Why do you think the MacBook failed? Poll

Why did the MacBook fail?

  • Small screen

  • 1 port

  • Not enough power

  • Something else (please comment)


Results are only viewable after voting.

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 11, 2014
4,130
1,464
USA
What do you think was wrong with it? Small screen? 1 port? Not enough power?
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G3
Jul 30, 2003
9,525
2,298
Delaware
Of course, one can ask: Why would someone on the outside have any idea why a company (Apple) decides to cancel a product.
The obvious answer is:

Apple decided to move on to something else.
Apple knows why... (It's not about failure, per se)
 
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QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,568
2,644
Bay Area
Not sure about all these answers saying "it didn't fail" or similar. I can't see it being canned unless sales were so low as to not justify making it anymore, which I'd call a failure. At the very least, it "failed" as compared to the Air and Pro because Apple deemed those models more worthy of continued production.

Anyway, putting aside the definition of the word "fail"... If you're going to sell a computer with numerous pain-points (weak processor, bad keyboard, single port, etc.), you'd better price it appropriately and update it regularly. Apple did neither. Predictable result.
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Original poster
Apr 11, 2014
4,130
1,464
USA
Folks, it didn’t mean fail in the sense one day they they all turned off and stopped working.

Failed meaning discontinued
 

Populus

macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2012
886
803
Valencia, Spain.
High price tag for it's performance/screen size. Especially for a 12" device. I think that might have been the cause.

But the main issue I think it was not being updated for years, carrying still a bad keyboard.

I kinda liked the concept of a small footprint and passively cooled Macbook, but a 13" screen would fit better my needs... And then it came, the new 2018 Macbook Air, which is almost a Macbook with a 13" display. A perfect replacement for the 12" lineup, with double the ports (2), and better battery life.

I think having the new Air was a big competitor for the 12" Macbook. So now the Macbook is gone.
 

Grey Area

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2008
191
374
Not sure how much of a concern it was for others, but for me it was doubts about longevity that in the end always stopped me from getting one. Soldered SSD, glued-in battery with a difficult form factor (will anyone else provide these once Apple stops?), and that keyboard - three critical "perishable" components that can only be fixed as long as Apple agrees to do so.

And this is combined with the fanless design. In general I appreciate that a lot - for years a CF-19 Toughbook was my primary computer. But it also means the machine gets hot. I have several colleagues with MacBooks, and all their initially impressive battery lives quickly degraded to about half. Always made me wonder whether the MacBook is boiling its battery to death.
 
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sky87

macrumors member
Nov 7, 2015
38
15
Definitely price I believe.

I just picked up a refurb 2017 MB 12" and so far it's been adequate for my uses - power is sufficient, the single non-thunderbolt USB-C doesn't bother me much (and I have a dongle that connects to everything), and the screen size is adequate and a trade off I'm willing to make for portability.

I think if it had been priced at a cheaper price point, more people would have bought it. For a primary computer though it was hard to recommend that people get the MB 12" when for not much more they could get a MBP 13" with better specs.

I don't see the MB Air as really a competitor to the MB 12", but that's because I feel that the major advantage of the 12" is really portability. Whereas the MB Air is so close in size and weight to the MBP 13" that I'd rather get a MBP 13" over a MB Air...
 

HappyIntro

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2016
193
196
Yes I'll chime in and say price was the main reason. Apple apparently couldn't find a way to bring the price down to a range that more people could justify the purchase. I'd say that's Apple's fault. Also I think too few people appreciated how improved the MacBook became with the introduction of the gen 2 keyboard in 2016 and the Kaby Lake Y-series cpu in 2017. If Apple could have shaved the price down a bit while touting the speed improvements of the later models, perhaps it would have been more successful.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,032
2,714
If it had been much cheaper it would of bitten more in to Ipad sales for those on the fence of requirements
I think you're on the money there: it filled a real, but very narrow niche between the iPad and the MacBook Pro/Air - you had to really need that extra portability - and not really care about connectivity - not to get a MBA/MBP, and really need the kb/pointer-based interface and MacOS apps not to get an iPad. It undoubtably ticked the boxes for a few people, but now we have the Air offering a retina display on the one hand, and Apple apparently getting serious about making the iPad more of a 'proper computer' with iPadOS, that niche is only going to shrink.

