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Tim Cook has said that Apple is committed to the Mac. This report suggests otherwise

By Bryan Chan & Koh Wanzi - on 22 Dec 2016, 12:10pm

Tim Cook has said that Apple is committed to the Mac. This report suggests otherwise

Image Source: Apple

Fans of Apple’s Mac desktops have been perfectly justified in feeling neglected in recent years. Still, in a post earlier this week on an Apple employee bulletin board, Tim Cook appeared to reassure workers on the company’s commitment to the desktop, calling it 'strategic' and saying that there were still 'great desktops' on the roadmap.

However, a new report from Bloomberg sheds a different light on Cook’s assertions, highlighting a lack of clear direction from senior management, departures of key personnel working on Mac hardware, and a gradual sidelining of the Mac business.

The Mac accounts for about 10-percent of Apple sales, while iPhones and iPads comprise roughly 75-percent of total revenue. In recent years, the Mac team has reportedly lost standing with the industrial design group headed by Jony Ive and Apple’s software team, with interest shifting to higher value products like the aforementioned iPhone and iPad.

Furthermore, the report said that Apple had reorganized its software engineering department such that there was no longer a team dedicated to working on MacOS. The company now has just a single software engineering team, where most engineers prioritize iOS over desktop software.

The problems aren’t just limited to the desktop iMacs. The development of Apple’s MacBook laptops have been plagued with various delays and technical difficulties. The 2015 MacBook shipped months after its original 2014 target, and the 2016 update eschewed the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and second USB-C port that some engineers wanted in favor of a more mundane speed boost and new rose gold color option.

All this has supposedly led over a dozen engineers and managers working on the Mac to move to different Apple teams or leave the company entirely.

That said, it’s highly unlikely that Apple will ever abandon the Mac or MacOS entirely. The company may be more focused on selling more iPads and iPhones, but creatives still form a key part of Apple’s audience.

However, if this year’s MacBook Pro is any indication, you can expect desktop and laptop designs to more closely appropriate what we see on Apple’s mobile devices – thinner, lighter, and fewer ports.

The report also says that only modest updates are planned for the Mac lineup in 2017, which just means better graphics, more USB-C ports and better processing power. Oh, well.

Source: Bloomberg