If Apple has not abandoned the Mac, the company has a strange way of showing the beleaguered product line the love it once displayed. Publicly. Remember when Apple was the Mac. We can argue the pros and cons of Apple’s love or disdain for the Mac until the cows come home, but a more public display of care, concern, and familial bliss would be appreciated.
If not, if Apple, Inc. has become the iPhone company and the Mac is headed off into the sunset to become another footnote in Apple’s product history, then maybe we need an online petition. Or, perhaps take a look at licensing macOS. Again.
What Price Hardware?
Wait. What? License macOS? Been there. Done that. Apple tried to pull a Microsoft and license Mac OS back in the day and it proved disastrous for Apple’s financials and almost put the company into bankruptcy. What was one of the first things Steve Jobs did upon his return in 1997? Kill the clones. Ditch the Mac OS licensing scheme.
Let’s talk about licensing macOS again. There is a position in the space time continuum where it just might make some sense. For all intents and purposes, Apple seems to have abandoned the high end; that place in PC configurations where the customer calls the shots, where PCs don’t work like appliances, but more like hot rods of yesteryear, fully configurable from a base design to become as powerful as a customer can afford.
For Apple, those days died when the current Mac Pro was introduced in 2013. Yes, it’s been almost four years. And the Mac Pro hasn’t seen a single update since then. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. It’s the world’s most expensive electronic trash can. The BTO– build to order– options haven’t changed, and neither have the user configurable options. You can’t change the CPU or the GPU, but you can add RAM and SSD storage. That’s it.
And you can find less expensive automobiles than a fully tricked out Mac Pro. Well, close anyway. A Mac Pro with a 12 core 2.7GHz Intel Xeon Inside, sporting 64GB of RAM, 1TB SSD storage, and dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of VRAM lists for $9,399. And that’s with hardware from 2013.
What Price macOS?
Even the new so-called MacBook Pro models are more appliances than professional-level Macs. Order carefully, because if you want to upgrade to something else, the Soup Nazi would say, “No upgrade for you!” What you get is about all you can get. Except that Mac Pro specifications can be had for half the price of the same or similar hardware.
Just last month I advocated for the hackintosh option in “It’s Time For An Official ‘Hackintosh’” and I think that time is now. And, by official, I mean not only does Apple sanction the idea, Apple can provide a version of macOS to do the deed. For a price.
How hard can it be? Since Apple obviously cares not about the high end Mac line that customers clamor for ad nauseam, and Apple remains a hardware company, licensing macOS to a specific hardware configuration– perhaps tied to Intel’s Xeon-class and maybe AMD’s new Ryzen line– would bring the company revenue, keep Mac customers happy, and provide some much needed competition for higher end Windows PCs. Besides, Apple also makes money on Mac software through the Mac App Store and via Final Cut Pro and Logic Pro so it’s not as if the company were giving away the farm for free.
Now, what’s an officially sanctioned, approved, and available macOS for Xeon or Ryzen worth to you? $100? $200?
Yes, Apple is a hardware company and that’s where the revenue and profits are derived, which makes it all the more peculiar that the company seems to have abandoned the professional level Mac user and instead pushes pretty appliances out the door, but those high end pro users that have been forgotten by Apple are moving elsewhere; either to the unofficial Hackintosh or to Windows 10. That might explain why more than 70-percent of all Mac sales are notebooks. Desktops are a dying breed. Except for those that want it, need it, and would pay extra to get it.
Those are the ones Apple seems to have abandoned but could get them back with an official macOS for specific CPUs, GPUs, and storage options. If Microsoft can do it with Windows, why can’t Apple?