Also, if you're dithering over whether you can get by with an iPad, the quality of the keyboard is going to be a major factor, and the nicest you can say about the butterfly keyboard is that it is divisive...

I think Apple realised that their upcoming 12" ARM Macbook is more powerful, better battery life and so on..
I guess we will see in fall or next year at latest
I'd be interested in seeing ARM-based Macs, but I don't think a change like that - which is going to rely on as many developers as possible building ARM versions of their applications - would happen without a pre-announcement at WWDC and some sort of development system available to developers in advance. Launch an ARM Mac in a hurry without a critical mass of native applications and that will certainly prove the skeptics right - 'cos its probably not gonna be very impressive at running x86 apps via son-of-Rosetta.

Looking at the way WWDC played, I'd say Apple's current gameplan is to work on making the iPad more credible as a laptop replacement - at least for the ultra-portable end of the market. Also, looks like Apple has had a couple of temporary 'exclusives' on new Intel processor models (e.g. the new low-end MBPs) and, of course, one point of 'Apple switching to ARM rumours' is to keep Intel on their toes...
 
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HappyIntro

macrumors regular
Apr 30, 2016
193
196
I really don't think that the MacBook would have competed that heavily with iPad if the MacBook's price was lowered. I'd guess that very, very few people actually think, "should I get an iPad or a MacBook?" Maybe similar price, similar size, but way different capabilities. I'm thinking the vast majority of people go in wanting either a laptop or a tablet, because they need to do productivity things, or they want to consume media on their couch, respectively. I'd also guess most people will end up with some kind of laptop and some kind of tablet, so no need to choose just one.
 

The Samurai

macrumors 68000
Dec 29, 2007
1,960
427
Glasgow
Intel, keyboard, price (iPad Pro vs Macbook Air)

Like others, I wouldnt be surprised to see it again down the line with an ARM processor.
 

MacRazySwe

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2007
812
501
Overpriced, underpowered, with a small screen and limited connectivity.

It was essentially the netbook all over again. Something that Steve Jobs had made fun of when the MacBook Air was brought to market years prior. Launching the MacBook as the Air replacement was doomed to fail.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,378
2,984
The price. Apple should have sold a version of this for $999.
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Overpriced, underpowered, with a small screen and limited connectivity.

It was essentially the netbook all over again. Something that Steve Jobs had made fun of when the MacBook Air was brought to market years prior. Launching the MacBook as the Air replacement was doomed to fail.
Except it wasn’t a netbook. The Air doesn’t have a much more powerful processor. The Core M is quite capable. The main issue I think was the price.
 

SteveJUAE

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2015
2,756
2,425
Land of Smiles
I really don't think that the MacBook would have competed that heavily with iPad if the MacBook's price was lowered. I'd guess that very, very few people actually think, "should I get an iPad or a MacBook?" Maybe similar price, similar size, but way different capabilities. I'm thinking the vast majority of people go in wanting either a laptop or a tablet, because they need to do productivity things, or they want to consume media on their couch, respectively. I'd also guess most people will end up with some kind of laptop and some kind of tablet, so no need to choose just one.
I think you may underestimate how many different scenarios that would made an easier choice if the price of the MB had been comparable to the IP/IPP

It's not just those walking in to a store :)

There are those upgrading or down grading, 2nd device buyers etc etc, beside those that want lapability and portability or even software/progs and W10 or desktop heavy lifter and a laptop companion and so on :)

The price delta made the option poor value for money for many to the point where you could get two IPad for one MB