Apple listened to its most loyal customers and fixed its laptop problems from the last five years

(CNBC) — Before Monday, the last major redesign for Apple’s larger MacBook Pros came in 2016, with several features that looked to the future.

The 2016 MacBook Pros sported universal USB-C connectors that could power displays and peripherals, a “butterfly” keyboard that allowed the devices to become even thinner, and a long, narrow touchscreen at the top of the keyboard called “Touch Bar,” in a device powered by an Intel processor.

Apple’s new MacBook Pro models, announced on Monday, conspicuously lack all of those features.

The MacBook Pro is strategically important for the Company, because programmers can only make iPhone apps on a Mac, and picky programmers often choose the most powerful machine they can get. But Apple’s pro laptops are pricey, starting at $1,999 with some configurations costing more than $6,000.

The new machines address longstanding user complaints, revealing that Apple does listen to user feedback, especially from programmers and other professional users.

It turns out, Apple’s last redesign for the MacBook Pro wasn’t popular among picky users, leading to a period between 2017 and 2020 with eight out of 10 quarters of flat or negative annual growth in its Mac business.

It didn’t take long for problems to crop up with Apple’s pricey laptops after the redesign in 2016.

  • Users complained they needed pricey adapters to plug in mice or thumb drives, and missed Apple’s older MagSafe connector, which ingeniously disconnected if someone tripped over the power cord.
  • The butterfly keyboard was unreliable, with keys getting stuck due to crumbs or dust. Apple is still repairing butterfly keyboards for free, and even faced a class action lawsuit over them.
  • The Intel chips insider Apple’s MacBook Pros ran hot, making them uncomfortable to use on your lap.
  • Users and developers never embraced the Touch Bar, and touch typists complained you needed to look at it in order to pick a button.

The laptops that Apple announced on Monday look more like the pre-2016 MacBook Pro:

  • The new MacBook Pro models still use USB-C connectors, which have become an industry standard. But the three Thunderbolt USB-C ports also have an HDMI port alongside them for connecting monitors, and a SD Card slot for downloading photos from a professional camera. It now uses a magnetic MagSafe connector to charge.
  • They use Apple’s Magic Keyboard, which is a more traditional design that’s deeper and has garnered positive reviews.
  • Apple is no longer using Intel chips in its newest laptops, instead opting for its own silicon, which is designed to be power-efficient and not waste energy by giving off heat. The new design also has feet to prop up the laptop and improve airflow.
  • There’s no Touch Bar on the new Macs. It’s replaced by traditional function keys that can control screen brightness, media playback, and a big escape key, which is important for programmers.

The biggest advancement from Apple’s perspective is the chip inside the new 16-inch and 14-inch MacBook Pros. They use Apple’s own M1 chips, either in “Pro” or “Max” configurations, instead of the same Intel or AMD chips Windows PCs use.

Apple’s chips have led to improved battery life in computers they’ve shipped in, like the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air. While the ultimate laptop processor speed crown is contested, it’s clear that Apple’s chips are good enough to send emails, browse the web, and even get some light gaming in.

But users who care less about the guts and specs inside their computers may find the new design — which does not depend on technological improvements over the past half-decade — to be more convincing reasons to upgrade than the number of transistors in the M1 Pro Max (57 billion, for the record).

Since Apple began to update its laptops with new keyboards and chips, the Mac division has been on a roll, selling $26 billion worth in the most recent three quarters, which Apple CEO Tim Cook says is the company’s “three best quarters ever” in the Mac’s 40-year history. Even before Apple released its new MacBook Pros, sales were up nearly 33% annually over that period.

That sales boost was partially due to the pandemic. But it was also partially driven by releasing new computers that had reliable keyboards and strong battery life. On Monday, Apple extended that strategy to its higher-end computers, and extended it by bringing magnetic charging and a port for connecting displays back.

Improvements aside, the 2021 MacBook Pro could still arouse controversy among Mac loyalists. The computer comes with a “notch” or an iPhone-like cutout to house the laptop’s improved 1080p webcam — a controversial design move that could distract users.

Expect Apple to continue to revamp its laptop lineup, especially in the lower-cost, higher-volume models. The MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro have Apple’s M1 chip, but neither current model has a magnetic charger or HDMI port, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro still comes with a Touch Bar. Full Loaf Hot Link MacBook Original Article By: Kif Lessing

Rising Dough

Rising Dough - the question(s) that we need to think about from the reading.Did Apple go far enough with the new MacBook that was introduced for higher-end computers? What else could have Apple done in this new upgrade?

*Click on the “Full Loaf” icon to read the full article! After you read the article come back and tell us your thoughts.

6 thoughts on “Apple listened to its most loyal customers and fixed its laptop problems from the last five years”
  1. I definitely feel like, Apple will surely lose customers if they keep that up. Because no one wants to purchase an new Apple product, that’s glitches and acts up. So if this were to happen again, I suggest Apple fixes it ASAP

  2. Apple did not go far enough. I’m pretty sure they removed a lot of features and they just added them back like its something totally new. This is not worth it.

  3. I feel like apple is going to lose customers due to what they are doing. They most likely just added back some features but could have possibly took off other features that would have been helpful. They should had just made a new computer with new features all together.

  4. Apple is going to lose some customers but they will attract new customers because they are satisfying the new customer and they would most likely to buy it.

  5. Did Apple go far enough with the new MacBook that was introduced for higher-end computers? What else could have Apple done in this new upgrade?
    I think that Apple will lose many of its current customers but will appeal to many new people.I think that the new design and new chip is a good concept for the average consumer but it brings a hefty price. Apple could have provided a new touchscreen display and more ports to the computer.

  6. I think it’s 50/50 as customers who they will gain or lose. Because some might not want a computer with taking away features and different glitches that happen in the products. But also may satisfy some customers with what they are doing.

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