God I hate Apple pundits. From Pravda-like arranged podcasts with Apple executives, to the endless cowering “all apologies” elocutions from this sorry band of hindsight rationalists, has there ever been a less critical group? I’m not sure what’s worse, the anti-Apple cast of disingenuous hit-whores, or the lackey Mac pundits.
The New Mac Pro Is Great, But…
Latest case in point: the pundits’ blindness to the new cheese grater Mac Pro ignoring Apple’s core enthusiast users. In most ways, the new Mac Pro is a really great machine. The car sized radiator for cooling. The case accessibility. The super quiet design. The great expandability. The new MPX slots that fix Intel’s failures/inability to get modern memory/chips/PCI 4 architectures working. After pricing things out, you’re roughly paying $2500 extra for macOS and a nice case.
But at $5999 for the base model, Apple wants to charge us a high price for its admitted failure. It (at best) ignores and/or punishes the entire enthusiast market.
It’s the Enthusiasts, Stupid
In some ways, all Mac enthusiasts are beaten, broken people. We’re so shocked Apple finally fixed the Mac Pro that many accept the dulcet “you’re not worthy of a Mac with slots” tones from pundits. There seem to be few remaining “think different” enthusiast survivors. That’s the group Apple courted with its “Think Different” campaign. Not pros. Enthusiasts that “think different” were the ones who saved Apple from its near bankruptcy in 1997. Enthusiasts are Apple’s spiritual core. And while many pros are enthusiasts, many more enthusiasts are not pros. And many pros couldn’t care less what equipment they use to get work done.
At least Apple has finally noticed pros leaving the Mac because it didn’t have a computer to serve them. But it has yet to realize that it’s the enthusiasts who saved it—and they’re also leaving. Enthusiasts are small business owners, individual developers, power users, users who like to upgrade (over time as funds become available) and push their equipment to cool edge cases.
And often today’s enthusiasts become tomorrow’s pros. Often they are de facto IT for friends and family. As such, enthusiasts are serious influencers having outsized effect on those around them. They are begrudgingly leaving, just as pros were leaving Apple. Instead of helping enthusiasts, pundits have lined up to slap them and say “it’s not for you”. Maybe this should be called the Marie-Antoinette-Let-Them-Eat-Cake Mac Pro.
Critical Thinking Is Lacking
The entirety of the Mac press’ post-WWDC rationalization distortion field is: “the computer for the rest of us”, “it’s not for you.” After receiving Apple’s PR fluffjob, these pundits make straw-man arguments that people think the Mac Pro is bad because it’s too pro, too powerful, or not cheap enough. They ignore what enthusiasts are saying: “Apple please add a lower entry level slot upgradable model that enthusiasts can also afford.”
It doesn’t dawn on the pundits to ask: “Hey, the original Mac Pro cost as little as $2200. There’s an enthusiast segment that really wants and can benefit from having slots. So why isn’t Apple at least trying to serve that market segment?” How about offering an entry model Mac Pro, e.g., with 6 cores and 8GBs of RAM for $3199 (along with its outrageously mediocre Radeon 580 graphics card, Apple could also dispense with its stupendously insufficient 256GB SSD that serious users will ignore anyway as they opt for third party SSDs (up to 15.36 TB) on PCI NVMe cards).
Similarly, pundits are making false dichotomies regarding Apple’s Pro Display XDR. Sure, it’s a great value for people that need reference monitor quality, but what about the vast majority of enthusiasts and pros who don’t? They just want the iMac’s 5k display as a stand alone monitor for $1000 without a ridiculous tone-deaf stand, alone, for $1000.
The reality today is that if you want an Apple branded monitor, your best bet might be using an 2014 iMac in target display mode. Otherwise pundits leave you to believe sound engineers, developers and Mac mini users are animals who don’t deserve an Apple display.
Apologists Hurt Apple and Its Users
Today we have the same old familiar goose-step of beaten housewife pundits telling us how much Apple really cares about the Mac, about us. How it’s doing what’s best for us. How they know what we really need. How this time, it will be different. They’ve changed. Apple won’t beat us as much anymore. It will update Macs regularly from now on, honest. Never mind the MacBook and iMac Pro still haven’t been updated in about 2 years. “Look at the silly monkey.”
It took Apple 6 years to correct its last mistake, the trashcan Mac Pro. Part of the reason for Apple taking so long to correct mistakes is so many apologists uncritically support them. The pundits don’t get how outrageously insulting it is to drown out and ignore what enthusiast/users say they want (e.g., Macs with upgradable slots) and instead decree what pundits think you need and should be happy with. That level of uncritical support helps Apple ignore problems. The pundits are sure they know best. Remember, they declared how the trashcan Mac was also for pros, rather than being critical about how it served neither pros nor enthusiasts. Despite being wrong then, they’re happy to reassert the same now. The pundits can’t seem to think beyond wanting to curry Apple favor.
Apple Carrots and Sticks
Being an Apple sycophant has its privileges after all. Maybe they’ll get to interview some Apple exec where they’ll ask banal questions and incessantly fluff Apple plastic talking points. And if they don’t play ball and choose to call Apple out on mistakes, maybe they wont get the next Apple event invite.
But maybe, if more pundits could think for themselves, and more of them would speak up for enthusiasts and users, then just maybe, Apple would be motivated to do a better job.