You need a computer. What should you buy? Mac or Windows? MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, or Mac Pro? Or, iPad Pro? Apple gives customers a few choices, but maybe not the best choices. I have a few to share.
Obviously, what kind of computer a person needs depends upon a variety of factors that range from budget to experience to requirements. Mac notebook sales have been growing while iPad and Mac desktops have not. I have a solution for every one of Apple’s current product ills.
Of Mice And Macs
Apple is a very big company with a nominal number of products; all of which have tens of millions to hundreds of millions of people in the customer base, but a few issues and holes in the product lines.
For the moment, let me leave the iPhone aside. That seems to be the one product line at Apple not in need of solutions born from my Southern hospitality. The same holds true for Watch. So far, it’s the best of the smartwatches, not quite standalone yet, and if Apple solves the glucose monitoring sensor issue, will become a massive seller.
That leaves me to solve the Mac vs. iPad Pro conundrum. You need a computer. Which should you buy?
iPad Pro – fully tricked out with all the extras one can make a good case for an iPad Pro to replace a MacBook or a MacBook Pro. They’re similar in size and battery power; all feature Retina displays, the iPad is even easier to use and has more software options, but can’t run Windows or Linux, doesn’t do Photoshop, but doesn’t feel like a real computer with a keyboard. Yet.
Therein lies my solution to help Apple reverse the iPad’s flagging sales. Yes, the $329 iPad price tag gets the device more competitive with cheap Windows touchscreen notebooks and Chromebooks, but we’re talking more towards the high end; devices that need to do work. Apple needs to change the iPad Pro to be a complete device, including built-in but detachable keyboard. Plus, Apple needs to add trackpad and mouse support and an easier to manage file system.
That would go a long way to making the iPad Pro a machine that could replace a Mac.
MacBook Air – at the other end of the scale is my new version of the Mac. A MacBook below the currently available MacBook line, which probably gets a refresh this year. Let’s call my recommendation the 2017 MacBook Air, the first of a new generation of entry-level Macs.
First, the new MacBook Air should come in a single size; 12-inches of Retina display should suffice. No Intel Inside, either. This $899 touchscreen Mac would have an Apple designed ARM CPU inside. Nope, it won’t run Windows. Nope, it only uses apps from the Mac App Store (which looks more like an app ghost town every day; loosen up the sandbox restrictions, boys). Yep, it has the aforementioned touchscreen and a keyboard. Nope, it’s not upgradeable.
The MacBook Air could be Apple’s lightest Mac yet, easily the most affordable Mac notebook, and aimed full square at the entry level; just like the $329 iPad, but competitive in price with a tricked out iPad Pro with keyboard.
See? Apple’s problems are easy to solve.
Mac On The Desktop
Wait. What about the desktop Macs? Oh, those? Easy peasy. Simply put the latest and greatest Intel CPUs in Mac mini, iMac, and sit back and wait for the modular Mac Pro next year. The iMac needs a pro-level machine. I’m thinking Xeon. As for the Mac mini, it’s just not affordable at the high end, something Apple could fix with a simple price adjustment. For example, an i7 Mac mini with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage– no mouse, no screen, no keyboard– tips the scales at $1,799.
For a Mac mini. That’s more than a Retina iMac. That’s just wrong.
Look at how easy it is to solve some of Apple’s most basic problems. No need for year long engineering meetings, or lengthy marketing meetings, or executive staff reshuffling or even a spreadsheet to get things in order (who ordered the current Mac Pro, anyway?). Come on, Apple. My southern hospitality is free today. Call me when you’re ready to launch.