Apple MacBook event: It’s about time the Mac got some much-needed love
Later today, Apple is hosting a special event where all signs suggest new products in the Mac lineup will be unveiled. The invitation bears the words “hello again”, a nod to the first Mac in 1984, which was introduced with the words “Hello, I’m Macintosh”. The excitement is pretty high considering how the Mac lineup has been ignored lately.
To give you a quick recap of the latest updates to some Mac products: the MacBook Air hasn’t been updated since March 2015, except for the little bump at the start of the year; the Retina MacBook Pro last took a beating in May 2015; and the Mac mini was last updated in October 2014. The standard version of the MacBook Pro hasn’t seen any love since 2012, but it’s safe to assume that this model won’t see any more updates. .
There are several reasons for this delay: the PC market has been collapsing for years, Macs don’t make as much money as the iPhone, and Apple depends on Intel releasing its new chips (unlike iOS devices that work on the A-series chips). Then there’s the seemingly perennial interest in presenting the iPad Pro as the modern “Post PC” computer.
The lack of focus is also evident in software; Since the release of OS X Lion in 2011, the main features of later versions of the operating system relate to applications, features and user interface design carried over from previous iOS versions. That’s not to say it wasn’t successful; Apple currently occupies a unique place in the market by achieving seamless synchronization between phone, computer, tablet and now even smartwatch on a level that Microsoft and Google cannot replicate. But while we appreciate universal copy-and-paste, AirDrop, and other continuity features, it’s safe to say macOS hasn’t seen any bold, groundbreaking additions in years.
From a hardware standpoint, buying an entry-level MacBook Air gets you second-rate specs as the asking price starts at Rs. 73,900, though it’s available to many. cheaper online. For that price, you get an 11-inch computer with 4GB of RAM, which is considered too little for modern use cases. On the desktop side – if you don’t count the Mac mini where you have to buy the monitor, keyboard and mouse separately – the entry-level iMac starts at Rs. 91,900 and is powered by the same chip 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 that’s featured in the MacBook Air, not to mention the sluggish 5400RPM hard drive, which tends to be a performance bottleneck. The smarter ‘Fusion Drive’ arrangement, which links fast flash storage with a large capacity hard drive, is reserved for the Rs. 1,64,900 27-inch iMac.
Retina displays were introduced to Macs back in 2012. But as things stand, while entry-level iOS devices like the iPad mini 2 and iPhone SE have them, the asking price for the display is cheapest Apple laptop loaded with Retina display is a whopping Rs. 1,06,900.
Tim Cook seemed pretty clear in his thoughts back in 2012 when asked if the PC and tablet would converge over time. “You can converge a toaster and a fridge, but those things probably won’t appeal to the user,” Cook had said. Despite that, it seems to have headed in that direction with the introduction of the iPad Pro with an optional keyboard cover last year. Instead of adding tablet capabilities to a computer, Apple went in the opposite direction, mimicking computer use on a tablet.
But if slowing tablet sales aren’t an indicator, the fact that much of the work in today’s world is still done on computers should remind Apple and others that the line of products deserves more attention. Developers still use computers to program the apps and services we rely on, designers and video editors still use computers to process their art. Even working on spreadsheets is easier with a mouse and keyboard than just a touchscreen.
The Apple CEO claimed to be attached to the Mac. Apple is also a company that is often seen as pushing the envelope when it comes to embracing new standards and technologies. But beyond just removing ports, I sincerely hope the company is also actively looking to eliminate anything less than state-of-the-art across its entire Mac lineup. Apple paved the way for the personal computing revolution in 1984; it’s time for another computer revolution.