You know what they say. “One man’s hamburger is another man’s steak.” It depends upon your perspective, but Apple is, 1) running scared in the workstation market, or, 2) admitting a problem with professional level devices and working to fix it, or, 3) just being Apple.
I’m ready to go with what’s behind door #3, Monte, regardless of the noise emanating from the so-called Apple Professional User Watchers Club, also known as the Technorati Elite Politburo, often described as nattering nabobs of negativity. According to some who are able to divine all that emanates from One Infinite Loop in Cupertino, CA, “Apple is running scared in the workstation market.”
Here’s the story. Apple sold a humongous but much loved Mac Pro made of thick aluminum and recycled cheese grater parts. For whatever reason– Apple won’t say anything other than “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass“– the Mac Pro became a much maligned canister joke which sat around unchanged for almost four years while the workstation market withered before dazed Apple executive’s eyes. Or, something like that.
Apple’s so called professional customers are a varied bunch but the word workstation is seldom heard among them. Macs just are not workstations.
A workstation is a special computer designed for technical or scientific applications. Intended primarily to be used by one person at a time, they are commonly connected to a local area network and run multi-user operating systems. The term workstation has also been used loosely to refer to everything from a mainframe computer terminal to a PC connected to a network, but the most common form refers to the group of hardware offered by several current and defunct companies such as Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, Apollo Computer, DEC, HP, NeXT and IBM which opened the door for the 3D graphics animation revolution of the late 1990s.
Does that sound like a Mac to you? Nope.
Still, high end Macs, the so-called professional level versions– the now end-of-life Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, fully tricked out iMacs– have been Apple’s workstations, enjoyed by media creatives, video and audio editors, Photoshop gurus, and so on. It’s a small sliver of the Mac’s sold each year, but a noisy bunch. Apple says 80-percent of all Macs sold are notebooks. What does that tell you?
John Peddie Research makes an argument that Apple may be missing the growing workstation market, and unlike the rest of the Windows PC industry, that segment makes a little money, and that’s where the big boys play– HP, Dell, Lenovo, et al.
Wherefore art thou, Apple?
Apple really hasn’t been in the workstation market. Ever. Oh, and AIX doesn’t count. That was a hobby. Just like XServe.
Yet, Apple has recognized the trend toward powerful desktop machines that work in the AR and VR world of augmented reality and virtual reality and responded appropriately with a beastly iMac Pro that can run up to 32 cores of Intel Xeon inside, along with 128GB of RAM, and up to 4TB of SSD storage.
I would have thought that such a creation would satisfy the nattering nabobs of negativism regarding all things Apple, but I was wrong.
Make no mistake: Apple’s top execs are in panic mode over the Mac workstation problem. Apple needs pro creatives to maintain their street cred.
Uh huh. He can’t possibly know that.
Too much chocolate before bedtime can result in some strange dreams which lead to fits of imaginative and creative writing.
If the design community abandons it, it is the beginning of the end for the Mac. The Mac’s steadily climbing market share will tank, application vendors will flee, and the death spiral will begin.
The design community– those who live, breathe, eat, and sleep Photoshop and Final Cut Pro– use Macs. Since Apple has already been accused of abandoning the professional market, why is it that Mac sales are at record levels?
It’s safe to assume that Mac app evangelists are working long hours to persuade cutting edge app developers to port to – or stay on – macOS. Mac app store shelf space is being offered, co-marketing dollars, pre-release units, engineering access, whatever you need!
Uh huh. Says who? Dreams.
Will it work? Tune in next year!
When everyone will have completely forgotten this dumb-assed premise while basking in the light of a fully tricked out iMac Pro while dreaming of a modular Mac Pro with even more power.
It doesn’t seem as if Apple is ‘running scared‘ as much as it is adapting to the changes in an ever changing market. Sometimes you hit it out of the park. Sometimes you strike out. The main thing is to score runs and beat the crap out of the other guy. Apple does that a lot.