There are times, though, when it’s fun to look forward at the obvious, and this time it’s the future of the Mac. After all, smartphones are what iPhone made them. Flat slabs of glass, big displays, rounded corners, and more apps than you could ever try. What about the Mac?
An Iterative Jump
Apple’s improvements to software now come on a regular, annual schedule; a few events which improve each recent Apple device so it works better than it did the year before. For hardware, updates come every year to two years (sometimes longer) and most of those improvements are iterative innovations in nature, not iterative jumps, and seldom revolutionary jumps.
Apple specializes in all three.
For example, iPhone was a revolutionary jump, Touch ID, Face ID, OLED display were iterative jumps, and battery improvements are new glass are iterative innovations. That process holds true on the Mac.
So, what’s coming?
The obvious. Improvements to the Mac notebook keyboard. The butterfly keyboard design was an iterative jump that landed in a puddle. Apple has improved it with iterative innovations designed to fix Sir Jony’s obvious problem— form over function.
Again, what’s coming?
My crystal ball has two lights glaring at my face. The first is an OLED display of the Retina 6K variety that will hit a future Mac notebook, then iMac displays. Think true Retina. Think 4K video has a mobile home to thrive on. MacBook Pro customers will weep with joy.
The second light on my crystal ball is an Apple-designed, ARM-based CPU of iPhone X-whatever class that hits an entry-level Mac notebook. Without the OLED displays.
ARM-based CPUs, like those in the iPhone, are relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to Intel Inside, and it is unlikely Apple would ditch Intel on every Mac (Macs run Windows, too), and while we might consider it a revolutionary jump, it’s really iterative. ARM CPUs have been on iPhone and iPad for a decade, and everyone who cares expects them to show up on Macs soon, too.
There you go. The next generation of Mac notebooks will have many iterative innovations (thinner, lighter, faster) a few iterative jumps– OLED display, ARM Inside– and nothing revolutionary.