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Has Apple Given Up On OS X And The Desktop?


As predicted, Apple gave a debut to new MacBook hardware this morning, with a refresh of internals, new ports and the new Touch Bar, all as expected. The 11" MacBook Air got culled today, whilst the 13" version remains unchanged.

It was without doubt the very definition of 'ho-hum'. This wasn't a refresh of a currently competitive product, like the MacBook refresh earlier in the year (or Microsoft's make over for the top end of the Surface Book line yesterday). The MacBook Pro is so old Queen Victoria was on the throne when it launched and Britain still had an empire when it was last refreshed.

Still, at least the MacBook is still a capable, if uncompetitive offering. The iMac and Mac Pro look positively prehistoric in light of the advances being made elsewhere.

So an uninteresting set of portable updates, cancelled products and nothing for aging desktop lines. Has Apple decided that OS X is done? Is the plan now to move to a single platform based on iOS?

There are good reasons for doing so. iOS has a fair larger application catalogue and Apple has absolute control over everything available for iOS devices. It's also likely that Apple will find it easier to migrate the touch first iOS interface to the desktop than to retrofit touch to OS X.

If you consider this as a likely end game for Apple than the iPad Pro starts to make a lot more sense. Making and marketing the iPad as a computer as a precursor to iPad laptops and desktops becomes the first step in a transition plan.

Whatever the reason, Apple seems to have limited interest in competing with PC manufacturers for sales and its Mac sales are falling faster than the general PC market contraction. For Apple's fans you have to hope that this is part of a wider plan.

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