Updated January 15: Article originally published January 14:
It’s not a good time to buy a MacBook Pro. The normally reliable and relatable Apple has forced the professional macOS laptops into a state of flux, disrupting its own market. What happened to Tim Cook’s flagship cast?
Update: Sunday 14 January. Mark Gurman Highlights one of the biggest issues with Apple’s upcoming MacBook Pro hardware. Adding a touchscreen in upcoming models will lead Apple to explain for more than a decade why the Mac platform has ignored the ubiquity and utility of touchscreens:
“…it made its way through companies like Microsoft Corp. merry, which combined laptops and tablets, introduced duds like the Touch Bar, insisted macOS wouldn’t offer a good touch experience, and condemned the approach as “ergonomically terrible.”:”
As Apple brings apps from its various operating systems closer together — iPadOS apps in particular to macOS — that stubborn approach needs to change, in no small part because using touch-based apps on any of the current macOS machines is uncomfortable at best and painful in many cases.
But that’s not the only issue hampering the lagging Macs.
Where are the next-gen MacBook Pro laptops? The community eagerly awaited the launch of the M2 Pro and M2 Max laptops in the last quarter of 2022. Apple failed to launch a new Mac in the last quarter of the year, the first time it hasn’t reached that milestone in over two decades.
As previously mentioned, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is little more than a MacBook Air with an entry-level processor supported by an active fan to squeeze out a bit more performance. For many, myself included, this is not what you would expect from a professional MacBook Pro.
The 2022 non-arrival is compounded by reports of even more delays in 2023, as the laptops are unlikely to be announced until summer, no doubt with a further delay before they go on sale.
A significant increase in performance is unlikely? The move from Intel to Apple Silicon brought an immediate leap in performance and potential, but the leap from Apple Silicon’s M1 to M2 chipsets has proven less spectacular in the MacBook Air refresh. The performance gains of the M2 Pro over the M1 Pro are described as “marginal”. There are suggestions that Apple will stick with the 5nm process for its silicon instead of moving to 3nm and reaping all the benefits the latter would offer.
Finally, Apple wants to add touchscreens to future MacBooks, some fourteen years after Microsoft first supported it in mainstream Windows devices. That would be a sea change in Apple’s approach to portable computing, but it’s one that feels inevitable as Tim Cook and his team look to bring the Mac and iPad platforms closer together in both software and hardware. These MacBooks would become the go-to laptops in the line, and while not fully osbourning the rest of the line, they would lessen the impact of the vanilla-screen laptops.
Those who expected the new MacBook Pro laptops to arrive on a schedule that Apple allows the community have been disappointed. If you want to upgrade – be it to new hardware or finally want to join the Apple Silicon platform, you have to wait for the professionally oriented laptops. And those who want the utility and ease of use of a touchscreen will be wary of investing in a new Apple laptop before the long-established technology finally makes its appearance on the platform.
With Apple’s launch of the M2 family during the 2022 Worldwide Developer Conference, Tim Cook and his team built on the successful launch of Apple Silicon. Since then, there have been delays, poor communication, and leaked features that could hurt short-term sales.
The MacBook Pro platform is neither stable nor secure for 2023.
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