Apple Mac Shipments Plunge, even as PC Shipments Rise from the Dead

A classic case of channel stuffing?

Worldwide PC shipments fell 3.9% in the third quarter from a year ago, according to IDC, thus continuing the long methodical decline of the entire ecosystem. But beneath the surface: shipments of the boring uncool brands rose worldwide and soared in the US, as shipments of cool Macs plunged.

Grave injustice? Or just sign or our commoditized times and channel stuffing?

Despite predictions of the sector’s death, these machines – desktops, workstations, and notebooks of all kinds, but not servers and tablets – are still the workhorses in the office environment, and their death is going to arrive only slowly and in fits and starts.

Lenovo, which in 2004 bought IBM’s PC division, is still the market leader, with a 21.3% share. But its global shipments fell 3.2%; it has growth trouble in China, its home market, where it does much of its business. For Lenovo, Q3 was the sixth quarter in a row of year-over-year declines.

But second and third in line, HP and Dell, increased their market share, as their global shipments rose 3.3% and 6.2% respectively. For the fifth in line, Taiwanese-based Asus, shipments jumped 6.9%.

The real losers: Apple Mac shipments plunged 13% and “others” plunged 13.2% year-over-year. Excluding Apple and “Others” (marked in red in the table), shipments by the remaining top four vendors rose 2% to 44.3 million units. The top three now command 58% of the global market:


And this is what happened in the US. Apple Mac shipments plunged 13%, and shipments of “Others” plunged 19.8%, while shipments of the top three brands soared a combined 9.5%, with Dell and Lenovo picking up double-digit gains. These top three vendors now command 71% of the US market. Total US shipments rose 1.7% to 17.6 million units:


But even for the winners, it’s not exactly a rosy scenario. The shipment gains are based on building up inventories, as hopes are now circulating for a huge holiday season particularly in the US. And a buildup of inventories is deemed essential to satisfy this sudden surge in expected demand.

This is a change, after a long struggle to reduce bloated inventories, which caused the steeper shipment declines over the past year or so. But if the holiday season is not huge, and if the hopes that are circulating turn out to be false hopes once again, the period of trying to bring down bloated inventories will recommence, along with even sharper shipment declines. The report:

[W]e believe the strong market performance has less to do with strengthening demand and more to do with increased appetite from the channel for inventory.

We will need a strong holiday season to ensure that we don’t enter 2017 in a poor inventory situation.

So classic channel stuffing in the hope that demand will somehow materialize and mop up that ballooning inventory. The fourth quarter will be key. And IDC maintains its “cautious outlook.”

By Region:

Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) PC shipments were stronger than forecast thanks to healthy notebook sales, while desktop sales were very much in line with the forecast. The buildup of expectations towards the year-end business (e.g. mobility adoption) and holiday season promotions like Black Friday, combined with the anticipation of price increases related to some components, pushed the volumes up in the region for notebook.

The Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) PC market came in slightly above expectations, although it remained constrained with shipments declining year on year. Efforts to reduce channel inventory continued, allowing for stronger than expected sell-in in China, while the upcoming festive season led to a sequentially higher consumer quarter in India. Several corporate projects that were rolled out across the region, coupled with stronger demand from business users in China, helped alleviate the decline in otherwise soft commercial markets.

The Japan PC market returned to positive growth in the third quarter, stabilizing after a substantial drop in 2015. Demand for Windows 7 systems remained a key driver as companies still using the OS purchased systems ahead of price increases.

This leaves Apple Macs as the biggest loser, worldwide and in the US. Apple is going to come out with some updated and even cooler PCs. Everyone is hoping that they will be a big hit. But the PC market has been commoditized years ago, and cool doesn’t really matter anymore. What matters is price and functionality. And it’s going to be an uphill slog for Macs.

Thank God for the iPhone and for the fiasco that has befallen Samsung with its exploding Note 7 smartphones, which its owners are now told to turn off. Mac sales accounted for only 12% of Apple’s total sales of $42.4 billion in the last quarter, and that share will likely fall further, as Apple continues with its transition to a company dominated by just one product.

Blame the Millennials? They certainly get blamed for everything else. Read… These Debt & Rent Slaves Get Blamed for the Lousy Economy

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  75 comments for “Apple Mac Shipments Plunge, even as PC Shipments Rise from the Dead

  1. BradK says:

    Mac sales really began increasing with the rise of the iPhone and the almighty App Store. As you can only develop apps for the iOS platform on a Mac, anyone who wanted to cash in on the App Store revenue stream had to go out a buy one — which was a win-win for Apple. They sell you the overpriced hardware, then take a 30% cut of your gross.

