Bloomberg reports that while Apple is preparing updates for its Mac computers, users shouldn’t expect any radical improvements in the lineups of laptop and desktop models. The improvements will be more along the lines of processor and graphics chip performance bumps, as well as new iMacs that will offer USB-C ports.
Mac fans shouldn’t hold their breath for radical new designs in 2017 though. Instead, the company is preparing modest updates: USB-C ports and a new Advanced Micro Devices Inc. graphics processor for the iMac, and minor bumps in processing power for the 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro. Cue the outrage.
Bloomberg’s report jibes with an earlier prediction from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said new iMacs will launch in the first half of 2017. Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees that the company is still committed to the Mac lineup, and that there are “great desktops in our roadmap.” The comments came in the form of an employee message board post by Cook.
The report also indicated that a new standalone keyboard which will include a Touch Bar and Touch ID for desktop computers, could be on the way. Apple is said to be waiting to see how the new features are received on the new MacBook Pro models, released earlier this year.
The report also indicates the firm is examining the possibility of moving Mac Pro production back to Asia, due to the belief that supply chain workers there have the skills needed for “ambitious products.” The Mac Pro is currently assembled in Texas, making it Apple’s only “Made in the USA” computer. The desktop machine, aimed at professionals, hasn’t been updated in 3 years.
Such a move would fly in the face of President-Elect Donald Trump’s plans to offer companies such as Apple large incentives to move production of products back to the United States.
The general theme of Bloomberg’s article is that the Mac is receiving much less attention internally than it has in the past, with most of Apple’s focus being on their “cash cow” the iPhone. Bloomberg indicates the Mac has suffered from “a lack of clear direction from senior management, departures of key people working on Mac hardware, and technical challenges.”