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No, WSJ, Apple shouldn't kill off the Mac

Glenn Fleishman | June 16, 2015
The Wall Street Journal is not trolling us, is it? Columnist Christopher Mims penned an essay titled, "Why Apple Should Kill Off the Mac" (it is behind a paywall), and goes on to enumerate various reasons. But it ignores the elephant--or El Capitan--in the room: Apple will never again let another company decide its destiny.

The Mac, at some level, is a highly profitable developer-platform division that happens to also serve consumers and businesses.

Apple abandoned its Xserve rack-mounted server line-up years ago and even though its still offers OS X Server, it is a very thin product compared to what most businesses need. Apple re-focused on consumer, education, small business, and a few large companies that either let employees bring their own computers, choose a platform for their desktop, or required Macs as a business choice.

What's more, graphics and video professionals represent a significant portion of Apple's highest-revenue and highest-margin Mac sales, and also, not surprisingly, have disposable cash that they just might be using to buy iPhones, iPads, and Watches.

Forward in all directions?

Mims is right that Apple has a lot to fix. Despite its confusing Apple Music launch, WWDC that the company is dedicated to that task by putting the brakes on, and maturing, its three platforms--iOS, OS X, and WatchOS.

Focus is great, but the Mac is not as much of a distraction as Mims wants it to be. Apple's problem right now seems to be software and services execution, with more trouble still on the cloud side than fundamental on-device issues in iOS and OS X.

Mims suggests of the Mac line, "Apple doesn't need this revenue." That seems misguided. In terms of the ecosystem and good will alone, there is a large halo. But beyond that, Apple will never again make the mistake of giving any other company the power to veto its future.

The Mac will abide so long as Apple does not lose its way.


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