Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees during an internal Q&A session that the company has “great desktops in our roadmap,” adding that “nobody should worry about that.” Apple updated its MacBook Pro line with a courageous new design but didn’t release any new desktop models. There’s no 2016 iMac, Mac mini, or Mac Pro, and some people speculated that Apple may be looking to ditch desktops from its lineup.
It turns out that Apple has been testing a lot of MacBook features and designs recently, a new report shows, with many of them being scrapped before the final products hit the market.
Apple isn’t ditching the Mac anytime soon, but the company’s priority is the iPhone and iPad, a new Bloomberg report reveals.
Apparently, the Mac software team doesn’t exist anymore. The software engineering department services iOS first, and macOS later. Mac engineers are also getting less face time with Jony Ive and his design team than they used to.
Furthermore, Apple is working on various prototypes of the same machine simultaneously, meaning that development for other Mac lines may be postponed.
Finally, there are external factors that hinder Mac updates, including Intel’s difficulty in producing the new chips the Macs need to stay ahead of the competition. Apple’s inability to mass-produce Macs in America is also a reason that can affect the Mac Pro’s update cycles.
That said, the report reveals various features that have been shelved.
The 2016 MacBook Pro was supposed to have a higher capacity pack shaped to the insides of the laptop. But that battery prototype failed a key test, and Apple decided to stick with square cells instead. Recently, Apple had to deal with a battery life issue on the new MacBook Pro, which seems to be fixed for the time being.
To fix the battery hardware issue, Apple had to divert engineers from other teams, meaning other Mac models had to wait.
A gold MacBook Pro was shelved because the color didn’t look good.
Early prototypes of the 12-inch MacBook came with a Lightning connector instead of the USB-C one, but Apple decided to go for the more standard USB-C port instead. Apple tested two distinct 12-inch MacBooks before launching the device in 2015, but the extra workload has lead to launch delays.
The 2016 12-inch MacBook model could have featured a Touch ID fingerprint scanner and a second USB-C port. However, all we got was faster chips and a pink upgrade.
Apple’s engineers are also working on standalone keyboards for the iMac that would feature a Touch Bar screen and a fingerprint reader, but it’s not clear if the product will be launched with a new iMac.
As for next year’s MacBook and iMac refreshes, you can expect USB-C ports and AMD graphics on the new iMac and minor speed bumps for the 12-inch MacBook and the MacBook Pro.