Erroneous MacBook Pro Mock-Up Courtesy Ars Technica
This has been a gangbuster summer for Apple. First came the iPhone 3G announcement in June, alongside OS X iPhone 2.0 with the AppStore, Mobile Me, and HD video in iTunes, then came a new round of incremental but strong new iPods, and amazing news about a major uptick in Mac sales during a down economy. In spite of some software issues, Apple is coming out with huge new gains in multiple markets and is healthier than just about any other tech company.
And yet, unless Apple rolls out rumored new Macs next Tuesday, all of that will start to look suspect. To find out why, click through!
There are plenty of good reasons why Apple didn’t bring out new MacBooks this summer. The iPhone is Apple’s most important single initiative right now. Then bringing out new iPods as Back to School ended was the top priority, which Apple tackled last week. Get a nice two-week buffer, and you have Tuesday. The company’s biggest annual updates are wrapped up, and now it’s high time for Apple to maintain its core business. If, for some reason, Apple can’t deliver, I’m really concerned.
That’s because waiting until two weeks after new iPods makes sense. It’s planned marketing to maximize impact of each launch. Being later than that suggests a resource challenge that Apple isn’t prepared to meet, which raises major questions about the sustainability of the company’s long boom of late. We’ve seen this before. The original iPhone’s software needed so much work that lots of developers were pulled off of Mac OS X Leopard in order to make the device ship on time. And when Leopard emerged, it was noticeably lacking in the polish Apple typically delivers.
But that was just software — Apple’s hardware outside of handhelds was still shipping on time and on the cutting edge. If hardware is getting slowed down, too, it starts to look like Apple is growing to quickly to maintain its core business as it ought to. And that couldn’t happen at a worse time. Mac sales are through the roof right now. Apple is a bigger and bigger force in computers. And Apple’s not keeping pace, even though they’re working off of the same chips as the rest of the market. Over the long term, that could prove poisonous to the brand.