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.

glhiii

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2006
217
35
You misspelled “fortunately”.

The cult of personality around Jony Ive is fascinating, considering he is mainly responsible for the issues people are complaining about or bemoaning in this thread ...

Jony Ive is kinda like George Lucas - delivering awesome things as long as he is guided properly - but without such guidance, and given absolute power, his limitations and incompetence quickly became apparent.
I would tend to agree if you're talking about the butterfly keyboard (and if JI was responsible for it). But the fact remains that the 12" MacBook is a joy to work on, not least because it is beautiful. The MacBook Pro's are not ugly, but they're nowhere nearly as esthetically pleasing as the 12" MacBook. And, of course, the MacBook is a pound lighter....
 

Joe h

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2017
151
168
Probably because it is just an iPad with a really bad keyboard? But also the need for laptops is really not there anymore.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,518
3,067
I would tend to agree if you're talking about the butterfly keyboard (and if JI was responsible for it). But the fact remains that the 12" MacBook is a joy to work on, not least because it is beautiful. The MacBook Pro's are not ugly, but they're nowhere nearly as esthetically pleasing as the 12" MacBook. And, of course, the MacBook is a pound lighter....
Agreed. The discontinuation of the 12” MacBook leaves a gap in the lineup. Hopefully it comes back as a smaller variation of the MacBook Air (which has more of the MacBook’s esthetics, but unfortunately weighs almost as much as the MacBook Pro).
[doublepost=1565626385][/doublepost]
Probably because it is just an iPad with a really bad keyboard? But also the need for laptops is really not there anymore.
It isn’t “just an iPad.” It runs macOS and has an Intel processor. Apple still sells lots of laptops, just not anything as small and light as the MacBook.
 
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borgusio

macrumors 6502
Jul 22, 2011
259
96
I will be receiving my new 2017 today.
Two colleagues of mine just ordered, as well. Both are on MacBook Pro and are buying this as travel machine.

At the current discounted price, Apple would have sold these machines like hotcakes...
[doublepost=1565853347][/doublepost]One more thing to complement this: one of the most appealing features that convinced my colleagues to buy is the sidecar feature.
I always travel with iPad Pro plus MacBook 12. now that the two can be used together, with the iPad as a sketchbook, the pair is unbeatable as compared to a MacBook Pro only scenario.

Apple should reconsider.
 

kissymac7

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2015
28
8
The world
I will be receiving my new 2017 today.
Two colleagues of mine just ordered, as well. Both are on MacBook Pro and are buying this as travel machine.

At the current discounted price, Apple would have sold these machines like hotcakes...
[doublepost=1565853347][/doublepost]One more thing to complement this: one of the most appealing features that convinced my colleagues to buy is the sidecar feature.
I always travel with iPad Pro plus MacBook 12. now that the two can be used together, with the iPad as a sketchbook, the pair is unbeatable as compared to a MacBook Pro only scenario.

Apple should reconsider.
[doublepost=1565928021][/doublepost]Hi, you are right! And I agree..apple should reconsider. I am highly disappointed that apple removed this MacBook as a user of it everyday for portability and travel this has been my favorite MacBook of all time

I also use MacBook and iPad Pro and yes can’t wait to use the sidecar feature. I also own a 15 inch which is my desktop computer but the 12 inch is perfect for travelers and students
I am deeply saddened it will be forever gone
 

psychedelia

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2009
114
5
I will be receiving my new 2017 today.
Two colleagues of mine just ordered, as well. Both are on MacBook Pro and are buying this as travel machine.

At the current discounted price, Apple would have sold these machines like hotcakes...
[doublepost=1565853347][/doublepost]One more thing to complement this: one of the most appealing features that convinced my colleagues to buy is the sidecar feature.
I always travel with iPad Pro plus MacBook 12. now that the two can be used together, with the iPad as a sketchbook, the pair is unbeatable as compared to a MacBook Pro only scenario.

Apple should reconsider.
Kudos! I'm receiving mine some time next week!

