Is Apple, Inc. secretly run by President Trump? I ask that question because what comes out of Cupertino these days is a constant stream of mixed signals. What’s really going on with Apple and Macs for professionals?
Apple claims they love professional Mac users. Half the entire Mac line comes with ‘Pro’ in the name. But the ‘Pro’ in professional may not mean what we think it means. Which, by the way, brings up the real question, “Who is a Mac Pro user?” And, the follow on question, “What kind of Mac does a pro user need?”
Wherever you look these days, someone with access to a public soap box seems to have come down with the same disease. CFMD. That’s an acronym for chronic foot in the mouth disease. Nearly every politician has it. Most company executives with a public profile have it. I think Apple executives have it, too.
There is no known medical cure for this ailment. It tends to be hereditary and is usually passed down from the father’s side of the family. Typically the gene is passed from father to son but it has been known to appear in females. Sufferers of this malady also tend to lack class and moral terpitude especially when surrounded by groups of people. They also tend to tell really inappropriate jokes that includes racist and or sexist comments and wonder why they are still single.
About four years ago, Apple VP of Marketing Phil Schiller introduced the all new Mac Pro by saying, “Can’t innovate my ass.” Since then, Apple hasn’t innovated anything on the trash can-like Mac Pro. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Four years. CFMD indeed. Late last year Apple introduced the newly upgraded MacBook Pro line. Mac ‘pros’ hated it as being all hat and no horse, a pretty Mac with no substance. 16GB RAM limit? That’s not professional, right?
What Is Professional
Thanks to all the noise from Apple’s critical community, all of whom must be professionals somewhere, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently answered a question about Apple’s intentions.
Don’t think something we’ve done or something that we’re doing that isn’t visible yet is a signal that our priorities are elsewhere.
Translation: You can’t see what we’re doing behind the scenes.
Fair enough, Tim, but we have noticed that Apple hasn’t done anything to the Mac Pro in four years, and the recently released MacBook Pro line was met with howls from critics, and seems somewhat anemic for a so-called professional model that competes with similarly sized Windows PCs that have more power and more professional accoutrements at a lower price.
You will see us do more in the pro area. The pro area is very important to us. The creative area is very important to us in particular.
OK, but what does that mean? Creative can mean many things and probably includes anyone with a word processor, a text editor, a graphics design app, a video editor, audio recorder, and almost anything to do with photos. There are professionals everywhere, Apple, and many of them say Apple doesn’t make Macs for them, some are leaving for Windows, and all Apple’s executives seem to say is, “Just wait. You’ll see.”
To me, a professional is anyone who uses their Mac to make money; whether it be photographer, designer, videographer, writer, editor, programmer, or soothsayer. If you use your Mac to make money– on your own or by collecting a paycheck– you’re a professional Mac user. I suspect that’s a bigger chunk of Apple’s growing Mac user base than even Apple thinks.
Professional – |prəˈfeSH(ə)n(ə)l|
a person engaged or qualified in a profession: professionals such as lawyers and surveyors.
• a person engaged in a specified activity, especially a sport or branch of the performing arts, as a main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
• a person competent or skilled in a particular activity: she was a real professional on stage.
1 [attributive] relating to or connected with a profession: young professional people | the professional schools of Yale and Harvard.
2 (of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime: a professional boxer.
• having or showing the skill appropriate to a professional person; competent or skillful: their music is both memorable and professional.
• worthy of or appropriate to a professional person: his professional expertise.
No matter how you look at it, if you’re making money on a Mac, you’re a professional Mac user.
Therein lies the rub, the fly in the ointment, the problem we all have with categorizing ourselves. From Apple’s perspective, most of those professionals can get by just fine by using a quad-core i7 iMac with 32GB of RAM, or a diminutive MacBook, or a faster MacBook Pro, or a much faster Mac Pro.
Loud and clear, there is an element of the Mac community– and a larger element of the so-called professional Mac user community– that says Apple’s Macs today are anemic, even by Windows PC standards, and are not the Mac Pro models we once loved.
That is the element of professional that Apple seems to have abandoned, and while it’s true what Tim Cook says– we don’t know what Apple is doing behind the visible scene– the actual evidence indicates Apple hasn’t been doing much.