    It could just be that *that* is the segment that’s saturated. Everyone who wants to develop iOS already has a Mac and may be getting tired of the “don’t be seen carrying around last year’s model” stigma which afflicts all Apple hardware users.

  2. Dan Romig says:

    Blame me, I guess, as my iMac is over 8 years old, and running well with a memory upgrade. My old machine cannot run the new mac OS Sierra, but does fine with OS X El Capitan.

    One of these days it’ll conk out and need replacing, but until then, ‘don’t fix what ain’t broken’.

  3. Ptb says:

    People still buy macs? I thought it was all iPads now.
    Didn’t Apple quit going to the Mac show years ago?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Tablet sales are crumbling – done in by large-screen smartphones. Who needs two devices like that?

      • John k says:

        I have both, love the pad so I can sprawl in the living room and read my (and your) blogs instead of sitting at a desk… Phone too small for comfort even with readers…

      • d says:

        Exactly and 5.5 ” phones have as much computer power as was used to put a man on the moon.

        The i pad was, and still is for the sight impaired, an awesome device, but you dont need both any more.

        The next step is to get the 5.5 inch phone to drive a large external screen properly, then the laptop, is dead.

        The major advantage of the desk top replacement big screen laptop is that it effectively has an inbuilt UPS.

        I believe Apples decision to cease production of the 17″ and bigger laptop to be a bad decision.

        lots of people kick apple.

        having used both, my mac experience is simply hassle free compared to crashdoze.

        If i wanted to be a programmer I would have to work at it, as i dont want to do that, forget all the Linux clones out there.

        Be interesting to see what happens sales # wise, as the last of the 17″ mac’s come due for replacement.

    • Intosh says:

      Yes, people still buy Macs. Notably in the web development professional sphere, Macbooks are surprisingly popular because it is basically “best of both worlds” with its macOS, which has a *nix flavor, combined with the relatively refined UI and hardware.

  4. My mac is just now 10 years old, my newest is anyway. I only use it indoors, (my home office) so no one knows it’s old… : ) It’s 2.4 ghz and still really fast. I don’t buy new, and will eventually get another one off ebay before they refuse to let this one in the door siting imaginary security risks…..

    I imagine most office computers are way overkill in speed for the tasks they need to do, so why spend the money ? That is why sales are down, there really is no “need” to buy new….


  5. Bryce says:

    Maybe Apple’s Q3 sales were down due to rumors of new laptops being released in a couple of weeks. I wouldn’t read into it too much due to this release. A person would have to go back to Apple laptop releases in previous years to see if this is just noise, or possibly something worse.

    Either way, the PC market is in a slow decline that I don’t see ending anytime soon. Apple shareholders got incredibly lucky with Samsung’s phones catching fire. I also wonder how much the cell phone cycle is increasing. It used to be people got a new phone every 2 years. Now I am getting a phone about once every 3 years. At some point, cellphones will have a cycle of 5 years.

  6. Nicko says:

    Apple has $200 billion on hand, I wouldn’t worry.

  7. mark says:

    Apple Macs do not suffer from planned obsolescence, unlike iOS devices.

    I haven’t used a Windows PC in over 10 years. When I did I remember having to replace my PC every 2-3 years. This was either due to degrading performance caused by new demanding apps or resource hogging anti-virus scanners, or else the hardware would just fail.

    With Macs this has never been a problem. I’m a software developer and so have demands for a high performance Macbook which is the essential tool in my job. Yet even with these demands I have a 4 year old Macbook which still shows no sign of age or need for replacement. Most people could happily use their Macs for 8 years or more.

    I don’t believe that any tablet can completely replace a PC, at least not yet. Many households will probably need to have at least one, if nothing more than being used to sync, backup, do word processing, be used as storage device for multi-media, using spreadsheets etc. However, it is likely they sit around not being used very often…this in turn will increase their lifetime.

    It’s mobile devices that are what people replace often, and thus this will be the focus of Apple’s revenue. Planned obsolescence is definitely structured into the iOS eco system. e.g. App updates are released that no longer support previous versions of iOS and as such you are forced to upgrade your device.

    • nick kelly says:

      Most mobile devices are used by the 90 % ? of the pop who NEVER research anything. All they are doing is yacking or watching ads ( we hope)

    • Graham says:

      Apple does plan obsolescence, none of the new OS X versions will touch the config on the old Airport Express units, which is rather a shame.

