this is a crisp characterization of the problem of silicon valley product design today. almost every redesign of major products brings a simpler, more beautiful design which ends up being less useful.
i'm strongly in the boat that the purpose of design is to solve people's problems in ways that are hard to think of but easy to appreciate. in the way that a good symphony is hard to write but easy to recognize.
in the 90s the design of mass products like AOL got too complex and it created an opportunity for people to enter the market with simpler designs which were more usable. but now we've gone too far. the designs are simpler than ever, but no longer in the service of greater usability. it's time to make tech product design less minimal, less simple, but more useful.
the culture of designers is a core part of the cause of over pivot. it's elegant to list out a series of design principles (interface guidelines) and then reject every problem that can't be solved within those principles. it's elegant, but does not necessarily produce better product designs.
Apple may have, at times, served the pro market well, but not lately. They used to view high-end consumers as a means to the end of getting more market share. Get the people who give advice that's listened to into your ecosystem and others will follow. The same thinking is why they used to aggressively market to schools and universities. Apple doesn't really need to do that anymore. Now they just need something that looks really cool sitting in their stores and people will lust after it, talk endlessly about it, and that will bring in more customers.
Apple might go back to a boring, rectangular box that's upgradeable and uses non-proprietary parts, but this would be a remarkable reversal of their trend towards more and more disposable products with proprietary everything, right down to connectors, interfaces, and screws. It's more likely the next pros will be gorgeous but designed to be as unfriendly to DIY upgrades as possible. Proprietary SSD connectors. Soldered on memory. You name it.
In short, while you may love Apple phones and laptops, maybe you don't really want a dev machine built by today's Apple.
When this happens to the next Mac Pro, they're not going to have as much content for their app stores when pros inevitably move to another platform. Windows still isn't ideal to a lot of people but it's starting to get good enough: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/commandline/wsl/about
The Mac Pro is not a simple nor minimal design. It's actually quite a complex design that is optimized for space over flexibility, arguably not good UX. The old Mac Pro, on the other hand, was a great design. It could be criticized as being too expensive, but it was configurable, and very easy to configure to boot. It perfectly met it's target audience.
In summary, I don't think you understand the goals modern UX design and are wrongly assigning blame.
Small example - the Google Maps app on iOS used to have a "Show route" button. You could tap it while driving to zoom out and see the entire route.
Now that space has a menu, and you have to tap the menu and then select the zoom view. Two taps.
This is literally a potential disaster while driving because you have to think about what you're doing, look at the screen for longer, and keep your hand coordinated long enough to tap correctly.
This is not solving the user's problem - unless the user's problem is a secret desire to rear end the car in front.
This used to be called style over substance, or form over content - and it's everywhere, from flat/material design that doesn't distinguish between buttons and labels, to mystery meat burger menus, to invisible options that are so well hidden users never discover them, to useful ports and hardware features that disappear and have to be replaced by a pack of ugly dongles.
Minimalism is great when it solves the user's problems. When it creates new problems for the user, it's not so great.
Far too many designers - including some famous names at Apple - don't seem to understand this.
This probably violates the Google Maps EULA if not the law in some places.
Since this principle applies many other areas of design (beyond application UI design), I'd like to add a specific example: watch faces.
I've been thinking about buying a new wrist watch and was looking for watch faces that aren't totally overloaded with unnecessary (and frankly, usually rather ugly) markings. One simple way to do this is by typing "minimalist watch face" into your favorite search engine.
Seeing those results, I am still amazed at how many "novel, stylish" watch face designs there are that might look cool (not really according to my taste, but perhaps someone else would like it), but are obviously terrible at doing the one thing a watch is supposed to do: telling you the time.
Compare the Nevo watches (ignoring their smart watch part) against the Nava Ora design for example. To me, it's really clear which of the two designs is a better watch.
Unfortunately it was a gift from a significant other so I just put up with it for a few months and then stopped wearing it.
And in a lot of ways thats the "magic" of apples minimalism by focusing on the 1st 10 hours of use by an unsophisticated user you get to develop highly acclaimed UX that fail the sophisticated users to the point that most developers resort to zsh and vim in order to stay productive.
