Could Todays Mac Pro Announcement Be a Sign of Whats to Come for the MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mr. Dee, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. Mr. Dee macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

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    #1
    Apple admitted today the direction of the cylindrical Mac Pro released in December 2013 turned out to be a major thermal mistake. The company admits, it just does not meet the needs for an important segment of professional customers; especially for those in cinematography and emerging technologies like Virtual Reality.

    Which brings us to the 2016 MacBook Pro itself, which probably is facing a future with similar thermal constraints and limitations.

    The analysis of the Mac Pro's creation was, they did it because they thought it was cool and because they had the resources to do it. It just wasn't created with customers in mind or with emerging trends.

    The 2016 MacBook Pro has turned out to be case of, we make it thinner because it looks cool (aesthetics) and because we can. A popular third party Apple developer on Twitter, Steve Troughton Smith, sent out a poll asking for thoughts on the Touchbar; and the consensus is split 50/50. Comments also reflected many sentiments about it, 'meh, its ok, hardly use it'. Many hate the lack of a physical key, something particularly important to developers. Also, accidental touches turn out to be a constant problem and issues with the large touch pad.

    After todays news and what has actually been described as a so-so upgrade for the 2016 MBP; it probably is expected that Apple will also do a uturn on some of the MacBook Pro's design choices.

    If they do, expect a return of the previous chassis, possible addition or practical ports like a couple USB 3.1 A ports and the SD card reader.

    I think Apple realizing that aesthetics has its limits, and being practical is important and part of being user friendly too. Return of a modular design a good sign.

    Lets all be respectful and friendly about this. These are inanimate objects and whatever you do with your savings is your business. Lets all refrain from insults. If you like the MacBook Pro in its current state, congratulations.
     
  2. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #2
    I sincerely hope that this is a "beacon" for change, as Apple's current computing line is simply dire...

    Q-6
     
  3. leman macrumors 604

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    #3
    I do not think so. A laptop and a desktop are two very different beasts. Portability is a very important feature for a laptop. Perdonally, I would be very disappointed if they went back on portability for the sake of pointless (imo) upgradeability. But they could (and should) make the SSD replaceable.

    Anyway, the MBP is exactly where it should be: very portable and also very fast and with best connectivity of any laptop currently in existence. There is no way to upgrade it without significantly sacrificing portability.
     
  4. coreyk macrumors member

    coreyk

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    #4
    From Daring Fireball's write-up of Apple's announcements. I doubt they'll back-pedal on their MacBook Pro designs with numbers like this.

    Mac sales were up in 2016, once again outpacing the PC industry as a whole, and the new MacBook Pros are a hit, with sales up “about 20 percent” year over year.
     
  5. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    An invitation to a friendly discussion works best if it includes an effort to recognize and incorporate different points of view. You assume a rather strong and highly controversial point of view as though it were settled fact.

    What analysis? Based on what good evidence?

    This is popular mythology, but it doesn't fit the facts well at all. The survey about the touch bar doesn't show such a thing.

    The MBP upgrade has been more controversial than so-so, some loving the new features, and some loathing them. But objectively it includes more improvements than any other MBP since the retina screen came out.

    I don't see any probable basis for expecting a u-turn on MBP design choices. Why would they return to a larger chassis when the current one already has better heat management than the 2015, and already has room for a larger battery? Yes, they could offer older ports, but it appears from comments and polls here that most people like the changes on the whole, and wouldn't trade them for a larger, heavier machine.

    This appears to be wishful thinking, or what's wishful for what appears to be a minority who dislike the changes in the new MBP.

    According to what objective analysis? Sales are doing fine.
     
  6. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    #6
    What remains to be seen is whether they will continue to do well. A lot of the new sales has to do with pent up demand because by fall 2016, the rMBPs were long in the tooth. Will people update from the 2016 to the 2017 (or 2018) as in previous MacBooks Pros?
     
  7. lambertjohn macrumors 6502

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    #7
    blah blah blah. Who cares? Apple is going to do whatever they want to do; they always have. People will buy or they won't . And judging by their current stock price, $144 as of today, April 4th, I'd say people are buying! And they probably always will no matter what technological concoction Apple comes up with next, winner or not.
     
  8. darksithpro, Apr 4, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017

    darksithpro macrumors regular

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    #8

    The new Mac Pro's announced are literally for professionals. They have Xeon CPU's, ECC memory and Firepro video cards. These type of machines are intended for "Professional" software development and commercial and industrial use. They are completely different from the iMacs and MacBook Pro's for everyday consumer use. So it would be a bad idea if they did this to the mainstream lineup. It would also be cost prohibitive. A Firepro card can cost thousands of dollars vs a Radeon card, because they use special drivers and the boards and memory "V-ram" are slightly different.
     
