It's a curious thing, that Apple. To have all but ignored the Mac for years made going into the Apple retail stores seem like a walk through a computing history museum. "...and here is the MacBook Air. Launched in 2008 and still does not have a Retina display, Thunderbolt, or any other port for that matter." At least it is – slowly – getting harder to point out how slow Apple has been to getting Mac's updated. Cook and crew clearly took their eye off the Mac ball for years, but things have changed in Cupertino, and much needed updates are on their way. Does this mean Apple's leadership is listening to customers, or does it merely explain the pivot due to iPad's constant and decreasing sales since 2014?...
I ask the question, because it's important to Apple's future. If Tim Cook is listening to customer concerns, it means Apple can address shortcomings, but could also signal Apple being more focus-group oriented than ever before, rather than taking big risks. Could Apple be shifting towards building what we know, vs what they think we might never be able to live without?
Apple may not be responding to customers nearly as much as they portend to be doing. Tim Cook was adamant that iPad's sales decline was a temporary thing. It wasn't. Pushing out more iPad models and dropping prices didn't solve iPad sales declines either. Add up the revenues from Mac's flat yet constant sales vs iPad's declining revenues, and it isn't even close. Mac is outpacing iPad revenues by nearly $2 billion a quarter. Meanwhile, Microsoft hasn't been sitting still with Surface products, marketing against a stale Mac lineup in order to justify their pricing. It's an effective marketing approach for Microsoft and Apple cannot afford to give up more momentum to a company that has its sights clearly set on Apple's bread and butter of high-end computer sales.
Customer groaning is one thing, but financial and market realities are another. Listening to users or fending off Microsoft while buying more time for iOS 11 and iPad Pro's may just be the "strategy" we want to see. Rather, it appears leadership finally read the financial tea leaves correctly and is working to provide Mac sales momentum, simply because Mac's drive more profits and revenue for Apple than iPads.
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