In this case, if you believe the rumors that development on the new Mac Pro is still very early, it actually seems like articles like this and  might do some good.
So honestly, are there any real "Mac Gamers"? At this point I think everyone knows to just boot into Windows to play games... the hardware isn't amazing for gaming, but games run a lot better on Windows than they do on MacOS on Apple hardware. Feels like "Mac Gamers" debate was settled years and years ago... if you're serious about gaming, even like casually-serious, you wouldn't even consider running MacOS.
It's sad... I remember playing Unreal back in the day on a Mac (one of the colorful case Macs) in college. The game ran so much better than it did on a PC... steam looked like steam, lighting looked better... everything was clearly better on a Mac than any PC I had seen / had access to. But when the latest generation of MacPro was new (ha, 2000 years ago at this point)... I fired up a game on it (running MacOS) to see how it compared... and I got better gaming performance on a $400 off-the-shelf-PC with a $250 graphics card added.
What I would LOVE to see is just a Mac like the slightly older MacPro -- aluminum tower case. With lots of standard expansion slots so we could expand as needed (specifically video cards). I don't think games will ever be optimized for Macs the way they are for PCs, but I'd be happy just switching into Windows on the Apple hardware when I played games.
Side note... anyone else play Escape Velocity? I got to thinking about "good Mac games" and that one stands out. Also most of the Marathon series (spiritual precursor to Halo). Hellcats stood out too for being advanced for the time... most everything else came out on PC first though I think.
* EV Nova | Ambrosia Software, Inc. || http://www.ambrosiasw.com/games/evn/
* Marathon (video game) - Wikipedia || https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon_(video_game)
* Hellcats over the Pacific - Wikipedia || https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellcats_over_the_Pacific
As a matter of fact Gaming Desktop / Laptop is now the fastest growing! market despite the general decline in PC market as a whole.
Apple wanted to leverage the games and Metal API on iOS to be used in Mac, but the driver performance and support were appalling. No to mention the games on iOS are completely different to how games are played on Desktop and laptop. This just shows they dont actually understand gaming.
It is no wonder even John Carmack couldn't be bothered with them any more.
Yes, I am sure there are huge market for people to buy a Mac and run Windows for gaming, but that is unlikely in Apple's DNA to care.
but history did not go that way....
Halo demos at MacWorld 1999...
Microsoft buys Bungie in 2000...
Halo: Combat Evolved comes out exclusively on XBox in 2001... along with the launch of XBox. What would XBox be without Halo?
* Microsoft Buys Bungie, Take Two Buys Oni, PS2 Situation Unchanged - IGN || http://www.ign.com/articles/2000/06/20/microsoft-buys-bungie...
Maybe some people want that, but real audio pros have dedicated hardware audio interfaces that connect over USB/FireWire/Thunderbolt/PCIe.
That's up to the driver. USB 2.0 can poll at up to 8kHz. USB 3 is harder for me to find exact numbers on but it has more flexible timing and can go even faster.
The other thing I've seen ethernet repurposed for is transmitting HDMI or USB between special transceivers so you can have your PC widely separated from I/O devices. It was a standard approach before Steam Link became a thing.
One of the nice things is that you can get comparatively long runs of ethernet cable without any special equipment. There's absolutely no problem doing 100ft+ runs of CAT5.
EDIT: Discussions around minimalism and design at this point are beyond irrelevant when Apple can't actually build a computer that serves pro users' needs. Those factors only come to play when you actually have the ability to build a proper product. Apple does not have that right now.
It feels like I need to plug in more than two devices every day. So I end up carrying around a USB hub. Which is just annoying.
What is the benefit of having those sides of the computer be empty?
Useful either in the lab, or at a customer's site. Which is why I only own Apple products for play.
For my personal usage: mouse, USB drive, phone.
1. Logitech mouse dongle
I ended up buying a Bluetooth Logitech MX Master instead, best mouse ever.
Which is fine, except that it really doesn't work at all for pro applications that need pro hardware, such as video and audio.