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Apple planning 11″ iPad Pro, Mac mini, 1.57″ and 1.78″ Apple Watch, AirPower (9to5mac.com)
44 points by uptown 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 52 comments

Won't upgrade a single Apple product in my house until we get a resolution on MacBook Air. We are already evaluating leaving Apple products due to their complacency and won't be upgrading until we see movement on pricing and product development regarding the MacBooks. It's a sad state of affairs when you are waiting 3 years to update and you can't because your vendor of choice refuses to update your product category.

Hopefully they sort things out before we commit to a switch in early 2019. We aren't the only ones either we've had friends leave already and some are either waiting on us to blaze a path forward or are already planning to leave the platform.

I think Apple needs to seriously consider the long-term impact to their business of losing their major platform advocates; from artists, to developers, to technology savvy people that have a dramatic affect on the spending habits of others. Myself alone have easily and directly impacted about $50k worth of consumer spending, not a lot I know, but I'm also confident I'm not alone and this is a trend that is going the wrong direction.

Just thought I'd share where I'm at and those in my circle.

Also of you are imminently switching or have switched I'd love to know what you switched too and why.

>Won't upgrade a single Apple product in my house until we get a resolution on MacBook Air.

What kind of "resolution"? It's a product. They sell it. At some point the wont sell it anymore. That's about it.

As a product it has been superseded by the Macbook Pro on the higher end, and the Macbook on the more lightweight front.

It exists to sell inventory at a cheaper price range. End of story.

Firstly if you are broadly familiar with their product line then you'd know that the Macbook doesn't remotely replace the Air.

As a regular user off the Air and those around me; all of whom use Airs except for like 2 people who need the Pro's big GPU haven't upgraded for four big reasons.

1. The screen resolution and quality. 2. Removal of the magnetic locking port and other port related issues that are well noted 3. Not enough RAM 4. Price 4b. If they use the Butterfly keyboard on the Air then that would become an issue as well.

Magnetic power port: This is huge and how ironic that MS launched a magnetic 'super' port for their Surface equipment and Mac moved away. I haven't had a Mac hit the floor in 10 years for the very reason this port exists

Mac Airs were more expensive when they initially launched, but afterwards they moderated for much of their time int he $1200-$1500 USD range. This is way way less than what's on offer from a Macbook.

Lastly, regarding the Macbook itself, the screen size is too small. This is a toy for a more niche use case. The Air is a mobile warriors tool box; it's got ports, longevity and it's just about impossible to break. What people don't often even realize is that the the triangular shape of the Air is a critical structural feature that makes typing easier than most others and also makes it impervious to nearly any reasonable drop. I've got so many dings, gouges and scars from it's heavy usage that I'm always amazed.

I genuinely would buy a brand new Air if it was 13", Retina which is so standard now, under $1500 and had 8GB of RAM. This is a completely reasonable expectation. What I would ask for is different. If I could ask I'd want a 14" screen, Retina, option of 8-16GB of RAM and a magnetic port. Two of those things you are know aren't going to happen, but I dream of day when the magnetic port comes back to me; life was much less stressful never having to worry about a $1000 devices safety.

>Firstly if you are broadly familiar with their product line then you'd know that the Macbook doesn't remotely replace the Air.

It doesn't replace it as in "is the same thing, just upgraded".

It's supersedes it. In the future, it will Macbook and Macbook pro -- the Air in its last legs, and it's just still sold for the profit, not as the direction going forwards (like e.g. the Mini is).

>Mac Airs were more expensive when they initially launched, but afterwards they moderated for much of their time int he $1200-$1500 USD range. This is way way less than what's on offer from a Macbook.

Doesn't matter. New product line is just more expensive. A product doesn't have to be in the same price range to replace something else. Just to cover the same niche ("lightweight machine for less-cpu-hungry-users").

The MBP with touch strip also replace the old MBPs (even though some old MBP models are still sold) and they are also higher in price than the machines they replace.

>Lastly, regarding the Macbook itself, the screen size is too small. This is a toy for a more niche use case.

The "big screen" was never the MBAirs point. The "lightweight, very thin" was. In fact, there were 11" MBAir models as well. Compared to them, the Macbook with 12" screen sits right in the middle.

Thank you for dismissing my concerns; I'm probably just a nut job that clearly doesn't know anything about products or positioning.

MBP price and some hardware issues are causing me to look for alternatives (dodgy keyboards, no non touch bar 15" that isn't gimped). I've been needing to upgrade for at least a year but I don't want to pay £2000 for a keyboard I hate and a touchbar I never want to use.

