Apple’s executives have decided the Mac Pro, circa 2013 and virtually unchanged since then, isn’t professional enough to remain as the most powerful and expensive Mac. What happened?
In a word, noise.
The past year has witnessed a growing crescendo of noise from Mac users who complain that Apple is not paying attention to their needs, and the beautiful canister-like Mac Pro is the perfect example of what is wrong with the Mac maker. Everything is an appliance.
Look at the Mac line. 80-percent of all Macs sold in the past year are virtual appliances. The MacBook and MacBook Pro no longer allow users to swap out batteries, update storage, and add more RAM. They’re sealed containers with macOS inside.
The remaining 20-percent are so-called desktop Macs, and there isn’t much that can be changed after the order is placed. Apple doesn’t want Mac users opening up the Mac mini or the iMac (except for an easy outlet in the back to add more RAM) for anything. Both are sealed tight. What you bought is what you get and that’s what you have to use until it’s time to buy another Mac.
The Mac Pro is almost an appliance, albeit a lovely design with custom components and flexibility– provided the flex is external. RAM can be swapped out. Ditto for SSD storage. And that’s all. No CPU or GPU changes are allowed thanks to the thermal design in the Mac Pro. Uh oh. Big mistake. So sorry. See you next year.
The public outcry of noise generated by the Mac community over the past couple of years brought Apple’s executives to see the error of their ways, and they blinked. New Mac Pros. Maybe next. Maybe.
Noise has power. Just ask United Airlines’ CEO about the power of a dozen video clips of authorities dragging a passenger off a plane. Surely another passenger would have accepted a $2,000 bonus to give up a seat. Surely United would have offered had they known their solution would have caused a public outrage and cost the airlines millions in a public relations nightmare.
Here’s another example of noise that works. Ryan McLeod highlighted an App Store customer who tried to extort an app developer. The app received a one star review by ‘tree-kicker’ on the App Store.
It’s amazing. It’s a really good game. I don’t like that I haven’t beat it yet so you get 1 star or hook me up with 20 hints and I’ll give you 5 stars. I love the concept of the game very well done.
Anybody got a problem with that? It’s blatant extortion. What should be done? If I were Apple’s executives I would have cancelled the user’s account. Come back in six months, dude. No, extortion is not allowed in a walled garden ecosystem that is heavily curated.
Let’s carry that concept of reward and punishment to a logical conclusion. If you publish fake news, your website can be taken down for a period of time. If you publish lies via Twitter, Facebook, et al, your account can be suspended for a period of time.
Would the world be a better place if the President could only tweet facts? Would Apple be a better company if they had actually listened to customers before going to the time and expense to design, build, manufacture and distribute a Mac that nobody wanted to buy?
British politician Lord Acton once said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men..” Put another way, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” A little noise has power to accomplish things, but too much noise becomes too powerful and distorts the truth.