It’s not all about being a Pro
So the Apple launched their new flagship Macbook Pro’s this week. So far the crowd is roaring about the ports (or lack of them), pricing and failed hardware upgrade. Obviously we all expected more of a real upgrade in the hardware but instead we got funky touch bar with price tag which is hard to justify.
Ok, the real “Pro” photographers lost the SD slot (ok, I know there never was CF slot anyway), audio professionals lost their precious USB-A connections. But when your keynote has hour of “touch bar promise”, you need to ask yourself, will I ever need that thing? There was this DJ showcasing how great it’s to do mixing with the Touch Bar but oh boy it looked awkward, sounded bad and why DJ would not use iPad for this like Apple has promoted before?
The thing with Touch Bar is that it will not be “intuitive” like they said. You add third dimension to using computer along the mouse and keyboard. Then you also add second screen to stare. Now you have 5 dimensions of interaction. But hey, at least you have bigger bass and you can push the Macbook thru 17mm opening since that’s now the important “Pro” feature.
So we have now established that Apple does not really have “Pro” target group anymore, at least with the latest product launches and with the ignorance towards the Mac Pro and iMac product lines. Now we can talk about the other issue which is more cultural issue but never the less, problem in Cupertino. The Apple Pay and Siri. The Apple Pay is available only in US and few other countries. This situation is developing but slowly since different countries has different ways of working with banks and payment providers. So this brings us to Siri. The mysterious woman who barely understands native English speakers (by Walt Mossberg/Verge) and how poorly it works with other languages. The Siri was hailed as one of the biggest features in Macos Sierra. Not to mention how hard Apple is marketing Siri with the iPhone. So now we got iPhone 7 which has decent camera right behind the older Samsung S7 series and newer Google Pixel paired with Siri which is “stupid” in the US, mostly unusable in other countries. I double dare you to ask directions or other help in continental Europe.
The Apple target market and demographic is in the upper middle class, young Starbucks customer who has both, iPhone and Macbook Pro but in reality is not doing anything remotely professional with them. He or she does not need any pro features. The thinness, looks and having the “latest” of Apple products seems to be most important from now on. Show me “Pro” demographic who wants to have thinner laptop instead of connectivity and performance? The 16Gt limit on RAM is also one indication of this. Phil said himself that the limit is to increase battery life. What if I tell you that you can add couple millimeters to form factor for bigger battery and improve performance, retain important ports and even customers. Let’s not forget that main reason dropping the headphone jack was to make iPhone thinner… At least one thing adds up. New Macbook Pro takes the place of Macbook Air but forgot to drop the “Pro” and 13" model was twice. Maybe someone dictated the keynote with Siri?
Apple has foundation and heritage in the “Pro” environment and with the users who made the company what it is today. The Apple’s target customers are now people who use emoji’s, selfies and just want to be seen with latest devices. Because you want people to see how much more you paid again to have the latest but not so greatest.