Mar 26, 2016 — by: E. Werner Reschke
Categories: Mac Mini, Mac Pro, MacBook, OS X, Tim Cook, WWDC

Macintosh PlusSometimes you can learn just as much about a company by what is not said as opposed to what is said. Case in point is Tim Cook & Co.’s most recent special event held this past week. At the special event we were dazzled by an updated iPhone line and a new iPad Pro size. Like a magician, Apple said, “Look over here!” However, what one product line — product category — did Apple not talk about at all, as if it didn’t even exist. Macs.

Every model in the Mac product category is now over a year old — even their newest items. Some Macs, like the Mac Pro are now over two years old. It seems like the Mac line-up has been relegated to cash-cow status and therefore Apple is putting as little effort (aka little money) into Macs as possible and reaping as much margin and cash as possible. Or is something else afoot?

The Quiet Before The Storm

Could it be Apple has dimmed all the lights in the theater of Macs in order to make a big splash at this year’s WWDC? What bright light and loud sounds could Apple be preparing us for? Boom! An entire new Mac line-up based on the 64-bit A-Series processors.

Ever since its first 64-bit A-Series chip, Apple has been touting that their mobile chip is as powerful as a desktop. And each iteration since then gets faster and faster. What if Apple has also been working on laptop and desktop versions of that same chip? What if they are ready to say “Adios” to Intel and eliminate the need to launch their products around a vendor’s launch schedule? 

If this comes true, the next question to ask is what operating system will the new A-Series Macs run? Will it be OS X, iOS or a hybrid of the two? Will the new A-Series based Macs run Intel based programs (in an emulation mode) to help customers and developers with the transition? Would Intel emulation run inside the A-Series chip or as an OS emulation?

All of these are great questions, but certainly not unsolvable. Apple leaving Intel could be as big if not bigger than when Apple moved its Mac platform to Intel. However, this move would save Apple a bundle in build costs. What’s more Apple would be free from Intel schedules (and slips) with design and production. Instead Apple would be totally independent from a major component necessary for each Mac, like they are now with iPad, iPhone, iPod and Apple Watch. This makes scheduling launches much more flexible and therefore gives far more Apple strategic precision.

WWDC 2016 could be one of the biggest developer’s conference in Apple’s history. Depending on how Apple executes their grand plans, it could be the best for Mac users in a long, long time.

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