Phil Schiller, the senior VP of Apple Inc.’s Worldwide Marketing unit, recently sat down with media reporters at Cupertino HQ. Several disclosures were made which shed light on the state of Apple ’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) PC business. Plans to launch a new iMac this year were also revealed. Always a tease when it comes to incoming products, the company refuses to share much else about the upgrade. Schiller did mention, however, that even those who appreciate Apple’s MacBooks will fall in love with the 2017 iMacs.
The 2017 iMac seeks to play right into Apple’s PC strengths. Schiller reports that the overwhelming bulk of Apple computer shipments consist of MacBook, MacBook Air and Macbook Pro sales.
A large effort has been put into beefing up Apple’s premium laptops and it appears to be paying off. There was a 20 percent year-on-year rise in MacBook sales in Q1 2017. No doubt the redesigned MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro with Touch Pad (launched October 2016) played a huge role in that boost.
So what could Schiller be hinting at, increased portability? Unlikely — the all-in-one iMacs are notoriously desktop bound machines. More flexibility? The months building up to the 2016 holiday season saw Microsoft sideswipe the all-in-one desktop scene with its Surface Studio. The PC flaunts a brilliant 27-inch, touchscreen display that can be adjusted to any convenient angle. It can even be laid flat and used as a digital drafting desk. A similar edge to the iMacs could boost their appeal significantly.
Where is Apple Inc.’s desktop edge
The Surface Studio held nothing back, securing rave reviews from the day it landed in stores. It comes with support for the Surface Pen and new Surface Dial, and makes any iMac seem lackluster in comparison. The consensus among reviewers is that Apple Inc. is letting things slide with its desktop gadgets. Slow innovation opened the door for strong players like Microsoft to knock the company off its place at the top.
Apple is known for yearly upgrades to its leading products. Its desktop machines have stood fairly still, adding to speculation that the company has lost interest in its iMacs.
“Either they’re brewing something up, or maybe it’s time for someone like Microsoft to start coming in and take some of their market.” The comment came from Nick Cronan, founding partner of Branch Creative. “They’re long overdue to blow us away.” The premium desktop space craves faster, more effective and relevant machines that are equipped with the latest specs.
Great Apple desktops still ahead
So when does Apple plan to blow us away this year? There is little reason to wait considering the arrival of Intel and AMD’s 2017 desktop chipsets. They were widely reported to be biggest reason behind the new iMac delay. Whether the firm will opt for Intel’s powerful 7th generation processors or those of AMD’s Ryzen (which are more power-efficient) is yet to be seen.
Looking at the list of iMac reveal let-downs, October 2016 held back in favor of this year’s processors. The Intel Kaby Lakes made an early appearance at CES 2017, leading many to expect a March unveiling. March came and went with just new iPhone and iPad variants. The next obvious Apple event is it WWDC in June, but the focus there is always software. This leaves fall as the most likely launch period for the 2017 iMac. The new PC might piggy back off the 2017 iPhone hype. The gadget’s tenth anniversary edition is reported to be a revolutionary take on Apple handsets.
CEO Tim Cook has made a point of assuring the public that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has some amazing desktop products still on the way. “Some folks in the media have raised questions about whether we’re committed to desktops,” the CEO explained. “If there is any doubt about that with our teams, let me be very clear: we have great desktops in our road map. Nobody should worry about that.”