      There is a workaround to fool the Mac to run an old version of Airport Utility 5.6.1 – but officially Apple has deliberately disowned them.

    • RD Blakeslee says:

      I starting in PCs with the Apple Lisa, forerunner to the Macs, and stuck with them until Gil Amelio was brought in as Apple’s CEO and he nearly ruined it – Steve Jobs came back to save the day.

      I’ve been with Dell and Windows for more than a decade since, but have gotten tired of Windows software maintenance malfeasance and blatant self-serving in making it difficult to avoid unwanted features in Windows 10.

      Does Apple now do a better job of maintaining their software than Windows and can their operating system be as fully guarded by anti-malware software as windows, in your experience?’?

      • Mike says:

        In my experience, Apple does a little bit better maintaining their software than Microsoft. I am on Win10 and Sierra. Both have issues. In the last week, I have had four updates pushed down by Microsoft that took too long to download and install. When Apple pushed Sierra to my Mac, the install was easier. When Microsoft pushed yet another Win10 update last night, it locked up my PC for hours and would not complete, so I had to power down and power up again. I have experienced four painful Win10 updates in the last 10 days.

        I use both Dell laptop and MacBook Pro which I bought in February 2014 because Microsoft was headed in the wrong direction with 8.0 and 8.1. Win10 is an improvement but I still love Win7. Win 8 and 8.1 were a disaster and a stupid idea.

      • Graham says:

        “can their operating system be as fully guarded by anti-malware software”

        OS X runs Unix, a secure OS.

        The main issue is that in Windows the user is usually admin, so anything he accidentally runs or gets tricked into running is run with admin access.

        With Unix/OS X you are always a user, and the OS will prompt for temporary admin access.

        Windows is an insecure platform surrounded by fences, Unix and Linux are actually secure: no need for fences.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Only a certified Windows security-idiot would set up Windows 7 and later to where the user has admin privileges. Windows 7 already walked you through setting up a user account right at first when setting up Windows. Mine is set up where it requires an admin password anytime a program wants to install something or make a change to the hard drive. It has blocked many a bad things.

  8. michael says:

    Or perhaps Tim Cooks love fest for Hillary coming back to haunt him?

  9. HB Guy says:

    It is likely that some of the sales decline is due to the expected refresh of the MacBook Pro, MacPro and MacAir lines expected at the end of September.

    I do agree with many of the comments that Macs don’t suffer the same planned obsolesce of the WinTel platforms: MacOS upgrades can be used by most Macs with an Intel CPU. iPhones have certainly displaced many Macs and PCs, too, although I can’t envision doing my IT work on an iPhone on any new or planned mobile phone or tablet.

  10. HB Guy says:

    My earlier comment should have stated planned refresh of the Mac line at the end of October. Buyers have held off new purchases pending the first refresh of the Macs in over 3 years.

  11. Intosh says:

    Reports of the death of PCs have been greatly exaggerated. It’s just the saturation of the space: saturation in terms of ownership and saturation in terms of processing power needs.

    There were plenty of reports predicting the death of the TV set, circa 2000, too.

  12. Tinky says:

    I have been using Mac computers since their inception, but haven’t felt the need to buy a new one for years. Several year old Macs operate just fine, and especially with simple memory upgrades.

  13. Coaster Noster says:

    Typing on my laptop right now from System 76, a source that provides Ubuntu O/S as the native installed system. Ubuntu IMHO is very good. I gave up Windows in 2012 when it told me I was not recognized during the boot-up and nothing could be done.
    I believe, as someone who has operated on mainframes as well as (in 1982) HP PCs starting at the dawn of the age, that PCs would reach a saturation point within the potential user population. As pointed out here, old ones are just as useful as new ones, unless you are building graphics and games…so 99% percent of the buying public, and especially businesses, extend the replacement cycle every year, the further we get in the 21st century.

  14. sinbad says:

    Apple computers are like VW beetles.
    VW beetles were for people who had no interest in cars, they just wanted transport.
    Apple computers are the same, the people who buy them have no interest in computers, they just want to use Facebook. You don’t need the latest computer to gossip, any old thing will do. As most Apple buyers are averse to technology, the idea of learning how to use the new Apple does not appeal.

    For corporate buyers, compatibility and networking ability is more important than a stylish design. Apple although stylish, avoids compatibility like it’s a disease, and has never managed networking as well as other platforms.

    Apple will continue to decline now that Jobs has passed away. Jobs could spot a cool gadget at 10 kliks, but normal business types need to be told what is cool.

    • walter map says:

      “You don’t need the latest computer to gossip, any old thing will do.”

