In any case, the combined fallout from all the above did more than put a dent in Apple’s image, as they reportedly lost more market share (9.8%) than any other personal computer manufacturer in 2016.
Touch Bars, Interfaces, and Us
Michael J. Blum
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Let’s put this into perspective, though: these numbers are not official, but from an analyst firm. I don’t know whether Apple really lost market share, but let’s look at Apple’s numbers to see whether the MBP really “put a dent in Apple’s image”:

  • Q1 2017 (autumn/Christmas): This was the only quarter in 2016 that the new MBP was actually available. 5.374 million Macs, up 1% year-over-year. That’s not spectacular, but considering most of the Mac family hasn’t really been updated, it’s not bad. Noteworthily, revenue went up 7% — indicating that the expensive-as-shit new MBP isn’t quite the flop you make it out to be.
  • Q4 2016 (summer, last quarter before the MBP release): 4.886 million Macs. YoY -14.4%, revenue -16.6%.
  • Q3 2016 (spring): 4.3 million Macs, -10.5%. Revenue -13.3%.
  • Q2 (winter): 4.03 million Macs, -12.4%. Revenue -9.1%.

So, to sum this year up: In three out of four quarters, sales numbers for the Mac decreased in double digits. Not really that surprising considering the aging hardware. The only quarter that saw increasing sales numbers, and significantly increasing revenue, was after the new MBP had been launched. Maybe Apple lost market share–but that can be clearly attributed to the preceding quarters. Your claim that there was a “fallout” from the release of the MBP (tech journalists can be so dramatic) that “did more than put a dent in Apple’s image”, is clearly and demonstrably wrong.

I’m not trying to be a smart ass or a fanboi here, but this constant overdramatization of anything Apple, particularly of the Touchbar, is really getting on my nerves. For decades Apple has been so wrong and on the brink of doom, and the Touchbar has become critics’ latest pet peeve. This sensationalist narrative is very entertaining … it’s just not based in reality. It’s Ballmer’s “[the iPhone] doesn’t appeal to business customers, because it doesn’t have a keyboard” all over again.

Your criticism of the Touchbar from a design standpoint is interesting (even though I clearly disagree, see my other comment), but it can stand on its own and really doesn’t need this hyperbole.

Correction: apparently the past quarter had 14 weeks instead of 13, inflating the numbers. Looked at on a per-week basis, it appears Mac sales decreased by 6%. (I can’t check that myself since that’s not my expertise.) It’s still far less a decrease than the previous quarters, but it is the Christmas quarter; in any case it does dampen my argument. I still don’t think the numbers justify calling the MBP a dent in Apple’s image, but it was an undeniably bad year for the Mac.

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