No Apple love for Mac desktops? Time to license OS X (again)?
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No Apple love for Mac desktops? Time to license OS X (again)?

The big disappointment of this week's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference was the lack of love for Mac desktops. Which has led some folks to predict that Apple will abandon its desktop line in favor of nothing but laptops -- which Apple denies.

Neither the Mac Pro nor the iMac was mentioned during the WWDC keynote. The former did receive a very minor update (http://macte.ch/jwtmP) that's been roundly criticized (the phrase "half-assed upgrade" has been seen more than once).

This has prompted one Mac journalist to suggest that Apple once again license the Mac OS X to other hardware venders. Jonny Evans, writing for "Computerworld" says: "As Apple focuses on the mobile segments I'm wondering if it hasn't once again become time for the company to license out its OS and technologies to hand-picked firms in order they produce high-end Mac desktop clones. After all, last time Apple licensed its systems to other manufacturers, the Mac was all of the company's business. These days, well, these days it's not." (You can read the entire column at http://blogs.computerworld.com/smartphones/20518/wwdc-2012-apple-iphone-...).

If Apple were indeed abandoning the desktop market, that might be a good idea. However, CEO Tim Cook says this isn't the case.

David Pogue of "The New York Times" said (http://macte.ch/Zz0TJ) in reference to Apple's desktop Mac lines that an unnamed Apple executive had informed him that "new models and new designs are under way, probably for release in 2013."

Then "MacRumors" (http://macte.ch/BMYQa) reportedly received a report from a reader who had emailed Cook about his disappointment in the lack of a significant Mac Pro update. The CEO responded: "Our pro customers are really important to us ... don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year."

Finally, "Forbes" offered (http://macte.ch/MosaS) additional corroboration of the Mac Pro update. The article has this quote: "Although we didn’t have a chance to talk about a new Mac Pro at today’s event, don’t worry as we’re working on something really great for later next year."

Apparently Cook didn't mention the iMac, so we can probably (hopefully?) expect an iMac update sooner. The all-in-one was last updated in May 2011.

Cook's responses regarding the Mac Pro were welcome, though a little late. Apple gives the impression of losing interest in its creative professionals market. I know the company doesn't talk about upcoming products, but during the WWDC keynote, Cook (or Phil Schiller or someone) could have at least said something to the effect that "we some have great desktops in the works."

Meanwhile, the iMac may be delayed for a bit while Apple waits for Retina display prices to drop -- and the next all-in-one will almost certainly sport a Retina display. A "Digitimes" (http://www.digitimes.com) article says the Retina display on the Retina Display MacBook Pro costs US$150 each -- about three times the price of a "normal" screen.

-- Dennis Sellers

 
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