Mac: Lack of hardware updates costing Apple customers

Some of Apple’s Mac customers are leaving the company’s ecosystem. Is anybody at Apple paying attention to this quiet exodus from the Mac?

Apple is beginning to get a bad reputation when it comes to Mac hardware updates. The company has gotten quite a bit of criticism recently for not updating its Mac line of computers on a regular basis.

And now Apple is beginning to lose customers as folks tire of waiting for updates to the Mac Pro, Mac mini and other Mac products. Two interesting articles have appeared recently that I wanted to share here with my readers.

The first article covers a user's move from macOS to Linux (elementary OS), and the second illustrates a user's exit from Apple's ecosystem and then his subsequent return despite deep misgivings about the company's future direction.

elementary OS as a replacement for macOS

A writer at Bit Cannon recently wrote two articles designed to help users move from macOS to a different operating system. Part 1 of the series examined the options available and part 2 (which I’ve excerpted below) focuses on using elementary OS as a replacement for macOS.

There’s also a video version of the post below that’s worth checking out, and a follow up discussion on Reddit.

Wesley Moore writes for Bit Cannon:

I’m going to continue using Arch at work and home. I’ll also keep an eye on, and continue to support elementary. I think the elementary team is definitely on the right track but they probably need to give some thought to the base it’s built upon. A Long Term Support (LTS) release makes sense for servers but for a desktop I think it’s the wrong choice.

The next frontier is Linux on my MacBook. I think that will be more of a test, particularly with hardware support (especially WiFi and trackpad).

This experiment has consumed days of my time at this point and the result is not in any way as polished as macOS. For the type of work I do and how I like to do it, it is still a productive environment though. Plus there is the added benefit of access to much more up-to-date, varied hardware than Apple is offering at the moment.

I may still have the shine of novelty attached to my experience so far. Time will tell if that fades and it becomes frustrating or remains a productive environment. I’ll continue to attempt to shift my computing needs to Arch. As always I’ll be posting as I go.

More at Bit Cannon

I don’t blame Wesley Moore for looking for an alternative operating system to macOS. When Apple isn’t offering Mac hardware that you want to buy, you either have to move to a new operating system so you can use non-Mac hardware, or try to cobble together a Hackintosh that may or may not work right when Apple releases system updates.

In Wesley’s case he decided to give Linux a whirl, and it may pay off for him in the end. That’s not to say that such a transition from macOS to Linux is easy, but it might be worth doing if you want control over the hardware that your OS runs on.

A user leaves Apple’s ecosystem and then returns

Another user who happens to be a developer recently left Apple’s ecosystem and then returned, partly because of a lack of Mac hardware updates.

Tony Heupel writes on his blog:

I’ll be writing another post shortly to share more details about this, but let’s just say that the experience of developing an app for iOS made me start questioning Apple's ability to keep things together long-term.

Add to that the lack of updates for Macs (which I NEED to do my job), the removal of the headphone jack (I use bluetooth a lot, but also have noise cancelling Bose headphones), and now the TouchBar along with continued slimming of devices when all I want is full-day use of my laptop without charging, I have spent the last 6 months considering a switch away from the Apple ecosystem.

So, hedging my bets and moving away from Apple products and putting my money where my mouth is, I have come to this conclusion: while I’m VERY, VERY concerned for Apple and it’s impacts on me as a developer and therefore on my family, I simply think Apple has made the best tradeoffs when it comes to these devices I use every day, all day.

More at Tony Heupel’s blog

As you can tell from Tony’s post, leaving Apple’s ecosystem is not easy for many people. His experience was mixed and he ended up mostly returning to the Apple mothership. But he was also left very concerned by Apple’s current state, and unsure of what will happen in the future.

Apple needs to update the Mac regularly

Both of these posts show that Mac users are facing a time of great uncertainty, and are already investigating other options for their computing needs. Apple would do well to wake up and realize that treating the Mac like a second-rate product is a very, very dangerous thing to do. Once people dump their Macs, it becomes easier to dump their iPhones and iPads as well.

Apple needs to start providing a clear road-map for the Mac, and then it needs to begin regular Mac hardware updates. The current bumbling, silence and apathy is causing some Mac users to begin quietly exiting Apple’s ecosystem. Apple is beginning to lose formerly devoted Mac customers, and I think we’re just seeing the very tip of what might be a gigantic iceberg aimed straight at the heart of the company's Mac business.

Are you listening, Tim?

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Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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