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This is weird. It’s the sort of thing that management dreams of but which companies like Apple should realize is a bad idea. They definitely need to provide tools for making app families work smoothly across each platform, but even more importantly they need to be segmenting their devices more, not less. The latest iPads are a great example of a device that has enormous potential which is being hamstrung by an OS and dev platform that doesn’t really provide a tablet-focused experience.

And then the Mac is losing what should be its primary audience through unwanted innovations and otherwise stagnant hardware, and a failure to recognize the importance of catering to the power users who might want an actual escape key, multiple types of ports, and a keyboard that doesn’t feel like it came off a rejected tablet accessory.

I can see an argument for fragmenting the laptop world into Pro/developer hardware and consumer hardware. But Apple seems to have got the needs of those groups mixed up. Do Apple’s own software engineers love the newest Macs I wonder?




And then the Mac is losing what should be its primary audience through unwanted innovations and otherwise stagnant hardware,

While I agree with most of the post, the “Mac is losing people” narrative isn’t supported by the numbers. Apple just reported its highest revenue quarter for Macs in its entire history.

The industry has spoken, statistically, no one cares about PC software. Writing Mac software even less. I would rather live in a world with cross platform iPad/Mac apps using Apple’s SDKs than Electron apps.


Apple’s revenues are a crappy statistic because the majority of their revenue and profit both come from consumer-level content consumption devices. For all the talk of “Microsoft Office on your iPhone” there is still nothing to supplant the hidden iceberg of small-to-Medium-to-Enterprise businesses that are only able to function because of hacked-together VBA macros in an Excel spreadsheet stored on a Synology box somewhere.

PC software matters because it’s still the only platform that enables scrappy non-expert _go-getters_ to get things done. Despite the announcement of “real” Photoshop for iPad - Hello? Binary 8bf plugins? Where are you?), Apple’s continued devotion to the Walled Garden concept and associated prohibition on extensible iOS applications - combined with the high barrier-to-entry to develop for Apple’s ecosystem means that the PC will always be relevant.

As an aside, it’s kinda funny that VBA macros copypasta’d together by individuals with little to no formal SE or CS training provide more utility-per-MB-of-RAM-consumed than Electron apps.


I’m not saying that the business PC isn’t relevant. It’s just not profitable. If you haven’t noticed, none of the PC makers are actually doing all that well. Cheap $60 Android phones and $100 crappy Android tablets are popular but I don’t think Apple is going to be chasing that market either. Besides games, only two companies are making any real money selling PC software Microsoft and Adobe.


I did specify “Mac Revenues”....


And I think someone followed up with a critique on frame. I'd agree for a different reason. People would want to know how much slowdown there is in userbase gain and how much of the revenue is made from getting existing users to pay more.


Mac is losing the HN audience?


And in the grand scheme of things, this was probably the same audience who in 2001, were posting on Slashdot commenting “Less space than the Nomad, No wireless, Lame”.


Quantitative sales are not the only metric worth looking into.


For a profit seeking company it is one of the most important metrics, that and customer loyalty and churn.


>This is weird. It’s the sort of thing that management dreams of but which companies like Apple should realize is a bad idea.

They don't mean a single app with the same UI. They mean adapting UI (different for touch vs desktops) and sharing the same backend code.

Which of course is a great idea.


> They don't mean a single app with the same UI. They mean adapting UI (different for touch vs desktops) and sharing the same backend code.

But that's not what Marzipan does. It runs existing iOS apps unchanged.


They are changed slightly - some UI elements differ, some controls have native capabilities (e.g. right-click a text entry field).

The expectation is, I think, that they’ll adapt the UI More significantly eventually.


My personal pet peeve with iPads as productivity devices is how walled-off apps are from each other and how hard it is to import content from one to the other. As an example, I have a huge (500MB ish) high-resolution video in the On My iPad section in Files. Because no option is given in the share dialog, I cannot play the video in Photos, even though both applications support the same file format.

I’m afraid that Apple will be making the Mac more like iOS with any new kind of convergence, not the other way around. We’ve seen this with the directly ported News app on macOS Mojave. Until iOS supports the beginning-to-end software development cycle (no, Swift Playgrounds doesn’t count), they’ll keep the Mac around, but it’s obvious that the “Pro” userbase is no longer of much significance to Apple. Content creators who use Macs produce much less revenue for Apple than the hordes of people who buy new iPhones every year or two.

Edit: they’re called Marzipan apps: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19207757


Agreed. I just got rid of my iPad Pro 12.9 because I could not do anything with it. No browser with WebDAV and decent content blocking. No development tools. No serious network tools (IOS won’t let you have access to a MAC address).

For the price, I should not have to run to my laptop every time I want to do something serious.


Consider the source. Bloomberg's track record hasn't been very good lately.

Until you hear it corroborated by multiple independent sources, don't give anything surprising they say about Apple much credence.




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