Apple has never been accused of making budget products or aiming for the masses, but the iPod and then the iPhone and iPad proved otherwise, without the budget part.
Yesterday Apple announced the long overdue MacBook Pro refresh and we got a lighter computer, a thinner computer, a more powerful computer, a new keyboard (which I really hope is not as terrible as the one on the MacBook) and a Touch Bar. Oh yes, a bar that you can do things with and which changes with each app. I may sound snarky, but irrespective of how good it is, the entire keynote displayed the TV app and a Touch Bar- sorry, but it was painful to watch and I felt as if I was stuck in some kind of time loop with the same phrases ringing in my years from previous released. The difference this time was that I was not particularly excited by what I saw.
It may be that the Touch Bar is as transformative as the mouse and it is likely that the MacBook Pro is good value for money, but at a starting price of £1,749 for the cheapest Touch Bar model, that is edging towards luxury territory. The MacBook Air continues with no refresh, at this time, but even that starts at £949.
The Macs are now more expensive than ever and I continue to wonder about the diverse strategies of getting as many phones, tablets and watches out of the door while continuing to make the computers harder for people to buy.
Maybe I would be more positive if more appeared besides a Touch Bar and some new specs. A new iMac? A new Mac Pro or even Mac mini? No, nothing. It leads me to continue wondering if Apple’s focus is anywhere near the Mac anymore. The Touch Bar may be innovative, but it is ultimately a thing strip of a screen with some clever tricks up its sleeve. Essentially a very small iPod above a keyboard.
This feels like an attempt to show focus when there is little, but I am more than happy to be proved wrong.