      You don’t need a computer at all. No, really. I would not kid you about such a thing.

      Telephones are traditional (remember those?), but then, so is the backyard fence.

      I liked computers better back in the day when they were labor-saving devices. And I look forward to the day when I can be dismissed as old-fashioned because I won’t get implants and join the collective hive mind. I am not a cog in something turning.

    • Intosh says:

      Stereotype that some people perpetuate… sigh.

      Google and Facebook are notable companies where Mac’s presence is significant — and no, there are not just used by high-level executives but used by developers and engineers.

      I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

    • Graham says:

      “Apple computers are the same, the people who buy them have no interest in computers, they just want to use Facebook.”

      LOL, I program multi-threaded UNIX audio processing apps on the Mac, using the superb lldb/Xcode debugger for cutting multi-user software.

      This is almost impossible to do sensibly under Windows. I do create Windows versions of the software – I cross compile that on Linux with mingw32 and posix DLL libraries to drag Win32/etc into the POSIX arena of sanity. I mean have you seen the Windows command window, notepad and paint? They are 30 years behind the standards tools on OS X and Linux.

      For software engineering, a Mac wipes the floor with Windows, sorry. I know the image is of ‘arty people’, but trust me – serious programming is _far_ easier on the Mac or on Linux. The level of control and detail is so far beyond Windows with its noddy pretty menus it’s epic.

      • Vasile says:

        “For software engineering, a Mac wipes the floor with Windows, sorry. I know the image is of ‘arty people’, but trust me – serious programming is _far_ easier on the Mac […]. The level of control and detail is so far beyond Windows with its noddy pretty menus it’s epic.”

        What level of control on Mac? I’ve always felt like a consumer in my limited attempts of using Macs (win10 falls into the same category). XP and Win7 have more control – I can still feel myself like a developer.

        And … as development IDE, Visual Studio kicks your “beautiful” XCode’s ass big time :-)

        • Graham says:

          “What level of control on Mac?”

          In a word: Unix. Another two words: Gnu tools.

          Also an excellent ‘Terminal’ as standard, allowing multi window/tab command terminals and access to the entire Unix OS via commands such as ps, top, kill and scripting with sh/bash and utilities such as make, vi, cat, sed, and an apple supplied gcc and clib library that means without any 3rd party software I can be editing, compiling and running programs.

          Yes, the .Net visual studio is well written and I have done projects from paper to release with .Net C++, it’s a good system and the debugger is very good. I’m not a fan of the older MFC stuff, but the .Net Express stuff is free too, and one of MS’s best products. It is managed code however.

          However you should try debugging just a regular multi-threaded C program in the Xcode IDE using lldb before you judge it, the ease, detail and usability is way beyond anything in Linux (ddd doesn’t come close) and the combination with the Unix tools makes it an easy choice over .Net for me. Having used both extensively I appreciate the .Net IDE, but with Xcode I have the same or better quality with regular, native, posix compliant code.

          Then there is the small issue of portability. Write a .Net program and that’s super, until you try to run it on Linux and OS X. However I can write a (non native graphics) program on OS/X that can be compiled and run on Linux and cross-compiled for Windows. I.e. with .Net I’m stuck with Windows only, that alone counts it out for me.

          It Microsoft had not chosen the monopoly embrace and extend route I’d probably use it, but my software needs to run on all platforms so Windows is the odd-one-out.

          OS X and Linux and VERY similar under the hood. So similar that most Posix programs will Just Work. For this reason I target Posix and use cross compilers for Windows – so I never actually use Windows (except for testing), and have to use the mingw32 cross compiler and posix libraries (it can use both win or posix).

          I.e. Microsoft have made their products too entrapping for me, as I want to tap the seamless multi processor power in Linux and OS X – because Unix and Linux are faster (more efficient), far lower maintenance and of course more secure.

  15. Ethan in Northern VA says:

    Maybe Apple will finally put a decent graphics chipset in their laptop. Also not a fan of the modern Macs with all ports removed.

    Most of the obsolescence of computers and phones seems to be software related and done on purpose. No updates of Firefox and Chrome on XP, even though computer is fast enough. Older Mac hardware doesn’t get the new OSX updates (which is probably good OSX is getting worse.) Linux sucks, systemd and all that. Who want’s Windows 10? FreeBSD isn’t a great desktop. There is no escape!

    • RD Blakeslee says:

      I have become really unhappy with Widows (force-fed) 10.

      What do you recommend as the “least bad” alternative, or am I stuck with 10?

