Morning, friends. If any of you have been following Apple blogs over the last ten months or so, there has been a fair amount of hype/rumor/borderline panic about Apple’s push toward the dominance of mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone and therefore iOS, possibly at the expense of Mac OS and the desktop format as we know it. When columnist Dan Lyons first proposed the idea last June that the Mac brand was being euthanized, Steve Jobs wasn’t having it. Lyons published the following claim in Newsweek:
I hate to tell you this, but my guess is you’ve probably been sensing it already. I don’t know any good way to say it so let me just be blunt: You’ve been dropped. Dumped. It’s over. The future of Apple is no longer centered around the Macintosh. You Mac guys just got kicked to the curb, relegated to the steaming dung heap of the past. I’m sorry, dear old Mac, but your ex-boyfriend Steve has moved on.”
To which Jobs replied via email, “Completely wrong. Just wait.”
Fast forward to 2012 when dozens of columnists and tech bloggers have commented on the discontinuation of the MacBook (Apple’s best-selling computer of all time), the number of iPad sales vs computer sales (Mac and PC) and, perhaps most telling, the dropping of the Mac name from the OS line. As of 10.8 there doesn’t look to be a Mac OS and an iOS. Just OS. So with Jobs’ push to get the whole world running on the iPad (or whatever looms on the horizon?) it’s easy to see why so many Mac addicts are feeling unsettled.
Last week KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has been known to have seemingly-inside info on the development of Apple’s production process, reported that the 17″ MacBook Prowill be discontinued as Apple launches OS 10.8 Mountain Lion and prepares for back to school demand for new machines. Not that it doesn’t make some sense that they would put a cork in their largest and heaviest portable as the mobile market grows exponentially, but it does seem like if they keep killing off computers as we know them, Lyons’ claim isn’t “completely wrong.” 2012 will be a telling year in that regard. Let’s take a quick look at the introduction of the 17″ MacBook Pro’s predecessor, the 17″ PowerBook G4:
So is the consumer market ready for a monumental shift in how we use a desktop OS system? Thirty years ago a lot of users didn’t want to give up the command line for GUI, either. The future may not be certain, but it should be exciting. Stay tuned.