One can argue that Apple Inc. is the iPhone company because the iconic device makes up more than 60-percent of the company’s revenue and profits. So be it. But all of Apple’s major products make a lot of money and cause envy among competitors, regardless of the industry segment. Macs comprise about half the PC industry’s profits. iPads, too. Ditto Watch. Who makes more money selling music than Apple?
The future seems to be a heady froth of thinner, lighter, faster, and Apple has a few Mac products that are not. Look at the Mac lineup. Are there a few models that Apple could throw to the curb and no one would notice?
Here’s my look at what Apple could do to the Mac that may seem drastic but probably means little to the company’s revenue and profits. Sooner or later we’ll say goodbye to these Macs.
MacBook Air – This is a no brainer. The MBA is aging fast, replaced in everything but price by the new thinner, lighter, sexier, and almost faster MacBook line. Retina is the new standard among displays, but the lower priced MBA means it will stick around as long as it sells, just the like non-Retina unibody MacBook Pro (now available only online). Goodbye.
Mac mini – What? Is it possible Apple will ditch the mini entirely? I think so. The mini has two customer groups. Those on a budget who need the cheapest Mac they can get (or an even cheaper second Mac), and those among the geeky elite who use it as a server. Only Apple knows how well the Mac mini sells, but it definitely does not get much love from Apple’s engineering teams. Who would miss not having a Mac mini in the lineup? Goodbye.
Mac Pro – ‘Say it ain’t so, Kate.’ Again, no love from Apple for more than two years. By my estimate, the sales numbers just are not there to justify a made-in-USA device which remains an engineering marvel but is way overpriced to similarly equipped Windows or Linux PCs. Sure, the Mac Pro bristles with connectivity and connectors, but the advertising of a desktop cylinder belies what actually takes place– a trash can with a dozen cables and cords hanging out of it. Steve Jobs– who loved cubes, by the way– would be appalled. Goodbye.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Apple has little desire to sell products that compete in price with competitor products. Across the board– MacBook Air, Mac mini, Mac Pro– there are Windows PC, Linux, and Chromebook alternatives that are priced far less but have greater performance. Apple just doesn’t sell enough of these models to justify their existence other than as placeholders so it doesn’t appear to the Mac-loving public that Apple is abandoning the Mac.
That reason alone may be exactly why such models exist at all.