Report offers insight into Apple’s internal Mac struggles

By , Dec 20, 2016

mac family

Following comments made by Tim Cook regarding the importance of the Mac, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman today issued a far-reaching report that offers insight into Apple’s internal struggle with its laptop and desktop lines.

In the scoop, Gurman says that employees he’s interviewed feel like the Mac is getting far less attention these days. They also say it’s lost clout with Jony Ive’s design team, and lacks a clear direction from senior management.

Here’s one of the more interesting tidbits from the piece:

Take the company’s attempt to create a longer-lasting battery for the MacBook Pro. Apple engineers wanted to use higher capacity battery packs shaped to the insides of the laptop versus the standard square cells found in most machines. The design would have boosted battery life. 

In the run-up to the MacBook Pro’s planned debut this year, the new battery failed a key test, according to a person familiar with the situation. Rather than delay the launch and risk missing the crucial holiday shopping season, Apple decided to revert to an older design. The change required roping in engineers from other teams to finish the job, meaning work on other Macs languished, the person said. The new laptop didn’t represent a game-changing leap in battery performance, and a software bug misrepresented hours of power remaining. Apple has since removed the meter from the top right-hand corner of the screen. 

Gurman adds that Apple has also re-organized its software engineering department so there’s no longer a dedicated Mac operating system team. He also notes that the turmoil has caused engineers and managers to leave the company.

Of course, it’s worth noting the Mac only accounts for 10% of Apple’s sales, and their iPhone line is also struggling a bit right now. But it’ll be interesting to see if the company can rectify the Mac to appease employees and customers.

Source: Bloomberg

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  • Alex Wilson

    Reality is that if Apple doesn’t give the Mac line some attention that 10% will drop to 8% then to 5% and then… As huge as Apple is I find it concerning they have to move team members around like that.

  • malhal

    This basically reads like a xmas gift from Apple to mac fans, unfortunately it also reads like a feel our pain message rather than an apology which is what they should have authorised for publication. The main problem now is those who really care will not buy a new chassis MBP until it gets the battery it was designed for, rather than the 5 hr compromise small battery.

  • CtKiDd78

    I’ve got this feeling that things are taking a turn for the worst at Apple. As a person that is heavily invested in this ecosystem and depends on it for work and smart home control, it worries me a bit that they’ll stop paying that attention to detail that’s made them who they are. Hope I’m wrong.

  • Rowan09

    Apples biggest problem is they make products too good and by that their upgrade cycle from customers is significantly longer. I have a 2012 MPB and it works fine on the newest OS. When I bought my Dell XPS it was unusable after 2 years. Less customers have a need for Macs and computers as a whole due to startphones and tablets. I see Apple maybe finally making the iPad Pro a full MAC OS device in the future like the Surface Pro. If they do go down this road though it will kill off the Mac line even faster.

  • 5723alex .

    “Mac only accounts for 10% of Apple’s sales”.. That ~$22B. That is more money that Microsoft made in the last 4 years from the Surface…or any other OEM from laptops.

  • HK

    The problem with Apple is that Tim Cook is a logistics and accountant type. He’s got all the accounting side right, but that doesn’t translate jnto good products – engineers and creative types are needed for that. In this regard, Johnny Ive is no longer directly involved – there are two guys in between, so I doubt he’s bothers with the day-to-day anymore. Jobs is definitely missing at Apple!