MacBook Pro Squeezes Fans As iPad Pro Dominates – Forbes

This week’s quarterly earnings call by Apple CEO Tim Cook has given his army of Cupertino watchers just enough information to extrapolate results but not enough that everything is handed to them on a plate. I’m intrigued by what the numbers indicate about the Mac, the new MacBook Pro and how Apple is treating its desk bound family.

In terms of unit sales, the year-on-year unit sales have effectively stayed steady – 4.29 million units for the current quarter compared to 4.19 million last year. That’s a steady business but Apple had left the Mac range dormant for a long time. The new features and updates starting in Q4 2016 should have increased the attractiveness of the range, along with a boost from the refreshed Kaby Lake chipsets launched at WWDC in June contributing to the Q3 numbers.

Looks like the new hardware hasn’t lead to any significant year-on-year growth.

What Apple has managed to increase is the revenue from the Mac lineup. Revenue is up seven percent over the same period as the stagnant sales, from $5.23 billion to $5.59 billion. Apple has managed to squeeze more blood out of the stony-faced Mac brigade which should please the shareholders but macOS fans may feel like they are being taken for granted.

To be fair to Apple, we don’t know the profit that Apple is taking per machine but it’s unlikely that Tim Cook and team will be operating on a razor-thin margin.

Macbook, March 2015 (image: Apple PR)

Apple PR

Macbook, March 2015 (image: Apple PR)

If the Mac range, especially the MacBook and MacBook Pro machines, were picking up significant new features, innovative engineering, and Apple’s primary focus, then perhaps the inflated revenue on flat sales would feel honest. Instead, Apple’s focus is on iOS powered mobile devices. The iPhone is the Cupertino’s golden goose, while every opportunity is taken to push the idea of the iPad Pro with the keyboard cases as a ‘PC replacement’ that can do everything your existing computer can do. That’s where Apple has decided to concentrate its efforts, not on the Mac.

The iPad numbers? Year on year sales are up fifteen percent, and revenue is up two percent.

These Q3 numbers offer one potential future for Mac fans – hardware that is subservient to the iOS mobile machines trying to grab as much market share as possible, a lack of innovation in the desk bound machines, and the reality of paying an increased premium to stay up to date with tired hardware.

Now read about the new macOS features that are being copied over from iOS…

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