Apple’s Macbooks be it the Macbook Pro or Air have always been considered first rate from a design and operational perspective. They have always been a desired item or a wanted item as opposed to a need to have device. OS/X is considered the best OS on the market. From kids at grade school through to university students, they have desired the Mac and in this particular case the Macbook Pro or MacBook Air.
Go to a university library and you will see a sea of Macbooks. They have always been viewed as a premium item but that never stopped the student. University students would get their Macbook of choice and maybe even an iPad to capture their notes and create their documents.
The Macbooks though went through a bit, of I guess we could call it, a convulsion from 2016 through 2019. Finally though, Apple is getting their act together again. Scully somehow went to sleep at the wheel and the Macbooks then became lost in this sea of revolutionary change which should never have happened.
Apple Used to Listen and seems to be Listening Again
Apple’s success with the iPhone certainly cannot be understated. The success they had with their Macbooks they channeled to their foray into the mobile market and they never have had to look back.
With the Coronvirus all things have suddenly gone asunder. Apple’s stock has dropped drastically as the whole market did when they woke up and realized the impact the virus is having on the supply chain. When humans get worried about their money they are quick to change their inevestment strategy or they engage in a reactive approach. Currently people are selling in a panic like frenzy as these portfolios are their retirement and because boomers are living so long, the traditional metrics to determine what is needed has gone by the wayside.
But behind all this is a renewed Apple prepared to listen. It is non too soon either. Apple has done well but much that credit has to be given to Apple’s loyal user base. However, if that base is threatened with abandonment a reaction occurs and one which is not necessarily favourable to Apple. The Apple user is one of the most loyal persons on the planet but even they can pushed too far.
However, as loyal is an Apple user is their ability to forgive. Realizing Apple was striking out to rectify a lot of problems they have also been quick to forgive. The Apple/user narrative is a symbiotic one, something one sees very rarely in business.
A Quick Overview of these Machines
I have seen the Mac go through three major architectures. Fist, they started with Motorola 64040 architecture. These chips were more advanced than the Intel 8086 of the day. However, Motorola ran into supply and development problems so a switch was required.
From this architecture Apple moved to the PowerPC chips of IBM/Motorola which were RISC based. The problem by this time for Apple was applications or software. To deal with this Apple moved to the Itel 8086 chips which we have been using for a long time.
Now Apple is thinking of a fourth move to either their own A series of processors which are uncannily powerful or a AMD based approach due to the power, stability and gamut of apps that are available.
In each of the past moves there was pain as developers had to learn to write to the new chip architecture. This was not an easy undertaking but in each case Apple was able to help developers maneuver the new landscape.
Whatever Apple decides is unlikely to be pain free as the Mac has been on the 8086 architecture for a long time and thousands of apps are designed for it.
However, this is less true with Xeon chips with are RISC based from Intel/IBM. Apple seems to be heading though to their own port but I’d question the wisdom of this.
The XEONs are a proven, powerfully fun chipset that can process information using a reduced instruction set. This alone speeds up processes as there is less to process. However, the chips themselves are designed to be load balanced and are able to divide tasks up easily amongst multiple cores.
Apple Could command the Market if they Play their cards Right
Apple is always demonstrating very advanced software and you have to look no further than its genesis. Having come from Next Step the OS ran on UNIX and a very specialized variant of the OS. Programs were rock solid and all it took was the demonstration of this capability. IOS itself is a refined version of the big brother.
The Macbook Pros Remain Indrustry Leaders
The Macbook pros remain industry leading devices but they have suffered from a lack of attention in recent years. Others are catching up fast. Any shift Apple makes has to be carefully thought through. Benefits have to be there and they have to be real without the major shifts of the past.
The MacBook Pro 16″ has been dramatically improved with better performing CPU’S, memory and an upgraded keyboard. The whole of the MacBook Pro line including the Airs will have improved keyboards, enhanced CPU’s, increased SSDs and larger memory storage capacity.
Finally, Apple must get back to a keyboard that is top notch. The current keyboard is a step in the wrong direction. The 16″ MacBook Pro demonstrates this. People are far happier typing on new the keyboard. We will find all Macbook’s will get this treatment.
Software is Key
Apple leads in software now. The exciting software runs on the Mac. As upgrades are made to the MacBook Pro line this investment must be preserved. If there is a switch in CPU architecture the switch has to go without a hiccup. Regardless, the path is set for far better performing Macbook Pro’s that do not overheat and throttle.
This will be accomplished either via the Intel architecture or a whole new architecture. However, The incredible investment in software must be maintained without incident.
The Future of the Macbook’s is Bright
With Apple refocusing their attention on this most important area, the Macbooks will gradually and quickly be brought up to snuff. They have been criticized extensively for three years due to Apple neglect at quite the cost. This is to change.
Apple recognizes the strategic importance of the notebook computers and the architecture around such devices will likely never receive the neglect of the last three years. It is true that the iPhone generates a large bulk of Apple’s income but it is not appropriate for the company to neglect the notebook devices any longer. The future of the Macbook looks quite exciting. It’s about time.