      • Graham says:

        “What do you recommend as the “least bad” alternative, ”

        Debian 8 Linux, if it runs on your PC.
        Try a ‘live’ memory stick copy first to see.
        The load up OpenOffice and you’re good to go.

        Don’t get Mint Linux – it’s insecure.
        Ubuntu is OK too and worth a try if something on the PC doesn’t work with Debian (Ubuntu has more drivers).

        Else buy a Mac, despite the odd lineup OS X is really good for leaving you free to use the computer rather then become an amateur IT admin.

        • RD Blakeslee says:

          Thank you, Graham!

          Since part of my problem IS being an amateur IT adm., I have a four-year-old iMac which I had intended to use as backup for my Dell, because I really rely on my CPU (banking, amazon prime orders, CC> accounts), but I never really had to use it.

          Think I’ll try it the imac out, now.

          Thanks again.

      • Petunia says:

        You are not stuck with 10. You can buy keys from European web sites for 7, and other versions, if you want to go backwards. I think 7 was their best OS.

        • RD Blakeslee says:

          Agree with you about 7 – worked well for me.

          Think I’ll crank up an iMac I had for backup, get it running, then look into reverting to 7 on my Dell.

          Thanks, Petunia

        • bead says:

          Still on Windows 7, probably won’t change. Macs are SO expensive! I’m way too cheap to do anything more than kick one. Paying that brand premium is way too painful. I look at the one of those Air thingies and it was $1200. So I bought an el cheapo Acer with similar gear for $700. Sometimes I’m just not upper middle class. Now if I were a student getting a Mac for half off that might be another story.

      • robt says:

        Just do a simple search on Google to see how to limit the ‘force-fed’ updates for Win 10 (if you don’t care about security updates, but you should) to install updates at the time of your choosing, and to modify any privacy settings. Limiting the background update downloads involve pretending you’re on dialup so you can download at the time of your choice – or not. Here’s one example:
        There’s far too much drama about this – all the settings are easily changed to your taste.
        You seem to want something that just runs without getting too involved in tecchy stuff, so the Win 10 will just keep working, as Win 7 and 8 did, with no problem whatsoever. Being ‘stuck’ with something that requires no attention but works well is the best situation we can hope for.

        • RD Blakeslee says:

          Thanks, robt

          Certainly DO NOT want to forgo security updates. I had in mind MS Delete repeated “force feed” shifting my aps to their cloud, the ludicrous “Ask Eudora” (or whatever “her” name is). etc.

          The security updates often do introduce problems with this or that ap. however. For example, Chess Lv.100 will no longer load and MS has been telling me for over an month “Error loading. We’ll try again shortly”.

        • robt says:

          RD, Just disable the ‘OneDrive’ option. I did immediately because I don’t want anything going to the ‘cloud’, where you are generously given permission to have access to your own stuff.
          Cortona, Microsoft’s Siri sort of thing, just disable, especially if privacy is a concern.
          Chess LV.100 is a Microsoft-offered program in the Store, (although it’s also available everywhere), and the specified O/S are Win 8.1 and Win 10, so there’s no reason it shouldn’t run.
          If a setting flipped out, just try reinstalling.
          And just searching in plain language on Google for any questions you have can usually solve things.
          cheers, robt

        • d says:

          Way to complex.

          If you wish to control windows ten updates, simply go into control panel, and turn it, off as a service, then it wont even attempt to down load any updates.

          Works for me on the windows box I have to have, to run 1 piece of SW.

  16. TheDona says:

    It would be interesting to see a customer demographic breakdown for each of the top 3 Desktop makers (hospitals prefer Dell or HP, schools prefer Dell or Lenovo, Banks HP?,etc.)

    How many are high end for corporate networks and how many are the $400 model for kids to do homework on? If they are building up a huge inventory for the holidays one has to assume it is a lot of el cheapos.

    • Petunia says:

      I wouldn’t touch anything Micheal Dell sells with a ten foot pole. If I got a free Dell I would donate it to Goodwill.

  17. MC says:

    Apple has become the world’s most important company, not so much on account of the patents it holds or the products it sells but of its stocks, which are, and I am not exaggerating, one of the backbones of the modern economy. Seriously: AAPL is everywhere, from ordinary Americans’ 401(k) to the Banque Nationale Suisse’s balance sheets.
    And given AAPL has reached such nosebleed values, each time it sneezes a lot of people, companies and governments catch a nasty cold.

