Apple is dedicated to the Mac desktop. And it's not.

Conflicting reports paint a contrasting picture of Apple’s desktop support.

Apple is dedicated to the Mac desktop. And it's not.
Agam Shah

Several weeks ago, we ran a feature story by yours truly questioning Apple's dedication to its Mac hardware line. At the time, Mac desktops and MacBook notebooks were falling years out of date. 

Since then, Apple has introduced some new MacBooks, but desktops such as iMac, Mac Pro and Mac Mini remain woefully out of date. This led to more questions and doubt, and it forced the normally recalcitrant Tim Cook to post on an employee message board a letter assuring the staff that the company remains committed to the desktop line. 

"Some folks in the media have raised the question about whether we’re committed to desktops," Cook wrote. "If there’s any doubt about that with our teams, let me be very clear: we have great desktops in our roadmap. Nobody should worry about that." 

Naturally, the posting was immediately leaked to TechCrunch

+ Also on Network World: Top Apple stories of 2016 +

No one would fault Apple for pulling back on the Mac desktop. Notebooks accounted for 78 percent of total Mac sales in the second quarter of 2016, according to Gartner. Apple sold 774,000 desktops vs. 3.4 million notebooks. That isn't a particularly impressive sales figure, so it's not hard to see why Apple wouldn't be spinning its gears to support the desktop. 

And hot on the heels of that comes a report from Bloomberg that Apple is indeed reducing the Mac desktop in priority. The article claims the Mac team just isn't a priority with Jony Ive's design team, the company's software team or senior management. 

Bloomberg also reports that there's no longer a dedicated team for developing Mac software. There's just one big software team that works across both iOS and MacOS. Far be it from me to second guess this decision, but I always thought iOS, while a derivative of MacOS, is so different of a creature that it's essentially a separate OS and the two need to be kept separated. 

And given that iPhone and iPad sales account for 75 percent of Apple revenue while Macs account for just 10 percent, which do you think will get the priority? 

Bloomberg also details how the MacBooks that did ship this year had to be scaled back because they didn't have the engineering resources to make some things, such as a new type of battery, work in time for launch. Apple is not hurting for money, nor is it in any danger of losing profitability. If it wanted to put the resources into the Mac, it could easily afford to do so. The fact is it does not seem to want to.

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