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You forget the one probably underlying problem: the feeling that Apple has given up or on its way to give up the Mac.

While I've had this feeling at times in the recent past myself, there's a kind of irony in this conversation being reinforced by the new MBP. Apple committed the time and resources necessary to essentially build an entire new iOS device and integrate it into the Mac, including the Touch ID sensor, and add explicit support for it in the majority of their applications (over two dozen, ranging from the little freebies like Notes and Preview up to all of iWork, FCP, Motion and Logic).

Whether one thinks the Touch Bar is "worth it" -- or even the right approach to adding touch support to the Mac -- is a different debate, of course, and worth arguing about. But if Apple wasn't committed to the Mac product line, it's hard to see why they would have bothered. This isn't something they just hacked together at the last minute to make it look like they've been doing something; they've really been doing something. For the Touch Bar to make sense it's going to have to show up on the non-pro Macbook this year, and I suspect on the Magic Keyboard.

I think the real anger is around what's going on with the desktop Mac line, particularly the Mac Pro and the Mac mini. I suspect that the new "trashcan" design had some kind of critical flaw that left Apple in a Catch-22 situation: they can't upgrade it without changing the design, but the market is too small for them to spend a lot of money changing the design again.




> I suspect that the new "trashcan" design had some kind of critical flaw that left Apple in a Catch-22 situation

I suspect that the custom hardware has something to do about it. They have basically custom everything and a cooling solution that probably prevent them to shop around for easy GPU upgrade. The engineering cost must be awful just to duplicate the performance level you can get with off-the-shelves component. Even server grade components can fit in tiny "alright looking" cases nowadays.


Yeah, that's about my guess, too. They had a design that worked fine for the components they had when they made it, but the next generation of components changed just enough that things went south. Maybe the cooling didn't quite work reliably anymore, or they couldn't get the support hardware on the same tiny boards...who knows. But I'm betting it's not that they just ignored the Mac Pro and never thought about revving it--it's that they tried a revision and never got it to work reliably, and they realized that they'd innovated their asses into a corner.




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