  9. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Of course. I'm just pointing out that current sales don't support the claim that "Apple's current computing line is simply dire." No one knows about future sales.
     
  10. argentum47 macrumors regular

    argentum47

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    #10
    Portability doesn't have to be achieved by making the laptop thinner. How about reducing the bezels (Dell XPS) instead of making the laptop thinner, or doing whatever the magic LG is doing in making their 980g/60Whr battery 15" laptop? Even though the latter isn't retina or as high performance as MBP, the mere existence of a 15" laptop under 1 kg implies there's a large room for improvement in portability NOT involving thinness.

    The thinness fetish brings about so many compromises -- harder to engineer batteries, harder to engineer thermal constraints, needing to introduce the controversial keyboard, removal of certain legacy ports, etc...

    Though I hardly think this will be the path Apple will take, the 2016 MBP certainly wasn't the only way of improving portability.
     
  11. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Apple is working on those things too, naturally. The new bezels are smaller, the case is smaller in each dimension, it's lighter, and the machines are more energy efficient, all with better heat management and battery life than before (at least for the 15"). Apple has no more fetish with thinness than any other desirable characteristic for a laptop. It's balanced with the others.
     
  12. darksithpro macrumors regular

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    #12
    The big question is what's more important to you? Function, or Form, or Both? If you said both I guess the Macbook pro fits that bill. If you said function, then maybe a 9 pound, 2 inch thick Windows/Linux beast that lasts 45 minutes on battery is your ticket. I've seen a lot of people in these forums that don't like the path Apple has chosen, but they still stay with Apple because they simply outright refuse to work with Windows, which is understandable.
     
  13. DHagan4755 macrumors 6502a

    DHagan4755

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    #13
    I have a few slightly different takes.

    1.) Could this mean an update to the MacBook Pro is coming sooner than later?
    If a MBP update is coming soon (and we know that Kaby Lake MacBook Pro identifiers were included in 10.12.4) this might cause a lot of heartburn because they haven't updated the Mac Pro or iMac desktops. Imagine the reaction if Apple updated the pro laptops again without updating the pro desktop?! Now that we know the laptop/desktop breakdown is 80/20, clearly Apple's focus has been/will tilt towards keeping the notebook line fresh. Granted the interval between MacBook Pro updates would be relatively super short here, though this happened once before in 2009. At WWDC, Apple updated the new unibody MacBook Pro following the unibody introduction in October 2008). The likelihood of this happening is low. Yet it's an interesting thought to ponder since the date of Tuesday, April 18th has also been bandied around as a MacBook update date (April 19th would mark a year since the MacBook was updated).

    2.) And perhaps the realization about the Mac Pro's design faux pas was recognized as the development of the 2016 MacBook Pro was underway. It could very well be that the new MacBook Pro was designed with more regular upgrades in mind. Therefore, the new design has more flexibility for updates than the original retina models did.
     
  14. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    Good point. The thermal limits of the Mac Pro aren't something Apple just figured out. It may be more to the point about the MBP that earlier MBPs had issues with heat management that Apple seems to have learned from for the new MBP.
     
  15. Mr. Dee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

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    #15
    In what way was the 2012 to 2015 MacBook Pro not already portable? If portability is a priority, wouldn't the standard Retina MacBook Pro take precedent over something targeted at Professional customers? Last I check, modern Macs followed the quadrant Steve showed nearly 20 years ago: Pro and Consumer:

    iMac > iMovie, Photos, Garageband
    MacBook Pro > FinalCut X, Lightroom, Photoshop, Logic X and the rest of the Adobe Creative Cloud
    Mac Pro > FinalCut X, Lightroom, Photoshop, Logic X and the rest of the Adobe Creative Cloud, (VR)
    MacBook > iMovie, Photos, Garageband


    For a professional content creator, portability is the last thing when it comes to the MacBook Pro. What matters is battery life and performance (memory, CPU, graphics), expandability and reliability. Being portable is just icing on the cake.

    Pent up demand after nearly 3 years without an update will do stuff like that.

    MacBook "Pro" = Professional.
    MacBook = consumer

    The MacBook Pro is intended to be the portable equivalent of the Mac Pro or strive to be. Of course, we know that the form factor limitations prevent it, but purposely designing the MacBook Pro where you limit its performance with low power DDR3 memory, bottom of line graphics, smaller battery, thinner design and so-so mechanical keyboard is not making a product intended for professionals attractive.

