Apple is the master of the radical incentives. It killed the floppy drive, CD drive, and the plug of the headset into the iphone, while the Macintosh went from the Motorola 68000 to the PowerPC chip to the Intel X86 line of chips.
A very memorable pivot came when the company released the Apple II line of machines with an event called Apple II Forever. While it glorified the venerable machine with a beautiful new model, it meant the end of the system.
What I’m sensing is that if the old Apple II (for always), the Mac will be finished, and the whole line will be replaced by iPads.
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I’ve seen this allegation before and received a good amount of hate mail, and I’m willing to give more. But my thinking is based on the latest Apple commercial for the iPad Pro, a machine with qualities similar to the Microsoft Surface Laptop.
Here, a small girl floats around the city with its iPad Pro doing all sorts of hassle. She is in a tree; she is in a field. In the end, her mother asks her what she is doing with her computer. The girl responds by asking, “What is a computer?”
The girl is about 10 years old. If they do not know what a computer is by the age of 10, then our school systems are even worse than I thought. Maybe she is just rude or mean to her mother.
Since negativity seem to be out-of-bounds for an Apple commercial, I take it that the point is to be Apple’s attitude towards computers. The little girl rejects the idea of a computer itself, and thus separates an iOS device, all of what you see as a PC. The ad ends with a mention of iOS.
Earlier in the year, Apple ran a short ad in which he said that an iPad Pro is not close to a computer. It is something better, more modern. The subtext of both ads is that the computers are stupid, or is dead or passe. It is a rejection of the concept of computers.
What does this say about the Macintosh? I see the parallel with the Apple II and the “Apple II Forever” extravaganza. It is the end of the line.
Apple calls the Mac less and less on the big events. The company knows that the machine is a drain on resources that distracts from the new core-business, iOS and the mobile devices.
I know that Mac users do not want to see this reality, but the Mac is not a money maker. When you go into the Apple Store, you can see the phone and the watches front in the middle, then the ipad, then the Mac.
It was said that a few years ago about the iOS on the Mac. That chatter has largely disappeared with the advent of the iPad Pro, which changes the focus and solves the problem of having the development of two separate and different OS code bases. Even Microsoft is not about to invest in parallel code development in these extreme conditions. Google is almost doing something like this, but that this is based on Linux kernels.
Apple has a number of Unix-in the bowels of macOS, but iOS seems to be scratch built. On top of that, the company does extensive custom chip engineering with its ARM license, and the A9 chip. This is a lot of the heavy work in the most complex level of design.
Don’t get me wrong. The Mac is not dead tomorrow. But I’ve seen this exact scenario before and it does not bode well. If Apple rolls out a number of foreign and out-of-place extravaganza for the Mac, you can be sure that the end is near.
This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.