The possibility of using Windows has kept me from switching so far but I can put up with it for a user replaceable battery and a decent keyboard I think.

I feel you. I had been a Mac evangelist for almost two decades. That stopped a couple years ago. They don’t make a computer I want to buy/would recommend.

> Won't upgrade a single Apple product in my house until we get a resolution on MacBook Air.

Just curious, what's the problem and resolution? (I'm not familiar with recent Apple hardware.)

My wife is considering switching from Win8 to OSX for various reasons and the Air looks like the best bet. The show-stopper against buying a Pro was the lack of normal USB and HDMI, and at least the Air has full-sized USB3.

There don't seem to be any good options for us. She wants to switch away from Windows but Apple seems to oppose that idea. We might instead get a refurbished laptop and throw Ubuntu on it. (Gotta keep the existing Windows laptop for specific software needed when working from home.)

The main problem with the Macbook Air is the actual resolution: At 1440 x 900 a non-retina display like this is plain outdated and doesn't fit the premium price tag, even if this is Apple's most affordable laptop. The Air is also somewhat abandoned in recent years and hasn't seen an upgrade for a while. There are people that are fine with the low resolution, however these days I would not buy any non-retina displays/devices and opt for the Macbook if it has to be a small, portable, lightweight laptop.

However if you aren't in a rush you should obviously wait for the actual product announcements we're discussing here.

@panino, thirdsun makes great points and he hits it square on that the point of the issue is the screen. You have to ask yourself what are you buying for $1200 today that you couldn't have bought 3 years ago? To be honest I wouldn't even buy a new one if I was you; I'd go buy a used one about 2 years old. I've actually been doing this the last 5 years, because there is no reason to buy premium new prices when you are almost literally getting the same product with small tweaks over the last 5 years.

Aside from the screen though I'd read some of the others below. There is a great long-form from another user and I followed up on my initial comment with further detail; I don't mind repeating myself, but others may not take kindly to me adding in blocks of largely replicated answers.

what are you complaining about? the "retina macbook air" is simply called "macbook" now. it's the same great PPI display as everywhere else. the CPUs haven't changed much in 3 years. battery life is the same. why so much drama? what do you want?

if anything, apple has gone completely mainstream. you can get all of your computing done in gold now. in GOLD!

I think most people just want to have a good reason to buy a new Apple device and retire the old ones. I know I am. But personally I'm having a hard time finding one. My 2012 MBP is chugging along just fine albeit showing its age sometimes, also my iPad Air2, or the 2013 iMac.

I'm aware that some things have improved but you don't buy a CPU, or a screen, you buy a package. And for every improvement Apple also bundled in some sort of failure. Some in usability, some in reliability, and the overall value proposition is going down.

Couldn't agree more.

From this conversation one thought has occurred to me; what would a new Air in the current context look like and it gave me chills.

Can you imagine a single port Air? Or the removal of it's triangular shape that makes typing long hours on it totally doable versus other chassis designs? I'm just horrified when I imagine the loss of the magnetic power port; which has literally saved me thousands of dollars due to it not being an effective trip wire.

I'm switching to Matebook X Pro and will run Deepin Linux on it.

I look forward to not having that feeling anymore of waiting for Apple. Every apple owner is just sitting there now, waiting... Because you lost your power to pick something else! That should worry you. You become just a passive consumer waiting for a tit to suck on.

Have you tried the Macbook? It is pretty amazing for me who came from the Air. Yeah I get the port issue but I have found out that I rarely use it now beside charging.

I can't give up that much screen real estate. I need the 13.3" screen that I get. It's the absolute minimum and I shouldn't need to buy a Pro to get a 13" screen; that's not reasonable.

I don’t really get that. Macbook Air is essentially replaced by Macbook. Any future “Macbook Air” would have butterfly keyboard, new ports and Retina as well. What do you want them to release?

A Macbook is a 12" screen versus a 13.3" screen, so this not even a reasonable comparison.

What are you recommending people should buy that is as easy to use and maintain as a Mac?

I guess the issue is that there isn't anything. That's the core of the issue. We don't have an alternative or we'd all be gone already. I'm certain that when we find a solution it'll be front page news.

I completely understand where you're coming from. If you aren't a developer, then some of what I'm about to say won't apply to you, but here's one switcher's perspective:

In 2016, I refused to buy a MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar and butterfly keyboard. I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad P50 instead, the first time in 25 years my "next computer" hadn't been a Mac.