As to Apple reconsidering, I have a feeling we will see a similar type of Mac with an ARM processor in a few years, though.
 

jgbr

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2007
637
444
Consider myself part of a unique club now having the 12inch machine.

I tried to use an iPad to supplement my 15MBP but im sorry not matter what they do it just isn't a laptop replacement. Long live the ultra ultra portable.
 

Aston441

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2014
1,346
1,927
Agreed. My guess is that Apple didn’t intend to make the new Air until they found that the MacBook wasn’t selling as well as expected. I’m guessing price was the main driver. I find it really difficult to believe the 1 port was a big issue, particularly since a 2nd port doesn’t add all that much functionality (being Thunderbolt helps somewhat) and still require the use of adapters or hubs, which are plentiful today.
I waited from the day MacBook was introduced, until the day it was discontinued, for that second port.

The day it was discontinued i bought one, since it was obvious that port we never going to happen

I wasn't alone.

Did you see how fast they sold out everywhere after being discontinued?
 

FilmIndustryGuy

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2015
289
129
Manhattan Beach, CA
maybe price but I dont think it failed. The only downside of it are the bazels and it could be faster. It really needs iPad Pro CPU and it would be prefect. its not snappy like the iPad mini 5.
Mine is a 2017 at 600 battery cycles and still at 85% battery life. I use it almost daily even though I have a new Mac and a new iPad. I tried two MacBook pros while I has the MB and ended up selling them because the rMB just felt more like an actual portable laptop.
If Apple releases an ARM version with 16gb ram and minimal bazels, I'll be more than happy to pay whatever they ask.
 
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MarkAtl

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2019
105
73
I have a fully loaded 2017 (16GB, i7, 512GB) and a new-to-me iPad Pro 11" WiFi/LTE 512GB. Looking forward to trying out Sidecar as I think this could be a real winner.

I use a Mac mini in my home office environment but it's hard to beat the rMB for travel.
 

ascender

macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2005
2,784
754
IMO it was a combination of the cost and the 1 port. If they'd have been able to get the cost down, it would have sold more, but I suspect it would still have had limited appeal due to the 1 port.

And presumably they found that either due to the design and/or intel they had limited options to bump performance.

I suspect something similar will make a return with ARM chips, but its a shame to see it go as its still the only ultra-portable option unless you're able to do what you need on an iPad.
 

lixuelai

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2008
804
59
Ultraportable is always going to be a niche market and Apple is pushing the iPad Pro as the ultraportable computing option.

The volume probably didn't justify keeping it in production unlike the previous MBA/Mac Mini (high volume) or the Mac Pro (halo product).
 

icymountain

macrumors 6502
Dec 12, 2006
300
147
Hard to say whether it disappeared as Apple thinks ultraportable should be covered with iPad pros (I think that would be a mistake, for me they are very different things and will remain so unless iPadOS becomes much closer to MacOS) or just temporarily went away until other laptop design issues are sorted out (getting new generation, probably ARM, CPUs, making a reliable keyboard that fits the ultra portable line, or other).

It could also be that Apple is just trying to figure out what its laptop strategy is going to be (I have to say that I understand it much less well today than I did around, say 2013 or 2014) and the Macbook does not fit the current plan.
 

SteveManila1960

macrumors newbie
Aug 8, 2019
14
2
London
For me its a today issues rather than when it was new. We have an Apple ecosystem. My wife likes a small computer for occasional use. She just lost her Mac Air 11.6" to our daughter and doesn't want a 13" anything. I looked at the MacBook and it would have been a perfect second hand buy for my wife even with all its limitations except one. That damn single port doesn't support Thunderbolt which is a big part of our home ecosystem. If it did I would be buying a used MacBook now, instead I am looking for another Mac Air in the used market places.
 

kingdf

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2014
125
35
United States
My 2017 MB is my fave computer I've ever owned. Just under 2 years of ownership coming from a 2015 11" MBA, which I also loved and owned for 2.5 years, one major thing that pulled me into this computer like the MBA was the size. It's one reason why I sold my 2013 rMBP after only a year of ownership. I prefer the smaller sizes of these computers. The MB is my fave computer that Apple offers. Hopefully in the future, they'll include a size similar to that of the current MB.
 

