Something strange is going on at Apple Inc. these days. Tech writers who claim to be Apple customers are lamenting the state of what Apple sells as old and stale. With just a few exceptions, that’s probably true.
What’s going on? Is Apple’s delay in upgrading products due to a lack of interest? Or, is it a business decision based on economics? Is there nothing new in Apple’s product pipeline? Or, is this the calm before the storm of a product evolution that we haven’t seen in a few years.
Senior Citizen Macs
Tech writer Adrian Kingsley-Hughes says ‘almost everything Apple sells is old and stale‘ and it’s hard to argue against some of the reasoning and the products on his list. The Mac Pro hasn’t seen an upgrade ever. That’s almost three years. The Mac mini isn’t far behind. The MacBook Air feels more like 1999. Even the venerable MacBook Pro hasn’t had an upgrade in more than a year, and the last one merely bolted on a few new parts, otherwise same old same old.
The iPad line itself has two new stellar products at the high end, 9.7-inch iPad Pro and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but you pay for the privilege of new, and that doesn’t compare well with everything else iPad. The iPad Air is about two years old and in need of a refresh. Ditto for iPad mini. In fact, I cannot advise anyone to buy any iPad except the Pro because it would seem likely that Apple is working on a refresh. I certainly hope so.
The iPhone line is different yet similar. Apple segregates the low end, mid-range, and high end of the iPhone line usually by selling last year’s models (and in the past, two year old models) for $100 to $200 less than this year’s newest models. You see something similar with cars and trucks but not so blatant. A 2015 car on the dealer’s lot is new, but it’s also a model year old and depreciates instantly upon purchase. Dealers cut prices dramatically to move older inventory. Not Apple. Our favorite Mac maker charges a bit less but keeps the inventory flowing because there are enough customers willing to save a buck and don’t mind last year’s technology.
Sports, like politics, has an element called momentum. That’s when everything seems to be going right. Losing momentum means things are going wrong and everyone notices. That’s Apple today. No momentum. Everybody and his brother or sister with an opinion and a digital soap box is castigating Apple for selling older technology than competitors. It’s so bad this year– thanks to the Mac and iPad– that it’s become a trend. The momentum against Apple is growing because it appears to critics, outsiders, and even customers, that everything the company sells these days is old and stale and has fallen behind whatever premium competitors are selling.
What’s going on?
Historically, Apple has seldom been the industry leader on specifications and doesn’t push such numbers on product web pages, but the internet is a cesspool of critical analysis these days (more critical than actually analytic, though) and Apple opens itself up to public ridicule by not keeping up with the Korean and Chinese Joneses.
One commenter to a similar missive recently pointed out that maybe CEO Tim Cook could spend a little less time on Apple’s new social agenda and a little more time making sure Apple’s new products were actually in the pipeline and ready for launch.
The natives are restless and patience is thin. We Apple faithful can see the end of 2016 mere months away, and we see a product line in need of attention. Please do something to fix that. Soon.
Yours truly, Wil.