Macs: September doesn’t seem right to me

John Gruber on the lack of Mac updates and when they could be coming:

Something unusual is certainly going on. We have to get updated MacBook Pros and Mac Pros soon (September?), right?

I agree completely that there has to be updates coming for various products in the Mac lineup at some point, but September just doesn’t seem right to me. Assuming Apple keeps September as its iPhone event, as its done over the past few years, the company will want to keep the focus on iPhone and nothing else.

If there is a distraction, it would be for the release of iOS, which is complementary to the iPhone. Macs don’t fit in there at all. One of two things would happen: Either the Macs would take away from the importance of the iPhone release, or the Macs would get ignored completely. Neither one of those scenarios are good for Apple or the Mac products.

  • DMac

    I’m suspecting new iOS devices in September, along with a new Apple Watch. Then in October new Macs and updated Apple TV hardware. (Either with an A10 or A9 processor.)

    They’ll want to get the whole line up updated in time for Christmas. But they’re going to wait until the student rush is over, so that they don’t have to give away new Beats headphones to people buying new Macs. (Plus students will help clear out whatever inventory is left.)

    • komocode

      Apple TV doesn’t need to be updated.

      • Jules Hobbes

        Well, it does. Digital audio out. That’s why I am not buying the new ATV.

        • komocode

          Lots of TV’s since 2007 have those ports built in. It’s unlikely Apple will bulk up the device even more to include digital audio out. Especially when it was included in the previous gen.

          • Jules Hobbes

            I’m not talking about a TV. My ATV is hooked up to a beamer, and digital audio to a very good stereo system. I don’t want another box to split HDMI into video and audio. That would be un-Apple.

          • komocode

            i’ve never got complicated with my home theatre system so I don’t know what you mean by that. if your TV had the digital audio port, plug it in there? HDMI already supplies the audio information.

          • Jules Hobbes

            I meant what I said. The Hdmi of my ATV goes straight to the beamer, the audio straight to the stereo. The beamer has no audio out, so with the new ATV I would need a splitter to get digital audio for the stereo.

          • komocode

            I don’t know what a beamer is. Either way: including more ports is highly unlikely. Apple’s direction seems to make the assumption that the TV is the hub for everything. Therefore, put all ports onto the TV instead of any other dangling box near the TV. As long as we satisfy that constraint, we get rid of extra boxes near the TV, get rid of extra remotes, get rid of multiple sources of video information, and etc…

          • lin2log

            Then you just plain have A CRAPPY STEREO. Because if you had one that suited your “superior needs”, then IT would have HDMI in and out! As mine does, which is why I have DIGITAL AUDIO from any and every source AND DIGITAL VIDEO going to my beamer from there! Like anyone with half a clue would do.

          • Jules Hobbes

            Sorry, you are just a crappy idiot.

            High end stereo systems give a shit about HDMI in and out, because those guys are not interested in stupid video.

          • Please stop the personal attacks and insults. Stick to the discussion.

          • lin2log

            LOL!! Oh riiiiiiiiight… there is not ONE high-end receiver with HDMI connections out there, right??! LOL!! You painfully clueless blowhard!! Not a STICH of expertise, but a mouth the size of a barn door. Love it.

          • slippyr4

            To refuse to add ports to a device that arguably few users actually use is very apple. I mean, they’re about to remove the 3.5mm jack from the iPhone so an optical digital out on the Apple TV has to be a vanishingly small chance.

        • tylernol

          yeah I had the same issue, but Apple is just not going to put it back in for what is a small minority of apple users. Get a splitter, or get the airport express , it still has toslink. You can airplay from the appletv to the airport express for tv audio or airplay straight to the airport express from an iPhone,Macbook,etc for audio.

  • Merckel

    Macs don’t warrant a separate event, and I’m not really expecting an October event either, because new iPads aren’t going to happen in the fall. I think it’s going to happen in September at the beginning of the event. The wild cars is a new Watch. If a big upgrade, then look for Apple to combine new Macs with the new Watch hardware in Oct. Otherwise, all three will be on stage in Sept. I think Gruber is right on this.