leeuk321

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2018
32
17
Bit late to this thread, but I agree with a lot of others here that it didn't necessarily fail, it was just killed. Hopefully, killed in order to make a grand resurrection, but time will tell. But in terms of it not doing as well as it could have done, I think there's a lot of factors. Firstly, as others have mentioned, it didn't have a clear space in the lineup and hence was a niche product. This, imho, is a mistake from Apple to not have consolidated the Macbook / MacBook Air into one clear product. If you consider the lineup of iPad - Macbook - MacBook Air - 13" MacBook Pro - 15" MacBook Pro, I personally think that the Macbook is a more 'individual' product than the MacBook Air, and if you consider all variables (price, weight, size, performance) then the 13" MacBook Pro is a far better choice than the MacBook Air I'd say, for most people debating which of these two to get. Of course, there's always a market that the Air will speak to more than the Pro, but all in all, I'd say Pro would on average be the better choice, imho.

The point I'm making is that if you have to consolidate the lineup, which is probably a good choice from Apple, then personally I think that they should have made the 2018/2019 Air a middle-ground product somewhere between the Macbook and the Air, to make the Air a much lighter, portable model than the Pro, but maybe a bit more capable than the 12" Macbook.

But hopefully it'll make a comeback...
 
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Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,489
8,026
UK
I think the price was a factor. It was less capable than the MBA’s that were also around at the same time, yet cost a lot more. However I think Apple only intended for it to be stop gap until they could get a newly designed MBA out at the right price point.
 

Chidorin

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2017
37
5
yeah, killed by intel as recent Y chips used in mba with active cooling system. Though we may see smth like macbook 12" macbook air 13' mbp 14" & 16" after 2020 and it will make sense
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,518
3,067
I think the price was a factor. It was less capable than the MBA’s that were also around at the same time, yet cost a lot more. However I think Apple only intended for it to be stop gap until they could get a newly designed MBA out at the right price point.
I think the MacBook was intended to be the “permanent” replacement for the Air. I get the sense that Apple back-designed the Retina Air when sales of the MacBook were less than expected. Perhaps it will make a comeback if and when Apple switches to its own ARM chips for Macs, rather than rely on Intel. The Y chips now are 9W and require active cooling. But Apple’s A13X has similar benchmark performance as the chip in the base MacBook Pro and doesn’t require active cooling.
- - Post merged: - -

The point I'm making is that if you have to consolidate the lineup, which is probably a good choice from Apple, then personally I think that they should have made the 2018/2019 Air a middle-ground product somewhere between the Macbook and the Air, to make the Air a much lighter, portable model than the Pro, but maybe a bit more capable than the 12" Macbook.

But hopefully it'll make a comeback...
I agree about the Air. I have a hard time recommending it since it isn’t much lighter than the MacBook Pro, and isn’t that much more powerful than the 12” MacBook. If it were 2.4 lbs like the old 11.6” then I’d have an easier time recommending it.
 

leeuk321

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2018
32
17
I think the MacBook was intended to be the “permanent” replacement for the Air. I get the sense that Apple back-designed the Retina Air when sales of the MacBook were less than expected. Perhaps it will make a comeback if and when Apple switches to its own ARM chips for Macs, rather than rely on Intel. The Y chips now are 9W and require active cooling. But Apple’s A13X has similar benchmark performance as the chip in the base MacBook Pro and doesn’t require active cooling.
- - Post merged: - -



I agree about the Air. I have a hard time recommending it since it isn’t much lighter than the MacBook Pro, and isn’t that much more powerful than the 12” MacBook. If it were 2.4 lbs like the old 11.6” then I’d have an easier time recommending it.
Absolutely, that's how I feel about the current MacBook Air. If you consider all factors of why you buy a Mac laptop (weight, size, specs, performance) against the cost, in terms of best-bang-for-the-buck, the MacBook Air compared to the 13" MacBook Pro seems to be 60% of the bang for 85% of the buck. These are made up numbers, just to illustrate a point, before anyone pulls me on them.