    Ironically enough AAPL took off in 2014, just when it was becoming apparent the products it sold were fast becoming commoditized. This meant that when AAPL tanked in May 2015 lots of people and company felt a whole lot of pain.
    AAPL has staged a spectacular comeback starting in June and, apart an almost vertical drop in late August (most likely signalling somebody who had bought at the bottom of the dip was cashing out) it’s advacing by leaps and bounds again, in face of not exactly stellar performances and, what’s more worring long term, an ever increasing reliance of the iPhone as the company’s breadwinner.

    I don’t know if AAPL will reach again the $130 club (it still has to get back in the $120 one, though it may get there before November is here) but it’s yet another indication that, just like Apple is increasingly reliant on a shrinking number of products to turn a profit, investors are increasingly reliant on a diminishing number of assets to turn a profit. This is the infamous “narrowing” we started seeing in 2014 when the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google) pulled Wall Street to new, dizzying heights while most other stocks stagnated or declined.
    As the number of IPO keeps on collapsing and M&A reduces the number of stocks available (the US stock market in that prospect is back to where it was when Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev were negotiating on nuclear missiles in Reykjavik) and as bond markets evaporate under the two pronged assault of the ECB and the BOJ, we are left with less and less financial products to buy, meaning the potential profits relative to risks are evaporating.

  18. Lotz says:

    Apple does have excellent marketing. People with zero computer interest will get a MacBook for public perception.

    Remember this –

    • Graham says:

      “People with zero computer interest will get a MacBook for public perception.”

      Or any posix based software engineer wanting a laptop running *nix out of the box LOL. That’s why they are popular at Google!!

  19. Blank Reg says:

    Apple’s long term strategy is a “convergence” of MacOS and iOS. On that day, any Apple-branded hardware will run a single OS. Which will give Apple about a 40% global market share overnight, as the market-share pundits love to count things with operating systems. Buy whatever HW you want.

  20. R cohn says:

    Years ago I used to buy a Dell desktop computer for ~$2300.Periodically I I would buy a new updated computer for the same price.I then switched to a laptop for $900.Then I bought a more powerful one for $500.
    Now I periodically purchase a Windows laptop for ~ $400.. I have no need for the graphics features available with the more expensive MACs.

    • Graham says:

      “I have no need for the graphics features available with the more expensive MACs.”

      Windows Vista was the OS that caught up to OS X graphics.

      The main differences are in the underlying OS – i.e. a standards based Unix rather than an ’embrace and extend’ Windows system purely designed to hang onto the PC monopoly.

  21. Graham says:

    Apple vs PC is academic, for engineering any type of software the Mac wins hands down, with built in terminal, compilers, fantastic debuggers and a full UNIX command set. Windows is only good for Windows apps, and no one wants to run those anymore now ODF is here.

    Apple’s Mac lineup has suffered however, the VP in charge of them needs to be fired. Steve Jobs would never have allows such a mess.

    They removed the memory upgrade feature of the Mac Mini so now there is no desktop Mac worth buying. iMac’s are useless for people with monitors they wish to continue using. The huge box Macs are too big and waay too expensive, computer power is getting smaller and faster – something the Mac desktop division have missed.

    The 17″ macbook (a useful desktop you can fold up and take with you) has also gone.

    So with no desktop Macs to buy – look at the portable items. The Airbook 11 and 13 are still the best IMO, but the screens could be better.

    So what do Apple do? They come out with the 12″ Macbook which should be a complete replacement for the Airbook11 – it has a similar size and a much better screen.
    But in the tiny minds of the marketing men to save 2mm they decide to put a single, non standard connector on the box and a less friendly keyboard.

    Weekly I have to remind myself that the multi-hundred-billion-dollar company, with tens of thousands of employees and managers, huge new buildings and gleaming glass stores – can’t figure out that people want a computer that’s useful rather than 2mm thinner than something that is. How big a company does it take to fit a useful connector?? Seriously – I’d be typing on one now if they’d wanted my money, instead they stick with the idiocy.

    And then of course they run off to make some stupid watch, setting us back to the 1970’s when you had to press a button to see the time. It’s beyond pathetic when you also consider a decent swiss watch is actually cheaper and looks considerably better.

    So – how many Apple employees does it take to put a standard USB connector onto a Macbook 12 ?

    I heard they even left off 3.5mm jacks from some of their iPhones too – but a dismissed that idea as the ramblings of a lunatic – no one would ever do that.

  22. RD Blakeslee says:

    I am interested in an opinion from anyone with extensive expertise in desktop computers and their software.

    For reasons posted supra, I am looking to get the most reliable general purpose CPU and operating system. Can anybody help me?