    When a Dell XPS and HP Spectre can have DDR4 RAM and fastest availabe graphics and CPUs. Well, thats sign that you are setting your product development priorities wrong.
     
  16. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    In exactly the ways the new MBP is more portable, obviously. It's a matter of degree. Anything that can be moved is portable, but for people who want to carry something around, being smaller and lighter enhances portability.

    If you intend this to be an objective claim, please give some evidence. If it isn't objective, you shouldn't state it as though it were. If portability were the last priority for pros, there would be no 13" MBP, and MBPs would be just barely portable enough to get from one place to another, so as to maximize performance, at least the size of suitcases. Obviously that's not what most people, or most pros, want.

    Each point is obviously wrong, or at least obviously weak. You talk as though the 2015 MBP had the right balance of size and performance, but it had DDR3 (LPDDR3) too, with graphics objectively worse than the new MBP, worse battery life than the new MBP, and was thinner than its predecessors. It plainly doesn't meet your criteria either.

    The XPS has worse battery life than the new MBP in large part because the XPS uses DDR4. The use of DDR4 doesn't offer any meaningful performance increase, according to practical tests, only the option of 32 GB. When the new MBP came out, it offered the same CPU and more powerful graphics than the XPS. The comparison to the Spectre is hard to see the point of. It doesn't even offer a dGPU.

    This topic isn't about facts.
     
  17. SteveJUAE, Apr 4, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017

    SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

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    #17
    I have no idea what this guy is quoting (Maybe 2015) but MAC sales were down 10% in 2016 (YoY) and barely up 1% in the most important quarter since the release of the tbMBP covering the more favourable holiday season. Interestingly they did make more money in that quarter :D.

    Source Apple 10-K annual report - http://investor.apple.com/sec.cfm?DocType=Annual and Q1
    2017

    I also understand in 2016 Apple slipped down in the rankings of OEM market share of shipments

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/apple-mac-lost-most-pc-market-share-in-2016-chart-2017-1


    apple 2017 q1.jpg apple saled 2016.jpg
     
  18. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #18
    Good point. May be talking about the end of 2016, which his remarks about Mac sales do seem to fit. The part about the MBP is in quotes, so he probably got that from Schiller or one of the other Apple folks he talked to.
     
  19. ZapNZs macrumors 68000

    ZapNZs

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    #19
    In the case of the Mac Pro, it seems very possible that the financials, years of User feedback, and resurgence of very capable Win-based workstations with enhanced expandability (plus the high prices for used classic Mac Pros) have said to Apple designers that the previous generation classic Mac Pro did a better job of meeting User needs than the current cylinder Mac Pro. But even if that is the case, I'm not sure how much of that can transfer over from the Mac Pro to the MacBook Pro, given such differences between the two? I feel like changes with the MacBook Pro will ultimately depend on what the longer-term financials say? (coupled with longer-term owner feedback)


    Agreed.

    However, with the Mac Pro, hopefully Apple goes further and maintains a greater degree of expansion-capability than is seen with their other devices. Soldered RAM, for example, may be relatively easy to accept on a $1,000 - $4,000 laptop, but could be much harder to swallow on a $6,000 - $25,000 workstation? (especially at a time where some Win-based workstations are upgradable to upwards of half a TB of RAM for future needs.) An ability to accept multiple 2.5 or 3.5-inch drives internally, or multiple SSDs that adhere to the standard NVMe, can also be huge for people needing massive storage capability (and arguably, a larger case that holds those drives internally looks better than a smaller case + lots of externals and wires everywhere!) PCIe-expandability looks like it has a bright future as an absolute must-have with many workstations, and the ability to use the same NVMe standard (or availability of Apple's own PCIe SSDs in larger sizes for affordable prices) is something that would appeal to me very much.

    Where as aesthetics and portability can be functionally desirable and huge selling points for many consumer devices, neither of these seem very important to workstation Users, so highly successful design methodologies from other devices are arguably going to be less effective here, and possibly detract from the functionality a buyer is seeking in a product like a Mac Pro?
     
  20. thesaint024 macrumors 6502a

    thesaint024

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    #20
    Sales are typically stated in sales dollars vs. unit sales. His statement is correct that full year dollar sales are actually up for Mac overall. This is despite the fact that Mac DESKTOP sales are down, shown by your highlights. Macbook sales are definitely up YOY as expected given the new MBP. The PC industry as a whole is declining. Macs are declining slower and therefore gaining market share. It's all accurate and actually good news for Apple.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 4, 2017 ---
    Am I the only one that sees the irony in this statement? Laptops by definition are portable, and the more portable the better. You and many others disagree with this and would prefer other compromises made, like portability. But this is the intended purpose of a laptop, and Apple continues to push the envelope in this regard, apparently very successfully. Even professional content creators utilize the portability, probably as much as us prosumers. Just like a camera, the best one is the one you have with you. Any one particular laptop can't fit everyone's needs, but seeing Apple's success, you can at least understand why they continue down this path.
     
