For years, Apple has been claiming an ever increasing share of the computing market. It has achieved this by selling its products as an easier and generally more ‘beautiful’ experience than its Windows counterparts. However, some industry analysts are now beginning to argue that Apple has taken its eye off the ball when it comes to its line of Mac computers. With Microsoft and other competitors having upped their game in recent years, could the Mac be in trouble and does it matter when Apple’s iPhone and iPad are so successful?
Most industry watchers have pointed out that Apple is now waiting far longer between each revision of its computers than it once did. It’s now not uncommon to see up to two years pass between revisions of certain Mac products, particularly Apple’s desktop options. This compares to a previous revision frequency of once every six to nine months. Unlike some of its PC manufacturer competitors, Apple offers a fixed and fairly standard line of computers and does not implement new options as soon as they become available from component manufacturers.
Some argue that this has become the case because Apple’s product range has grown and it simply does not have the required engineering talent and capacity to work on the huge range of products and services that it now provides. The Mac, which was once the bread and butter of Apple products is now a very small part of Apple’s overall revenue and product portfolio and it’s probably unsurprising that the Mac’s share of attention within the business has waned in response to these new circumstances.
On the other hand, the Mac is very much a flagship product for Apple and allowing it to fall behind could damage the impression that the market has of the rest of its products. Many of the biggest Apple fans, who often help to sell its products to friends and family who are less passionate about technology first came to the company via the Mac and some have take to online forums to express their disappointment at the apparently slow pace of innovation that seems to have overtaken the Mac line.
Like many issues in the history of computing, only time will tell whether this is a blip of a sign of what is to come. Of course, if the majority of the computing world switches to tablets as Apple is predicting, this may look like a minor issue in years to come.