I'm a developer whose work ends up running mostly on Linux servers. So I tried various ways of replicating my Unixy macOS development environment on the Thinkpad: running VMWare VMs on top of Windows, using WSL, booting Linux natively, using Docker for Windows. You name it, I've tried it. And in truth, my development environment has never felt as effortless as when I was using macOS. Two years in, it just hasn't been a very satisfying experience. There are too many sharp edges at multiple levels (hardware and software).

However, there is a counterpoint to this. In January, against my better judgement, I bought a 2017 15" MacBook Pro, with the idea of being more compatible with a client. Unfortunately, I hated that machine even more than I thought I would. I never got used to the keyboard, I got tired of needing a dongle to plug anything in, the battery life was worse than two generations of MacBook Pro before it, etc. And frankly, in so many ways, macOS no longer "just works" the way it used to. So, two weeks ago I sold that machine at a big loss. The most expensive Apple laptop I ever bought was also the worst.

So where does that leave me? Pretty unhappy, to be honest. Apple no longer makes any computers that meet my needs or that I want to buy, and I question their commitment to professional macOS users who aren't iOS developers.

On the other hand, IMO, Windows still isn't there for professional developers who mostly work in the Linux world. WSL still has a lot of sharp edges, missing features, and lackluster I/O performance, and I've never been able to get my Thinkpad P50 to work acceptably well booting Ubuntu natively. But even if I had gotten it to work acceptably, there are other downsides, like needing Photoshop, Word, and Excel on a pretty regular basis. So I've been running Linux inside VMWare Workstation on Windows 10, which isn't exactly frictionless, either, especially now that VMWare has abandoned Unity Mode for Linux.

TLDR: Two years ago, I switched from macOS to Windows/Linux after being an Apple user for more than 25 years. I've not been very happy with the switch, but I also can't see returning to Apple under the circumstances. In hindsight, the Snow Leopard era was the height of my experience as a computer user. It's been pretty much downhill since then.

same, long time mac user getting sick of apple's shit

i recently bought the system76 galago pro:


unfortunately I can't drive power and data over the USB-C port, so I'm going to return it

otherwise it is great

omg.. I think this is what I've been looking for.. how is it so far besides the USB? more details?

works great, and amazing support from folks who know the systems well

keyboard is obviously far better than the macbook, and the screen is matte

you can get 32GB of memory

it's a great rig, i am just unreasonable about wanting a single cable for lappy (which apple introduced two decades ago, btw: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Display_Connector)

I helped build Apple 1's. I had a Lisa. I've owned nearly every generation of PowerBook and MacBook and I've had enough. I bought a loaded Surface Pro tablet last summer and I ordered a new 15" Surface Book 2 w/ Nvidia GTX 1060 to replace my MacBook Pro. Not the new one with TouchBar, that one was so bad I sold it back to Apple for a substantial loss. It was a good run.

What's wrong with APFS?

Well, when it shipped it didn't support Fusion Drives, which were the default when High Sierra shipped. Time Machine backups fell over and quit working (somewhat different issue, agreed) and before I got them working again, FileVault 2 ate both of the disks on both of my MacBook Pros causing me substantial data loss.

I also had two macOS Servers running on mac minis and they announced that they're discontinuing it, leaving Apple with no server offering. I also removed the discontinued Apple Airports from my network.

I plan to stay on iOS and Watch for now, though I only use my iPad Pro for music synthesizers and basic chat/browsing.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm being absolutely harrassed typing in my iCloud password on all my i-devices. In contrast, I think I've typed my Microsoft password less than 10 times in the last year.

My prediction: the mac mini will be smaller. Gruber has been preparing the fanboys for that ( https://daringfireball.net/linked/2018/06/14/snellintosh )

Mac mini in a body of AppleTV would be really fun.

If the keyboard hasn't changed significantly I'll stick to my 2015 MBP for yet another year.

I’m holding onto my ‘14 model for dear life.

Same here, I tried replacing it with a 2018 Lenovo Carbon X1 with the intent of running Linux but that ended in tears. I just really wish they had continued this line of laptops ... or at the very least kept the keyboard in their newer models :/

Same. My '14 keyboard broke (it done got watered) and I wasn't going to pay $1500 for a repair, so I bought a replacement top case. And an entirely new laptop that runs Fedora with the remainder, to prolong the MBP's life for when I actually need OS X.

What is the problem with keyboard especiially after the extended warranty program?

