Have you ever wondered why Apple seems to be late to a new technology party? For example, the iPod arrived long after other portable music players hit the streets. iPhone? Definitely not the first smartphone.
What about Apple Watch or AirPods or even iPad? Same thing. In each instance, a competitor had the first mover advantage with new technology or features or functions long before Apple, but when Apple finally hit the streets, the company did it right and prospered accordingly.
What. About. Mac?
There is no question that Apple pushes the envelope of new technology, but not always by being first in line. Another example is Face ID and the OLED display in iPhone X. First? Nope. Not by a few years. Best? Arguable, but not for long. Face ID works very well on many tens of millions of iPhone X models while the new OLED display is considered the best smartphone display.
But Apple sure took its good old sweet time to get it right, right? What about the Mac?
Other than Touch Bar and Touch ID, the new Mac notebook models are a few years behind competitor’s hardware. Dell, HP, and others have lighter devices with newer chips and more features– plus, the increasingly ubiquitous table stakes of a touch screen.
What about the Mac?
On the surface (pun intended), the Mac might seem to have stagnated while newer Windows 10-based notebooks with more horsepower, better screens, lighter hardware, better specifications– and touchscreens– might be creating a new lease on life for traditional PCs while the Mac languishes. I can and have made that argument.
Again, Apple sometimes plays leapfrog and sometimes doesn’t hurry to a new tech party until all the pieces the company wants to work actually work. There is evidence that most customers with notebook tablet hybrids with touchscreens do not use the touchscreen all that often. Meanwhile, Apple competes with any PC-based touchscreen device with iPad and seems to sell enough that competitors still have iPad envy.
On Daring Apple
What if the seeming lack of innovation on the Mac front is because Apple is working on the next generation of traditional notebooks? I’m thinking of an ARM-based, Apple-designed CPU in a notebook design with a detachable Retina display. When detached, it’s an iPad. When attached, it’s a Mac. Even better if the screens could overlap and run both macOS Bakersfield and iOS 12 apps on the same screen in Mac mode.
As it stands now, an iPad weighs in at about one pound without a keyboard while an entry-level MacBook weighs in at two pounds with keyboard and screen. What would a hybrid device weigh? Could Apple do the deed of combining Mac and iPad into a single device that weighs under two pounds and comes with macOS and iOS and a detachable screen?
I want one. Why? An iPad Pro does not have the same horsepower and capability as a Mac notebook. A Mac notebook is not as convenient or totable as an iPad. Apple pulled off design magic with iPod, did it again with iPhone, made it bigger with iPad, made a miniature computer work in a watch with Watch, so what is keeping the company from doing what you and I both know we would buy in a heart beat?
Pride? Arrogance? Has Apple backed itself into a not-made-here corner by dissing on traditional PC notebooks with touchscreens? Or, is the technology Apple would employ not quite ready yet (thinner, lighter, faster, etc.)? I suspect the former but I hope the latter.