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.