The typing experience is terrible, the touchbar is terrible and removes essential keys for many users (I press escape thousands of times a day), and it is unreliable.

Sure, if your keyboard jams, you can get it replaced for free. But you're still without your $2000 laptop for a week while it gets replaced, and it's only good for four years. Plenty of people (my Mac is a 2012 15" retina MBP) are still using laptops that old or older.

Remember for a couple of years in the early to mid-'00s when there was a Cambrian explosion in iPod models?

iPod with Photo, iPod with Video, iPod with color displays, Minis and Nanos with radically different hardware form factors with each iteration. Upon revisiting, it appears that the photo-color-video iPods were all variations of the original, and released in successive years, but it still felt like a dizzying array of different device types, at least to me at the time.

It feels like all the emerging new form factors are doing the same to iPhones and iPads, to some extent. Both the iPhone SE and 5C feel like one-offs, evolutionary dead ends. The inconsistency in size between the first and second gen smaller iPad Pro's. The product lines, when looking at the changes from year to year, feel like a jumble. Not as much of a mess as from other companies, of course, but still a little reminiscent of the iPod years. Doubt it will affect the quality of the products or the bottom line, but still messier than it used to be.

Sometimes companies throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks, sometimes they try a variation of something that was either successful in the past or it actually failed and they want another go, and sometimes the product is just what the market needs on the short term. And sometimes companies are just out of ideas and change for the sake of change, faking "new".

For example something like the SE or 5C took relatively little development to make but filled in a gap in the small-ish phone segment. They can't really go anywhere with people demanding larger and larger screens but if they came at the right time they don't really need to evolve. They do the job and exit the stage.

With any relatively new or dynamic market there's a need to experiment and then to fine tune. Especially true with smart watches that didn't really find a comfy home with most consumers.

They were evolutionary dead ends. The C was discontinued a while ago. Both the SE and the X are being killed off this year in favor of just the iPhone 11 and 11 Plus and keeping the 9 around as an "inexpensive" model.



It’s been flagged so I can’t read it.

EDIT: Context for newcomers: I was responding to the parent comment's about how the downvotes on the GP meant that people were reading it.

I didn't see the original comment, sadly, can you rephrase it in a way that won't get flagged?

You can see all dead comments by setting 'showdead' in your profile.

I've been waiting to get a new MacBook until they fix the keyboard issue. Any word on that with these newer models? Or are they doubling down...

I think we are currently in a "first" for Apple in where they announced an extended warranty for their 2016+ laptops WITHOUT having viable alternative for sale. I really hope this means we get some upgrade to the keyboard. I've got a 2014 and I really want to upgrade to a 15" with dedicated graphics but if they don't fix the keyboard my "upgrade" will be to a 2015 model. There were some reports that Apple is using a new alloy when they replace in those stupid butterfly switches them that has less issues but it hasn't been confirmed AFAIK.

iFixit confirmed that 2016 and 2017 butterfly keyboards are just a little different. They’re replacing with 2017 now and there’s no any data on their actual failure rate except for the fears on Twitter.

Every MacBook I’ve bought for our business (and every MB any of my friends has owned) since 2016 (including the 2017 models) continues to have regular keyboard problems leading to repair.

It’s only a sample size of a couple dozen, but 100% of them have had keyboard problems within 6 months.

I would have to think, perhaps optimistically, that with all the issues with the recent MBPs that Apple would fix/upgrade the keyboards in the next series of MBPs. The rumors posted today strictly talk about chipset updates, but I'm holding out hope they fix the keyboards even if the form-factor of the device remains the same...

Seems like just new processors for the macbook "pro" .

The iPad pro 11 inch could be interesting though. It doesn't have a keyboard so Apple shouldn't be able to mess it up.

I use an iPad Pro 12.9" with Apple’s Smart Keyboard. While the keys are okay (as opposed to the problem with the laptop keys), Apple decided to not provide a Forward Delete key or key combination. (Forward Delete deletes the character to the right of the cursor.) This makes text editing quite cumbersome.

Does Ctrl + D not do what you want?

Or do they not provide a control key on the keyboard?

Ctrl + D does nothing.

Shame, that does what you desire on MacOS. Just like Ctr + K will clear till the end of the line from the cursor forward.

My household has left Apple after 20 years, because of the inability to upgrade the MacBooks, and just an oversimplification of everything. I dearly wish I had an upgraded cheese grater. After three Mac minis died, we called it quits on those too. Cost, reliability, and expansion have pushed us towards PCs.

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