The MacBook Pro’s biggest pitfall? Ignoring competition.
Unless you've been living under a rock the past few days, you would know the Internet seems to think the new MacBook Pros suck. The overhaul that was four years in the making is lackluster, and is unable to satisfy the scores of people dying for a new MBP to fuel their professional lifestyle.
“The calendar isn’t what drives any of the decisions,” Schiller says in a 90-minute briefing at Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. “We challenge the teams to do great work and sometimes that great work can be done in one year, sometimes it takes three years… What we really care about is creating new innovations in the Mac and continuing the story that has really defined Apple for so many years.” -Marketing chief Phil Schiller in a CNET interview
Yes the touch bar is useful, the function row to me is just for multimedia controls anyways. But a touch-sensitive display strip above the keyboard? That doesn't take four years. Removing all the ports and putting four Type-C ports in it? Takes courage, but not four years of work. This is not great work, and it definitely is not building on the success of previous MacBooks. Sure, in a world where other competitors don’t exist, it would be a great laptop. An excellent trackpad, display and small dimensions put together make a really great productivity device. But other companies are doing better, doing more.
It is not only Microsoft that “out-Apple-d Apple” with the Surface Studio, as some people are saying. Companies like Razer and HP have too. The HP Spectre is a thing sight behold, and being plenty powerful while at it. Comparing to the 13" MBPs, Razer Blade Stealth delivers more power, more ports, the same sharp, industrial design and even beat Apple in its strongest game, being thin and light.
So the point here is, Apple has ignored its competitors. In this really old video, Steve Jobs says the fall of Xerox and IBM was the result of their over reliance on their monopoly over the market, putting marketing and sales in front of making new and innovative products.
Unfortunately, Apple is falling into the same pit. MacBooks are known to be the best laptops one can buy. Even a 2011 MacBook Air is still going strong for a friend of mine who is a heavy user. All Apple has to do is to make their MacBooks halfway decent, price it pretty damn high, use some good marketing and ride the wave the previous MacBooks have created. Right? No.
Maybe with the new MBPs, people might start looking carefully at the alternatives, and discover that in the four years that Apple spent working on the touch bar, touchscreens are so common it’s almost a standard. Apple seems thinks what they are doing is enough, and while that may be true for the MacBook Air market they cannibalized, the customer base that the MBP’s pass success was built on is crying.
Microsoft, Razer started the Surface, Razer line of laptops respectively chasing Apple. They were all after that high performance, high quality, high portability glory. Maybe Apple should go read some Aesop’s fables, because Razer has stealthily passed Apple by.