It’s been a few days since Apple unveiled its revamped MacBook Pro and the frustration surrounding Apple’s alleged disregard for its core users is still palpable. Despite a thinner and lighter form factor, an improved display, moderately enhanced internals and, of course, the ballyhooed Touch Bar, there seems to be large contingent of Apple users — primarily creatives professionals and developers — who remain unimpressed if not downright upset.
Late last week, we touched on a number of these complaints, many of which lamented the fact that Apple’s new MacBook Pros could should feature more advanced internals and an option to upgrade to 32GB of RAM. While some of these complaints about Apple’s new notebooks are not without merit, some have even take a broader stance that Apple simply has no idea what it’s doing in the Mac space and is actively neglecting some of its more loyal users.
Touching on this, Owen Williams over at Medium argues that Apple doesn’t even know who the Mac is for anymore.
But the “Pro” in Apple’s devices isn’t even accurate anymore. It used to be the best notebook on the market for creatives, developers and people with big requirements.
Apple’s customers are those that need powerful machines, but it delayed them infinitely for what amounts to a vanity project that the core demographic of Apple’s customers probably won’t even use.
Apple, it seems, is angling for the ‘amateur creative’ and isn’t interested in anything else anymore. It wants the market that sits in coffee shops with its brand and only buys Apple, but doesn’t mind so much if the core demographic disappears. Maybe that’s OK — there’s probably good money in it — but it’s a real shame.
It’s an interesting and not altogether invalid point. Indeed, going back to how Apple completely overhauled iMovie many years ago — as a quick example — the notion that Apple cares more about ‘amateur creatives’ than it does with bona fide professionals perhaps shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.
Meanwhile, Milen Dzhumerov writes:
This one-size approach has fundamental flaws because we haven’t reached the stage where the tradeoffs are acceptable to high-demanding professionals. Almost every choice we make in this life is all about tradeoffs: it’s the same in hardware engineering. For example, making laptops thinner and lighter means sacrificing performance that you wouldn’t if you did not have those constraints.
The counterargument that I’ll make is that if you lose the professionals, you’ll lose a significant chunk of innovation and content that keeps consumers in the Apple ecosystem. Those professionals are content creators and if they use Macs at work, they’re more likely to use Macs at home and create for Apple platforms. Professionals are influencers and affect the computing choices of their immediate family & friends.
The last point, about the influence wielded by creative professionals, is particularly interesting and worth pondering. Suffice it to say, this isn’t a debate that will die down anytime soon.