For me, the Macbook had a more defined place in the lineup both before and after the MacBook Air got a retina refresh. I love it when people say "Yes but the MacBook Air..." when comparing it to the Macbook, because most of their arguments are almost completely ignoring the fact that the 13" MBP exists. Yes, it's got more ports, bigger screen, more power, but if you're after all of that then you've got the 13" MBP. And it's also cute when people say about why they should have done this-and-that with the Macbook, like add a second USB-C port. Yes, I'm one of the first people who would have loved a second USB-C port, but it's not as easy as 'sticking it in'. Same goes for CPU, ram speed, etc etc. The whole point is that they got it that small, light and silent by making compromises across the board. If you start adding a second port (hell, lets make them both thunderbolt ports, since this is all just an oversight), proper CPUs, a big fat fan, scissor keyboard, guess what...it's not a MacBook anymore. Obviously, any changes are possible, but any change affects the whole architecture, and something like a second port would have likely had several rippling consequences across the whole machine.

I think the Macbook just fell between the gaps in the lineup. Maybe Apple thought that people would appreciate an ultra-portable laptop more than they actually did. Or maybe there wasn't enough breathing room between the products; for instance, let's imagine how well it would have done if the 12.9" iPad and MacBook Air didn't exist, and the Macbook lived between the 10" iPad and the 13" MBP.

I still think that if Apple doesn't plan to resurrect the Macbook, then they should have made the refreshed MacBook Air a halfway house between the Macbook and the 13" MBP; well, I'd say leaning more towards the Macbook than the Pro, to give a broader scope of scale between weight and performance. The Macbook was 0.92kg, the Air is 1.25kg and the 13" Pro is 1.37kg. I think that they should have made the new Air around 1.1kg to 1.15kg, allowing them to beef it up a little more and get that extra port in there (or perhaps, a single USB-C gen2 port or thunderbolt port, if possible). That to me, would make for a better, more defined lineup.

But all of this is off the assumption that Apple aren't planning a Macbook resurrection, which hopefully they are...
 
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shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
1,782
1,355
I think it was too little laptop for the money. The MBA and MBP weren't much more expensive and were much better products. Then there was the design. Single port and terrible keyboard. No thanks. And for anyone come from outside of Apple they'd only need to see the XPS13 and their mind would be made up.
 

leeuk321

macrumors member
Jul 21, 2018
32
17
I think it was too little laptop for the money. The MBA and MBP weren't much more expensive and were much better products. Then there was the design. Single port and terrible keyboard. No thanks. And for anyone come from outside of Apple they'd only need to see the XPS13 and their mind would be made up.
I completely agree and disagree with you. Subjectively, I personally think that the MacBook was proportionally priced for an Apple product, because you've got to consider that a lot of the cost/value is because they've put all that spec in a 0.92kg silent machine. It's a huge engineering feat, and a lot of times smaller = more complicated and more expensive, not the other way round. So for me, comparing it to the bang/buck of the rest of the Apple lineup, it was proportionally priced and hence good value, for an Apple product. As for the single port and 'terrible keyboard', that's the nature of the beast. Stick another port in there, make it more powerful, change the keyboard to a scissor keyboard, and you're all of a sudden a inching towards the weight of the MBP. It's not as if all of these things were 'oversights'. The iPhone doesn't have a physical keyboard or lots of ports too.

But objectively, you're completely right, simply because there wasn't enough people who valued the ultralight aspect as much as Apple had hoped they had. As in, because users were okay with a little extra weight, that shaved-off weight didn't hold much value to them, and hence appeared that it was very expensive for what you got. Imagine how expensive the iPhone would appear if you didn't value its portability.

I always have a sneaking personal suspicion that the reason people didn't value it's weight-factor so much is because the damn things are nailed down to the tables in stores. The average consumer walking into an Apple store isn't that tech-savvy I imagine - a teenage daughter coming in with her Dad (and Dad's wallet) wouldn't be out of place - and the Macbook would likely feel like a crappy choice if you couldn't actually physically appreciate the lightness of it.