    • robt says:

      Computers are appliances now; you don’t need any expertise. Just go to Staples or someone like them and buy a desktop with monitor for a few hundred bucks. They’re all good, and have more capacity than you’ll ever use.

    • Petunia says:

      It totally depends on what you want to do with the desktop. If it’s gaming you are entering a world of continual upgrades, so build your own or get one built. If it’s business or personal use get anything but Dell.

    • Graham says:

      “I am looking to get the most reliable general purpose CPU and operating system”

      Insufficient data!

      What will you be using it for?
      Any particular programs you really need?

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        Basic word processing (using WPS Writer now), scanning capability (using an Epson now), basic photo processing (using PhotoScape V3.7 now) reliable internet access with good anti-malware security.

        My problem really is with Windows 10, I guess – my Dell CPUs have never given me hardware or machine code problems. Microsoft does seem to make it harder for one to use non-MS aps or services (e.g., their cloud) without niggling problems.

        • Graham says:

          Ok, WPS Writer runs on all platforms (it claims), and can also export to ODF. This is what I’d try to do.

          ODF is an industrial quality IEC/ISO open office format, that prevents you from being locked into the vague and closed binary formats created by Microsoft to lock you into their software.

          Lots of products support ODF, and it’s a future proof format.
          Then you can run Openoffice or any number of office suites. I use LibreOffice on OS X.

          Photoscape should also run fine on OS X and Linux.

          A safe browser for the internet is Google’s Chrome, or Chromium in Debian. Firefox is also useful.

          So it seems your requirements are fairly OS agnostic, which means running any OS. To escape from Windows there is Linux and OS X. OS X is a lot more ‘consumer friendly’, but there is lots of support from both.

          OS X is controlled by Apple and is therefore fairly consistent and most things work, as it’s also their hardware.
          Linus has more options and I use it on the desktop, but IMO the Apple is a far less painless laptop choice, as everything works straight out of the box.

          BTW if you do go for Apple, bear in mind that they are cheaper than the list price. By this I mean that when you are buying a Mac you are buying the hardware and a BIG lump of very useful software too. Built in stuff like ‘Preview’ is incredibly useful – it’s like buying a new car, whereas a Microsoft PC is like buying a chassis and then you have to install an engine, seats etc.

          My experience was from Windows laptops, dabbling with Linux on laptops trying to get the wifi, resume, sound etc working – and then to an Apple – at which point I stopped spending my time being an IT man and just used it for what I wanted.
          My productivity under OS X is _far_ higher than under Windows because of the lack of maintenance.

          BTW you may also like to look at Chromebooks – if you can do what you want to with them they might be a very low maintenance option too, and they are cheap.

        • Petunia says:

          Try Open Office or Libre Office on win 10. They are free and work well.

    • HB Guy says:

      I’m employed as an IT Architect with a large company and work remotely. This is what I’d suggest:

      1. A Mac with either a dual-boot option under Boot Camp for MacOS and Windows 7 or,
      2. MacOS as the primary O/S and Windows 7 on a VM using Parallels or VMware to host Windows.

      I use a 2015 MacBook Retina as my only computer, with an AWS Windows 7 VM for my work-related activity. I also agree with other comments concerning Windows 10: avoid it if you can.

  23. Fabian says:

    Lots of problems with my Mac and Flash player since El Crapitan. Flash is everywhere. Very slow even with added RAM. Furthermore, you must still install windows with a parallel because a lot of apps don’t work on Mac. Even web based app will not open on Firefox for Mac. You must open them on Firefox for WIN. On the other end WIN 10 seems to be working fine.
    I’m wary of installing Sierra.

    • d says:

      I upgrade a mac pro from lion to mountain lion.

      will never update a mac again, simply put, it killed it.

      put the original back in it and it was back to its normal self.

      what you can do with them and what goes well are two different thing’s

    • Graham says:

      You can run Chrome on OS X just fine, then you get a seamless web regardless of Windows, OS X or Linux.
      Use Chromium on Debian.

      Firefox is usually good too but you’ll find different versions on each OS, perhaps the source of your trouble.

      Same with email, Thunderbird for OS X and Windows, IceWM for Debian – they are the same program

      Openoffice is the same too.

      It’s a rare app these days that requires a particular OS.

      • RD Blakeslee says:

        Windows 10 mail will not import contacts from earlier MS email aps! Figure that one out. Importing contacts from any of the Windows email aps into Thunderbird (which I would like to use) is also a bitch – I couldn’t get it done.

