Apple has greatly simplified the MacBook lineup today. I commented last year that with the release of the updated MacBook Air, the overall MacBook lineup had become fragmented and confusing for customers. I outlined a few things Apple could do to fix the array of products, and it seems they have done most of them.
For a number of years now, people have been hoping that Apple will fully embrace USB-C and ditch Lightning on the iPhone in favor of the new standard. Apple was one of the first to adopt the port, with the MacBook gaining a single USB-C port in replace of Apple’s proprietary MagSafe 2 for charging as well as other ports. Less than two years later, the redesigned MacBook Pro models had up to four Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, with traditional USB-A, Thunderbolt 2 Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, and the SD card slot all nowhere to be found.
This past October, Apple did something unprecedented: removing the Lightning port on the latest iPad Pro models and instead giving it a USB-C port. This opened the doors for all sorts of uses, such as charging other devices, plugging in a camera, and more. The iPad would even be able to accept USB-C flash drives if the software supported it.
Let's face it: Apple hasn't been doing too well lately. Its stock keeps dropping, and AAPL as fallen to the fourth most valuable company by market capitalization after hitting the $1 trillion mark back in August. Apple even sent out a warning to investors before its earnings call for the first time in over 15 years.
The biggest culprit of this is obvious: price hikes in Apple hardware. Almost all of Apple's new products released in late 2018 were more expensive than their predecessors, including the MacBook Air, Mac mini, and iPad Pro (along with its additional accessories such as the Keyboard Folio and Apple Pencil). However, the iPhone is by far Apple's most popular product, and it simply hasn't been selling well. For many users, Apple's flagship iPhones are simply too expensive, and not enough compelling features were added this year to make the price justifiable for most users. Another factor is Apple's commitment to the longevity of their products. Apple started offering $29 battery replacements this year and released iOS 12, which sacrificed new features for stability and performance on older devices.
However, there is one area in which Apple is doing better than ever: services. The App Store had record-breaking revenue this holiday season, and the number of Apple Music subscribers is at an all-time high. In addition, more users are taking advantage of the HomeKit ecosystem and specifically looking for speakers that support AirPlay 2.
Before Christmas, Apple made Apple Music available for Amazon Echo, an unprecedented move. Plus, at CES 2019, Vizio, LG, Samsung, and Sony revealed that native AirPlay 2 support will be making its way to their higher-end TVs along with Screen Mirroring and iTunes Store. Both of these decisions will certainly cannibalize sales of both the HomePod and Apple TV, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If Apple is willing to sacrifice sales of their premium products in order to make their services available on more platforms, what implications does this have for the future? Will Apple begin to offer apps like GarageBand and Final Cut Pro on Windows? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
With the recent release of the redesigned MacBook Air with Retina display, there are more choices than ever for potential MacBook buyers. However, the new Air isn't quite as budget-friendly as people were expecting, and it overcomplicates the lineup in an already confusing selection of Apple laptops.
The 2017 World-Wide Developers Conference keynote is just around the corner–June 5th, to be exact. You can stream this event on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, Mac, or PC live at 10 A.M. PDT or watch it afterward once it has been edited. So far, there have been quite a few reports and rumors that indicate far more than just the usual software announcements. This article will go over most people's ideal WWDC keynote, while excluding the extremely unlikely things.
Production for 10.2" iPad reportedly starting this month, 16" MacBook Pro to launch in fall
Apple launches annual back-to-school promotion with discounted products+free Beats for college students
Apple updates MacBook Air with TrueTone, new 1TB SSD option for $100 less
Apple releases new base-level MacBook Pros with Touch Bar, 8th gen processors
Apple kills 12" MacBook and last-gen MacBook Air in big website refresh, SSD price reductions across the board
iOS 13 public beta 2 released + beta 3 rereleased to developers with iPhone 7 support