TMO Daily Observations 2016-11-03: Finding the Touch Bar MacBook Pro’s Target Market

Apple’s new Touch Bar MacBook Pro carries the “pro” moniker, but it isn’t clear exactly who the new laptops are targeting. Dave Hamilton and the Maccast’s Adam Christianson join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on who will want the new MacBook Pro, what could be coming in future models, and what pro users are saying about Apple’s latest laptop offerings.

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Show Notes

The Mac Observer Daily Observations Podcast
  • Who is Apple's target market for the Touch Bar MacBook Pro?
  • Adam Christianson's Maccast
  • TMO Daily Observations Twitter feed

2 thoughts on “TMO Daily Observations 2016-11-03: Finding the Touch Bar MacBook Pro’s Target Market

  • I have to agree about the transitional nature of the new MacBook Pro models. I think the Touch Bar will be a standard feature across the board in the future. We have to wait a while for new upgrades of other Mac models to see where Apple sees the Mac interface morphing, to show clear differences with Windows 10, to move forward in general and to borrow a bit of iOS interface elements, to make the Mac more like the iPad and iPhone. Having a multi-touch trackpad without a display under it, separates the user experience. On the other hand, the MacOS is not optimized for a touch screen, unlike Windows which is. I’m sure someone will argue how well, but that’s another story. I think the timing was unfortunate. The very fast storage recently became available, just before Optane is available, and that brings up the price. Apple also went with top speed memory, which is unusual for them. That also brings up the price. The Touch Pad uses watchOS and other parts gleaned from a iPhone and Apple Watch, and this first generation’s costs have to be paid for. The price of these elements will drop, and the premium over the previous generation will be trimmed in the coming months. And of course, with iPhone and iPad sales disappointing, Apple sees the Mac, at about 11% of revenue, able to prop up their profit margins. I’m sure they figure the Mac buying public will grumble but buy them anyway. Apple surely won’t announce price drops in the future and kill present sales. At least now the MacBook Pro and the iMac line are both equipped with Skylake generation CPUs. The plus here is Apple has used Polaris 11 series GPU in the 15″ models, and that is a nice little step up, but considering as we must, the power limits of last years CPU and GPU, compared to the available this year’s, its really no surprise they went for this series chips. Kaby Lake won’t be much faster, maybe 10% but the battery life should jump up, so early next year, we could see Apple move back up to 12 hours instead of 10 now. The move to 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports that incorporate USB-C connections is entirely analogous to the original Thunderbolt 1 port that supersedes the Mini DisplayPort while keeping the same physical connector, which helps a bit, even while confusing people. Apple’s Intel chip they use to control the ports make it not compatible with some other Thunderbolt 3 devices made by others, so a bit more confusion will be out there. As usual, you have to look for compatibility. I find it frustrating that Apple talks about the wider color range on the displays, but they don’t say it’s P3 color gamut like the iMac now has. The new LG Ultrafine displays finally get the public Retina quality external monitors. No mention that they have onboard GPU, but the 5K monitor does use the Thunderbolt 3 connection to pass all that data. I certainly hope the GPU doesn’t overheat trying to drive it or two of them.

  • The current rumor I can’t confirn nor deny is the Apple version of the Bendy Phone which Samsung and especially Moxi Group have demonstrated. Wrap that Moxi right around your wrist. Now that Apple’s patent for carbon nano-tube technology has surfaced today with implications of a flexible screen my prediction is (check my record) not just a bendy phone but the wristband I let out of the bag with future flexi-retina strip-bar UI.

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