      • Fabian says:

        Yes, that’s what I do I use Chrome now. Safari freezes all the time, Chrome is better. It still doesn’t really like Flash and starts Google Chrome Helper that freezes the Mac but it’s much better. I must say the eMac is now 5 years old.

        • Vasie says:

          In terms of web browsers, since I can live without multi-row tab browsing and fine-grained security (i.e. selectively decide which cookie to accept or not), Opera 12.x (not latest Opera, which is Chromium-based) does it for me. I consider it the best and in terms of resource consuption (CPU and RAM) is on par with Chrome.

          Chrome SUCKs, because Google is arrogant and blatantly ignores the huge amount of requests from real users, for multi-row tabs. For the same reason (of arrogance), the “new” google maps version sucks big time (looks like someone’s PhD project, again dis-considering the vast amount of negative feedback coming from users.

        • Graham says:

          “Safari freezes all the time”

          It shouldn’t, but it seems the odd OS update does go wrong on the Mac. I’d suggest you do a clean re-install:

          This is a popular way to fix issues and what I would do faced with the same situation. I’m still on Mavericks BTW, on my 5 year old Airbook, if it aint broke – don’t fix it ;)

        • d says:

          He say safari freezes.

          Something Bad wrong in there.

          Clean install would definitely have to be the way to go.

          I copied the drive in my last new pro and replaced it with and SSD before even starting the unit.

          Simplest mac insurance policy there is. From time to time I simply copy the whole SSD to another drive.

          Particularly before installing any new SW. Simple and no need of a techie assistance.

          Having done it both ways on other machines Clean install over upgrade should always be the choice.

          Just buy a hard drive caddy and another SSD if there are any issues mac will boot from the caddy with your old drive in it and all your data is as you left it. if there are no issues simply access the caddy with the new system and transfer all you want to it.

          All things mac simply allows you to, and in some cases encourages you, to do, that crashdoze dosent allow.

          And this freebie with whatever version you need for your OS, make such a process, 4 year old proof.

  24. Vasile says:

    To those software developers posting previously, or in regards to the alleged “planned obsolesce” for the Wintel platform: are you kidding? I have an Intel Core Duo, an Intel i3 and HP laptop, and even an Asus Atom-base netbook and perfectly fine with 10-year old technology: Win7, win2k3srv, WinXP, you name it. Everything just works fine. And my multimedia PC in the living room is an AMD 4800Mhz-“like” system.

    Apple, Mac and iOS-es – that’s what I call planned obsolesce.
    To the developer folk: you gotta be kidding me – your PCs getting bloated and slow … because AV or un-expected app upgrades? You are supposed to be a professional – so please “hedge” and “regularly maintain” your PC ecosystem – and it will work just fine, like in the first day you purchased and installed it.

    Anyways, Linux rules (Debian, Suse/Redhat distros, especially with KDE4/5 flavor). Mac is just a … thief … profiting from recent Linux opensource initiatives.

    • Graham says:

      Mac uses Unix, not Linux. Darwin (OS X’s Unix) is open source IIRC.
      That’s why I like Mac – can buy Unix already installed on a machine.

      And (not in reply to you), Macs are good value – spec up a similar solid aluminium laptop and you’ll soon reach Mac pricing, but still with Windoes on it, instead of a real OS.

      That means I can switch on a brand new Mac, open Terminal and I’m there on a fully working *nix system – no ‘has Microsoft forgotten to break this laptop enough so Linux drivers work?’ angst there :)

  25. Julian the Apostate says:

    Wow. Quite a difference of opinion out there in tech land. I’m glad I upgraded to the iPhone 6 am quite happy with it, except for its irritating habit of dropping calls for no apparent reason. The 4 I previously had never had this problem but it was horribly slow on the browser side, limited to 3G as it was. Both phones are very durable and that is imperative in the truck which can beat an electronic device to death in short order. Apple flooded me with email about the 7s, and I watched a bit of their big rollout show (a real lefty extravaganza) but don’t see the point as my current phone does everything I require. Never upgraded from IOS9. My friend Al has a son who is a tech guru who without checking with him downloaded IOS10 and I’m sure the system changed just enough to baffle him. He tried to glom onto mine as well and seemed disappointed that I refused, he doesn’t understand our resistance to change. I’ve never downloaded an app, I get along quite well with the ones on the phone, so that simply isn’t an issue. I finally found a plug-in headset for $10.99 at Loves and should have bought two as I’ve never seen them again. I never have to charge it, or lose a call because its battery went dead. Everyone says the sound quality is excellent on their end. Curmudgeons of the world, unite!

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