped Mac Pros? What if instead they decide to return to their most durable, albeit boring desktop hardware design?
Returning to the tower designs of yesteryear could potentially be a big win for Apple not to mention its customers. iMac and Mac Pro hardware designs feature stylish good looks over the ability to easily upgrade.
Apple’s tight, sleek iMac suffers from poor thermal distribution. Consequently, incredible amounts of heat amass inside. Over time, the accumulation of heat contributes to rapid aging.
Towers offer no similar compromise regarding the ravages of high temperatures. They are built to more efficiently distribute and filter heat from their cavernous cases.
The desktop towers’ interiors that Apple once made were easily accessed. Apple has hinted at a return to a more modular design.
It can’t come soon enough for this old Apple fanboy.
Today, Apple makes the complete opposite of modular design computers. And every desktop they produce is vulnerable to premature hardware failure because of aforementioned interior airflow deficiencies.
Why Apple should do it
Apple wants us to buy Macs more frequently. While it is only my opinion, I believe we’ve been conditioned accordingly and sales of Macs remain up. How else to explain it? That being said, I also feel our standards and expectations are considerably lower when it comes to what to expect from Apple and its line of Macs moving forward. We’re just not excited at the prospect anymore.
One way to gain younger customers and to reinvigorate older ones is for Apple to create and produce computers featuring the ability (of its buyers) to perform basic upgrades. This could be their new “prosumer” line of Apple towers.
Think of the joy consumers and professionals alike could know at:
- Easily upgrading the memory and hard disk in their machine; or
- Being able to order and install a replacement GPU from Apple; and
- Being able to order and install a logic board or CPU replacement (or perhaps unlock an Apple-authorized CPU overclock, as needs for more processing power arise).
Number three may be pushing it, but at least you get the picture. A return to a tower design of some kind would not be the equivalent of Apple conceding it no longer can design innovatively; to the contrary it would be an admission that it is better late than never to recognize past triumphs in design by creating modernized versions.
Additionally, the price tag for an Apple machine can be high, to put it kindly. For the amount of hard earned cash its customers fork over, they should be able to expect a reasonable level of modular capability in their machines. And towers offer unrivaled access to innards via drop down, swing open, as well as side panel sliding doors.
Why Apple won’t do it
Apple would stand to lose money on new machine purchases with a return to a tower-like design. They’re a publicly-owned company. They have stakeholders and the like to consider and appease.
Releasing a machine that consumers would hold on to longer is not in the best interests of a computer maker that relies on machine planned obsolescence in three to five years’ time.
Apple typically does not want its customers to mess with hardware it sells them. Whether it’s an iPhone or an iMac, Apple would prefer you bring it to them or an Apple authorized reseller when something goes wrong.
If consumers are working on their own Macs’ interiors, this is against the grain of the “hands off by its customers” repair/upgrade approach Apple traditionally takes.
By returning to the tower, though, Apple would also (in theory) look to re-enter the display business. Again, with the talk of a more modular Mac pro being bandied about, comes the parallel chatter of an Apple branded display that would accompany it.
Apple left the tower business.
It also left the monitor business.
It doesn’t make any sense to return to something they discarded, right?
The old Apple would have done the opposite of what appears logical.
Here’s hoping the new Apple can demonstrate regard for its consumers by bringing excitement back to the Mac—even if it doesn’t seem to make business sense.