Thank You and Shut Up

4 April 17

Hi Apple. Hey, thanks for that announcement on the Mac’s future plans. I know it really helps a lot of people out, including me. I might also add: shut up.

You painted yourself into a corner on the Mac. You appear to be neglecting the entire product line, and it was starting to get ugly. People were mumbling under their breath about the end of the Mac. Some people were writing articles on the internet about it. Some folks had even been writing articles on about it, I hear.

So you needed a way out. You needed to get some water on this fire. To do that, you called up some influential blogs and had a little mini-mea-culpa. It was time to lift the veil a little bit and talk about future plans.

This was not a good idea.

Rather than blab about a “new concept” Mac Pro and revised iMacs by the end of the year, you needed a little more finesse.

“We have some exciting new Macs we’ll be talking about by the end of the year,” was all you needed to say. “Our development of the Mac remains a passion for Apple and a vital part of our future. We understand that our desktop and pro users have been patient with us, so rest assured that we will be delivering the best and most powerful Macs we have ever made as soon as we can get them to you. Today, we’ve supercharged our Mac Pro line and they are available to order now. We’ll have further Mac announcements at WWDC in June, and much more to come in the Fall and beyond.”

Instead, we got the talk of a new “Modular Mac” and new iMacs probably in the late Fall. That’s great to know, but what kind of precedent does it establish? And why update the Mac Pro if it’s already been end-of-life’d?

Truthfully, this is not entirely new. When the G4 and G5 based products were to be discontinued, Apple said so. They warned their customers that they were making the final generation of those products, and it was time to move on, but they still sold the G4 and G5 Macs for some months after saying they were dead-end products.

I fear the complaints will still be coming just as much as they ever have, now emboldened by the crack in Apple’s exterior. Why can’t they just tell us if the next iPhone will have a retina scanner? Why can’t they just say if the iPad will come in a fifteen inch size? They did it with the Mac!

The way to fix this problem for Apple is to stop promising and start delivering. Apple is releasing fewer new products today then it did ten years ago. With gargantuan gaps in between product releases, it gives folks’ imaginations time to dream up these Mac doomsday scenarios.

So Apple, please just get on with the business of making products and not doing PR. Shut up and ship.

In the wake of today’s news, I would apologize for all the bad things I’ve said about Apple’s commitment to the Mac — however, these new details about the future of the Mac still amount to promises, not products. When they revise Macs more than once every two or three years, I’ll apologize.

And my apology will come in the form of thousands of dollars in cash.