Apple does not have enough Macs in the lineup. I know what you’re thinking. “Seriously?” After all, I count three Mac notebooks, plus a Mac mini, various iMacs, and coming soon, a Mac Pro that’s made for pros.
There is an interesting aspect of Apple’s Mac customer base that needs to be considered. 80-percent of all Macs sold are notebooks. There are enough iMacs, not enough Pro Macs, and not enough entry-level Macs.
Pro vs. Consumer
Way back in the day, not long after co-founder Steve Jobs’ second coming, he explained Apple’s approach to the Mac in an iconic 4-quadrant product matrix. Consumer vs. Professional, Desktop vs. Notebook.
That matrix defined Apple’s approach to the Mac line, more or less, from the last century until now. More or less. What has changed?
First, Apple sells far more notebooks than desktop models, yet, has more desktop models available than notebooks. iMac, iMac Pro, Mac mini, Mac Pro. The notebook side is MacBook Air, MacBook Pro.
Second, even the professional side of the matrix is skewed. Mac Pro and iMac Pro vs. MacBook Pro, somewhat balanced by 13-inch vs. 15-inch models.
Clearly, Apple needs a few new Macs.
First, Apple should have an entry-level MacBook. It did have a wonderful MacBook for years but that was discontinued. The entry-level Mac is the MacBook Air. How about a MacBook with Apple’s own chips inside?
Second, the MacBook Pro isn’t much a professional machine at the entry-level area. A 13-inch MacBook Pro is a mere $1,299. Or, $3,099 fully tricked out. That’s a big gap. The professional level 16-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399 but hits $6,099 loaded up. That’s a big gap, too, but definitely a pro machine.
Third, Apple’s pro desktop line has three entries and needs one more. A Mac mini may start at a mere $799, but fulled loaded goes all the way to $2,999; a competent little beast. The second pro model, iMac Pro is $4,999 to start but gets into Mac Pro territory fully loaded at $14,299.
The difference between iMac Pro and Mac Pro, which starts at $12,000 is configuration. Both are built to order, but Mac Pro can be rebuilt as needed. iMac Pro cannot (not easily). Apple could use a Mac Pro Lite or a Mac Pro mini– smaller, configurable, but modular like the Mac Pro.
Why should Apple grow the Mac line at the low end?
Remember all those headlines about Apple becoming a Services company or an iPhone accessories company? Services and Accessories (Apple calls them wearables) and those products are dependent upon one thing. Hardware sales.
So, the more hardware sales Apple makes to grow the ecosystem, the more the rest of the ecosystem grows.
Apple needs more Macs. And, of course, more iPhones and iPads.