Whatever happened to the Mac? Sales were at record levels for a few years, then 2018 struck and Mac sales fell off a cliff; down 13-percent in the most recent quarter. Mac sales down, Windows PC sales up.
What’s going on?
Part of the problem is drop dead obvious. The Mac line became old and stodgy with very little new for the masses. 80-percent of all Macs sold these days are notebooks, and except for the most recent MacBook Pro line with Intel’s latest processors, all have languished, thirsty for meaningful upgrades.
What about the iMac Pro?
Good question, but the answer is all too obvious. A $4,999 desktop iMac is for professionals, not the masses. The rest of the iMac line remains somewhat pitiful with only anemic upgrades for years. The Mac mini? Apple promotes it with a 4th generation Intel Inside while the new MacBook Pro models sport 8th generation Intel chips.
Again, Mac mini and iMac and Mac Pro are desktops, while four of every five Mac customers buys a notebook. The Mac line of entry-level notebooks are nothing for Apple to be proud of these days. The $999 entry level MacBook Air still sells, but doesn’t even have a Retina display.
What’s going on?
Intel is a problem. The chip giant had a roadmap a few years ago to move their chip designs to smaller, thinner, lighter, and more powerful and energy efficient but that hasn’t really happened yet, so Apple was stuck with a chip supplier that didn’t deliver the goods.
Meanwhile, Apple’s own chip designs continue to challenge Intel but only on iPhone and iPad.
What does that say?
Expect a Mac surprise.
If Apple’s own A-Series, ARM-based CPUs in the iPhone X rival an entry-level MacBook Pro in performance, then why not stuff one of those little power-sipping pieces of silicon into a Mac notebook and a Mac mini?
That would be a surprise, right? Except a few of Apple’s followers have already thought of it. I think Apple is working on a Mac surprise.
An entry-level MacBook Air and an entry-level Mac mini with Apple Inside and Intel Outside. Maybe these new Macs would not run Windows. Anybody got a problem with an entry-level Mac not running windows? Maybe the RAM and storage options would be severely limited or restricted. Surely Apple has been working on an ARM-based version of macOS, right?
Mac sales are hurting because Apple has neglected the Mac line. Meanwhile, Windows PCs are on the upswing and the market seems to want touchscreen notebook tablet hybrids (they are the best sellers in PC land).