How do you tell the Emperor that he’s not wearing any clothes? Sure, just tell him, but he’s the Emperor. Will he listen? Likely, uh, no. That’s exactly the case with Apple’s Mac strategy. You can tell Apple they’re doing it wrong, but where’s the evidence?
Even the Emperor finally figured out he’d been hoodwinked and wasn’t wearing anything at all. How does one tell Apple that their Mac strategy is lame? After all, Mac sales are at record levels and make up about half the entire personal computer industry’s profits.
What is Apple doing wrong? Seemingly, according to Apple’s Mac line, absolutely nothing.
Or, is something really wrong and Apple just doesn’t see it? See? The Emperor has no clothes. The Mac line has a few big holes and customers are being somewhat hoodwinked into thinking they’re buying new devices when they really are buying old, outdated Macs.
First up, the Mac mini. It has been years since a substantial update and the last one was actually something of a downgrade. $499.
Mac mini is an affordable powerhouse that packs the entire Mac experience into a 7.7-inch-square frame. Just connect your own display, keyboard, and mouse, and you’re ready to make big things happen.
Powerhouse? What do you mean by power, Apple? Intel is shipping 8th generation chips– none of which have made it to a Mac– while the Mac mini, still sold as new with no Aging Discount applied, has this Intel Inside:
Mac mini makes everyday tasks a breeze with fourth-generation Intel Core processors, a flash storage option that’s up to 50 percent faster, and wireless performance up to three times quicker than its predecessor. With Intel Iris Graphics or Intel HD Graphics 5000, it also delivers graphics performance up to 90 percent faster than the previous generation.
Apple hypes Thunderbolt 2 like it means something good. 4th generation Intel Inside? Puhleeze. That is lame. Apple even promotes Mac mini with a display it no longer sells.
$999 gets you a MacBook Air. 12 hours of battery life. 30 days of standby time. But 5th generation Core i5 and Core i7 Intel Inside. Not 8th generation like you can find at Dell, HP, Lenovo, and elsewhere. 2.96-lbs? That middle-aged spread is embarrassingly heavy for a notebook. At least is has 802-11ac Wi-Fi and comes with macOS High Sierra– but no Retina display.
I get why Apple sells these dinosaurs. Maybe the customer is the one with no clothes. The Mac mini and MacBook Air models should have been revamped years ago. Word on the streets is that Apple intends to do just that. Someday. Soon. Maybe.
For now, Apple sells Mac models that are years old with Intel Inside that is years behind the latest. Why am I on such a rant? It seems as if Apple does not care much about Mac models these days, definitely not the low end, entry-level models, and I’m somewhat envious of a co-worker who walked in with a new Dell XPS 13 that runs rings around the MacBook Air in hardware components at $200 more than what Apple charges for what can be described as ancient technology.
Gordon Mah Ung has the drool worthy specifications. See how they stack up against an entry-level MacBook at $100 less.
- Quad-core Intel 8th-gen Core i5-8250U CPU
- 8GB of LPDDR3/1866 in dual-channel mode
- Samsung 256GB PM961 NVMe SSD
- 13.3-inch 1920×1080 IPS screen
- Killer 1435 802.11ac 2×2 wireless
- 1080p IPS display with Gorilla Glass
- USB-C, microSD card slot
- 12-hour battery life
- Windows 10
You get the idea, right? The hardware– even from Dell– is somewhat droolworthy while Mac mini and MacBook Air are not just long in the tooth, they’re positively root canal worthy. I doubt if Apple cares much about such specifications because the Mac still sells at record levels and with gross margins sufficient to fund a few developing nations into prosperity.