When Apple walked back its Mac Pro last week it made an important statement. One that told the world that Apple is not infallible. It had delivered a product which it believed was innovative but which turned out to be a poor option for users in its target market.
The Macbook Pro received a much harsher welcome from Apple customers when it was announced, but the complaints were very familiar in their nature.
Apple had delivered a product which focused on things which weren't important to its customer base.
Feedback from people who have bought the latest MBP has been that the Touch Bar isn't something they use, and the machine doesn't have the horsepower they'd like from a professional device.
I wonder how long Apple will allow the MBP to sit in its product line unaltered. As long as the Mac Pro? Hopefully not.
Macs aren't selling well compared to the rest of the PC market. Whilst that won't be a concern for a product with exceptional per unit margins it does beg the question of how it affects the rest of the product range.
For all that Apple has a history with the Mac it's future should be built around iOS. An iOS that inherits functionality only currently offered in Mac OS, but iOS nonetheless.
The iPhone amounts to two thirds of Apple's business. It should be first and foremost the product Apple lives and breathes. The iPad, by virtue of its close relationship with the iPhone, should be an easy add on for product and platform development.
iOS can't cover all use cases yet, but removing distractions like the Mac range could allow it to do so very quickly. Removing the fear of cannabilisation of its Mac could allow Apple a freer hand with iPad development.
Just as we expect Microsoft to release a laptop running a cut down version of Windows to compete with Chrome books, so we should be talking about new Mac-like iPads running iOS for the same reason.
Continuing to split it's customer base and development efforts between two platforms is hurting Apple's ability to compete in the future.
Continued fall off in both Mac and iPad sales prove this to be the case and the next iPad Pro will tell us whether Apple has the courage to address this issue.
If it means giving up some professional customers to PC OEMs, that would be a small price to pay to secure future competitiveness.