But maybe in the world of 8" phones people who buy laptops aren't hankering for something that light (because for portability, they've got their phone). I know a lot of people - nieces and nephews in particular - who have sold their previously gifted laptops now, because "they can do everything on their phone" as they say with pride. Of course, they can't do everything on their phone, or at least do it as well and/or as fast, but the world is going more impatient and stupid so they of course think that, and no-one can tell them different. The point being that it probably is a very niche market, mainly the regular business travellers I imagine, who not only value an actual Apple laptop but also value it being incredibly portable. If you take away all the business travellers who use Windows, you're probably left with a very small audience.
 

macintoshmac

macrumors 68040
May 13, 2010
3,582
3,129
That laptop was very good for the idealised idea and purpose of laptop - it was true to its diminutive form factor while maintaining good performance (towards the end of life).

I think if Apple had not been that stingy with ports on that thing, people would still have been very much okay with the product, since most knew what they wanted when they were buying a 12" screen.

I myself was considering the 2016 version in November 2016 and it was a tough choice between 2016 MBP 13 with Touch Bar and 12" MB 2016. I went for the 13" for two reasons. I live near equator with high temperatures in summer and my use would be mixed and occasionally heavy enough so thought the MBP with its fans would be better here. I figured that for my use I would almost always have to keep a dongle hub attached. This is not what I wanted to do. If that laptop had just one more port, I might just have picked it up, since what I wanted then was high portability and adequate power for what I do, which that 2016 m5 provided (for my use).

I really hope Apple brings that form factor back. At 920 grams, that notebook was a no-brainer for many mobile people who do more of office-productivity and writing than multimedia creation and editing daily.
 

shaunp

macrumors 68000
Nov 5, 2010
1,782
1,355
I completely agree and disagree with you. Subjectively, I personally think that the MacBook was proportionally priced for an Apple product, because you've got to consider that a lot of the cost/value is because they've put all that spec in a 0.92kg silent machine. It's a huge engineering feat, and a lot of times smaller = more complicated and more expensive, not the other way round. So for me, comparing it to the bang/buck of the rest of the Apple lineup, it was proportionally priced and hence good value, for an Apple product. As for the single port and 'terrible keyboard', that's the nature of the beast. Stick another port in there, make it more powerful, change the keyboard to a scissor keyboard, and you're all of a sudden a inching towards the weight of the MBP. It's not as if all of these things were 'oversights'. The iPhone doesn't have a physical keyboard or lots of ports too.

But objectively, you're completely right, simply because there wasn't enough people who valued the ultralight aspect as much as Apple had hoped they had. As in, because users were okay with a little extra weight, that shaved-off weight didn't hold much value to them, and hence appeared that it was very expensive for what you got. Imagine how expensive the iPhone would appear if you didn't value its portability.

I always have a sneaking personal suspicion that the reason people didn't value it's weight-factor so much is because the damn things are nailed down to the tables in stores. The average consumer walking into an Apple store isn't that tech-savvy I imagine - a teenage daughter coming in with her Dad (and Dad's wallet) wouldn't be out of place - and the Macbook would likely feel like a crappy choice if you couldn't actually physically appreciate the lightness of it.

But maybe in the world of 8" phones people who buy laptops aren't hankering for something that light (because for portability, they've got their phone). I know a lot of people - nieces and nephews in particular - who have sold their previously gifted laptops now, because "they can do everything on their phone" as they say with pride. Of course, they can't do everything on their phone, or at least do it as well and/or as fast, but the world is going more impatient and stupid so they of course think that, and no-one can tell them different. The point being that it probably is a very niche market, mainly the regular business travellers I imagine, who not only value an actual Apple laptop but also value it being incredibly portable. If you take away all the business travellers who use Windows, you're probably left with a very small audience.
I think you hit the nail on the head there. It was quite an engineering accomplishment, but many didn't realise it or appreciate it. I think there's a lesson for Apple here in understanding what is important to end users. Many people would quite happily carry around an extra 300-400g of laptop if it is a more practical device to live with.