I am getting a little jittery here. I’ve just checked the Apple PR archives and it’s true: The last significant Mac news dates August 7th, 2006 when Apple announced Leopard and the MacPros. (The Apple TV is not Mac news, it’s iTunes news.)
That’s 7 months!
Since then: iPod, iPhone, iTunes. Ah, and, before we forget, iMac, MacBook and MacBook Pro each got a slight update.
The MacBook Pro shipped over a year ago in February 2006. The MacBook has been introduced in May 2006, 10 months ago. Each received a small revision, swapping out a pin compatible processor, hardly a major engineering feat. Certainly not worth a special event to introduce.
So where are the great new Mac products Steve keeps talking about?
It’s been almost a decade since Apple introduced a new Mac product category with the iBook. Remember the 4 Squares? iMac, iBook, PowerMac, PowerBook. That was circa 1998 and to this day, Apple has kept more or less inside these 4 squares with Mac products. (There was the Cube, the eMac - both discontinued - and there is the Mac mini - which hasn’t been updated in more than a year and, although cheap, is not very good value for the money if compared to the low end iMac - as notable exceptions.) This has helped Apple to focus and it was good for business, but it leaves out a lot of customer segments. When Apple switched to Intel, it paved the way to target these but has so far chosen not to.
The reason why I bring this up now is that I just discovered that the Intel GMA graphics system in my cute black MacBook can’t handle some of our upcoming products, so I will have to get a better machine for demoing to customers. I do have some ADC hardware assets left over and they expire in April. My only choice now is a MacBook Pro, but I don’t like the idea of carrying around a larger and heavier laptop than my MacBook.
So, for the first time in many years, Apple doesn’t seem to have a product for me. I would love to try the ModBook but it is based on a MacBook with the insufficient graphics.
So, what’s cooking?
Will we forever have to make do with two laptops and two and a half desktops? Will I have to byte the bullet and buy a MacBook Pro? Or will the infamous Great New Mac products make a surprise appearance some day after all?