  21. Mr. Dee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

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    #21
    They continue down a path where sometimes they make mistakes. As Craig said in the interview, the Mac Pro was a case of denial for 4 years until they accepted it was the wrong decision. A number of professionals (developers in particular) said they would have been more pleased if the Touch Bar was an (in addition to) the standard function keys. I have a 13 inch MBP 2015 and I have to say, coming from an Elitebook, its like night and day.

    I only travel with my laptop once per week though, so, precision focus on thinness for the sake of portability is not necessarily the right priority for each product. For a user who prefers portability over performance, the standard MacBook can actually be a better option. So is the iPad.

    My belief is, when it comes to professional machines such as the Mac Pro and MacBook Pro, Apple needs to listen and follow instructions. If you don't think they are, well, they had a big mea culpa today and they admitted, they are now communicating and listening to the audience buying these machines and using them for more than thinness and Star Bucks status symbols.
     
  22. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #22
    You must be talking about Federighi (I'm not on a first-name basis with him myself). He didn't say anything about denial. He didn't say it was a wrong decision either, but he said that they designed themselves into a corner, so one might infer that was a mistake in hindsight.

    Not that facts matter here, but the myth that thinness has been put above performance, or prioritized any more than in previous years, has already been debunked.

    The notion that Apple needs "instructions" from people like you is quite telling.
     
  23. thesaint024 macrumors 6502a

    thesaint024

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    #23
    I think you might be reading a lot into this. The fact that they admitted to a design mistake in their Mac Pro doesn't necessarily translate into their other products. I don't think they are rethinking their iPhone line's lack of upgradability and implying those are mistakes. Their products have different uses and direction as a result. You also might be optimistically assuming that your workflow applies to all other "Pros".

    They have and always will continue down a path where they make mistakes. That's what we all appreciate about them. They design cutting edge products that push the industry. And they have lots of spectacular failures too. This new MBP is much closer to the former than the latter as sales numbers (and controversy) show. Who knows, they may make an admission of a mistake or two with the MBP. But given their track record, I don't expect them to go back in the areas you seem to hope for - larger form factor, performance over battery, etc. These are areas that they never compromised because they have always made a laptop first and everything else added was a bonus. It's not an obsession with thinness, it's trying to make the best, usable laptop. For many people who buy laptops, that means size and weight, not to mention balance, heat management, sound, noise, speed. Again, it's a laptop portable computer.
     
  24. Mr. Dee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mr. Dee

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    #24
    Instead of trying to excuse a problem by being an unofficial Apple PR, I think you would have a solid argument by saying, I like these decisions because of so and so. Your responses so far and actually i have come across in a number of threads go more in the direction of blind loyalty.

    Here are several reasons the 2016 MacBook Pro is a better product:

    - It has a brighter and much nicer screen, making it easier to view for long periods.
    - Although not significantly greater than previous models, the profile does tiny difference in weight.
    - Easier peripheral management using a single port (USB C).
    - Reasonable battery life performance.

    To say the 2015 MacBook Pro wasn't meeting most of the requirements of size and weight, not to mention balance, heat management, sound, noise, speed is kinda weird. I think the target group for this product were looking for several things they are also expecting of the Mac Pro: more memory, battery life and smooth integration with their existing infrastructure.

    Again, Apple is beginning to listen to the people who matter here. The actual professionals, not the blind loyalist to a cult Steve Jobs had to rebuke at Macworld '97, but people who use these things for work. That applies both to the mobile and stationary machines.
     
  25. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #25
    I thought "sales dollars vs. unit sales" simply gives you the average net unit price which was fractionally higher in 2015 than 2016 as will any other % or ratio of the 2 numbers

    I agree the full year sales of Apple (not MAC) was up

    As in OP referenced source also noted $25billion and as I noted before I believe the 20% reference etc was for year 2015

    Apple returns has no breakdown data on Mac DESKTOP or any other MAC so unless you have insider information we are all just guessing on numbers of individual MACs :)

    The data presented in Apple returns is clear for all to see MAC's net sales were down in 2016 vs 2015 but Q1 2017 is looking better
     

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