steve-jobs points

Apple’s late co-founder was never fond of die-hard creative professionals and wanted to walk away from that niche market segment in order to focus solely on the high-end consumer segment which appealed more to him and didn’t eat up major resources. In fact, it didn’t just cross Steve’s mind to kiss the pro market good-bye.

He was actually considering dropping Apple products for the pros altogether, says Apple’s former ad consultant Ken Segall, the guy who dreamed up the iMac name and revealed the iPhone could have been easily called the ‘Telepod’

According to a post over at Segall’s personal blog, Jobs considered walking away from the pro market:

This was back in the days when iMac had established itself as a global bestseller. During one of the agency’s regular meetings with Steve, he shared that he was considering killing the pro products.

His rationale was as you might expect: consumer products have an unlimited upside, while pro products are aimed at a niche market that eats up major resources.

Though Steve did renew his commitment to the pros, Apple’s view of what the pro market is clearly changing, causing some pro customers to feel abandoned.

Look no further than the Mac Pro, the ultimate desktop for creative pros which hasn’t seen a major update (sans a few specs bump ups) for years now. Finally, at June’s WWDC, Apple revealed a major Mac Pro update which won’t launch until later in 2013.

Mac Pro (2013 model, two-up, front, back)
The new cylindrically shaped is coming later in 2013.

Field editors and photographers used to love Apple’s top-of-the-line MacBook Pro with a large screen measuring seventeen inches diagonally, until Apple phased out the machine.

Moreover, the pro video editing tool Final Cut Pro X was released without key pro features including multicam editing and backward compatibility, though subsequent updates filled in the gaps.

Also, Aperture – Apple’s pro photography app – has been left in the update limbo for 3.5 years now.

Logic Pro X (iMac 001)
The major Logic X update, released in July 2013.

On the other hand, the new Mac Pro and the consumerization of Apple’s pro apps such as Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X (up next: Aperture X, I guess) could bring more casual pros and high-end consumers under the fold to offset loss of some pro customers.

By the way, Steve also hated the enterprise market.

  • Falk M.

    Good on him he didn’t.
    Pros have been the most loyal buyers to them and I think you should treat your best customers with respect as long as it doesn’t make you lose money or lose the focus.

    *cough*
    Where’s Aperture 4 by the way? (I assume I’m asking for Aperture X though, since that seems to be the new version number all pro applications get from Apple this time around)

  • Boss

    The whole point of the Mac Pro was to upgrade it and stuff it looks like they’ve just bought out some locked computer to shut people up

  • Al

    Funny how Jobs hated the Pro market when he himself was in the Pro market. (Disneys Pixel) to which Steve Jobs owned before selling it to the aforementioned. Pro products were Pixel’s bread n butter to create those great movies over the years. And while “hate” seems like a strong word, can’t think of any other word to use.

    • Ben

      Pixar…

      • Al

        Thanks Ben! Don’t how I messed that up. Lol

  • Ted Forbes

    In a way I can understand why Jobs backed away and why there are not much updates to the pro products. I mean, what is “PRO”. The difference is hardly “recognizable” anyway. We make a big deal about it and we like the dignity that comes from talking about the Rolls-Royce and the Bentley products over what is not (not that I am saying anything is wrong with it). Most of the time we are just kidding ourselves.

    Consumer products hardware and software are getting the job done for that matter and there are many large, mid range and smaller agencies that rely on consumer products and get the work done just the same.

    Look at what Skype, mobile phones and even security cameras are doing, they compete with millions of dollars of broadcasting equipment. Almost every day video or still images are broadcast by the major media networks from one of these products. The consumer market profits are huge.

    How often and how many Lamborghini’s and Austin Martins will one person buy or sell compare to those that are not? There are manufactures and producers that combines pro with consumer and make it one product. There are many professionals who settle for this and less and get the work done. Business is business it is never personal and who should understand this more then the Pros. It is this way with with whatever it is.

  • John Chandler

    as an example the mac pro was so freakin crazy expensive, I one time went to their website to build one to order, i maxxed it out and the price was over $8K, so now I went to compare with a PC clone, similar specs and its was only like $3k, the problem with the Pro products is the incredible premium you pay when you can get the same power and performance for way less if you buy a PC, and thats a fact. This new Mac pro had better be in the reasonable price range, its got one major feature that other PCs won’t be shipping with which is PCIe ssd but you can add that onto it, none the less its better be a reasonable price. The most I would pay is $3k anything more is just throwing money away because 6 months down the road something better and cheaper will be available.