    • Shameer Mulji

      Agreed. Although, I think the new Macs will be the “one more thing.”

      I see one big September Event: iPhone, Watch 2, new Macs

  • kps

    It should have been announced before the next iPhone and it should have happened at WWDC. Apple often misses the ideal window for back-to-school purchases. A Mac refresh is more pregnant than a major slip of the San Andreas. Sadly, my money is on the latter now that I’ve come to also measure Mac refreshes (especially the Pro) on a geologic timescale.

    • komocode

      They miss the window for back-to-school purchases on purpose. When you need something for school, you don’t want for a new model. It’s a necessity.

  • site7000

    On the other hand, if the iPhone 7 is as minimal an update as predicted and the Macbook updates are as hefty as predicted, they might provide a “something new and exciting” buzz that the iPhone alone won’t produce.

  • First of all, Apple is not gonna combine iPhone + Mac events. Not this year, at least, since Mac has a major upgrade. iPhone has quite a major upgrade too. What will happen is Apple will first get iPhone announcement out of the way some time in September 19-26, then followed by Mac event at the end of October.

    • teatea

      I guess only the future can tell.

  • John

    Wireless everywhere this fall?

  • monkeyrun

    Looks to me whenever the new MacOS goes Gold Master is when we will see new Mac Hardware.

    • Shameer Mulji

      The last two years, that occurred in October, but since iOS 9.0, iOS & macOS releases have been happening simultaneously. So who knows, this year might be different.

  • underscore

    I just bought an Amazon Echo and within 10 minutes I realized how much I’m losing by living in Apple’s walled garden. I ended my auto-renewal for Apple music, moved my ITunes library to Amazon’s “my music” cloud and signed up with spotify. I have access to all my stuff again.

    Maybe this isn’t directly related to Apple’s iOS obsession but it kinda feels like it is…

    • Max P.

      You made me curious so I checked out Amazon Music and … it requires Flash. Sorry, hard pass.

    • As as long time subscriber, but lover of, Spotify and iTunes Match, Amazon Prime Music is quite frankly horrible.

  • Bob Brent

    The ideal timing for a Mac announcement would be early August to allow Apple to reduce current inventory and lock in back-to-school MacBook purchases—where they really are the laptop of choice.

  • JohnDoey

    The current Mac lineup is the same as 2006, before iPhone shipped. I hope the delay in updates means we are getting designed-in-2015 Macs that belong in this decade. For example, when I buy an iMac to be a Photoshop workstation 24/7, I want to buy it with Apple Pencil, not Apple Mouse or Trackpad. When I buy a portable Mac to use 24/7 in music, I want one without the useless mechanical keyboard that only gets in my way.

    I have been wanting a new Mac for a while but there is no model that interests me because I can get faster CPU but the real speed increase would come from multitouch and Apple Pencil. Also, I just don’t want to buy another Wacom Tablet when Pencil is better.

    • rick gregory

      I’m curious… “or example, when I buy an iMac to be a Photoshop workstation 24/7, I want to buy it with Apple Pencil…” — why? Are you saying you want the iMac to be touchscreen or… what?

      • Could just get this:

        A 32GB iPad Pro 9.7 WiFi Only with Pencil and this AstroPad app is cheaper than a Cintiq? Wonder if it’s more or less responsive…

        Anyway, there are options without Apple making some kind of Frankenstein-monster Mac that does everything all of us geeks want it to do, because, we gotta have it or else we’re going to buy Windows or go Linux (like that has ever been a threat to Apple — they keep chugging along regardless).

    • Merckel

      You’re going to be disappointed. There will be no “convertibility” of the laptop that includes display-touch functionality. The WinTel tried to sell this stuff and failed miserably. Why in God’s name would Apple follow failure?

  • rick gregory

    Thoughts on new Macs with the release of Sierra? Perhaps October with other new things (i.e. if they update the iPads, Watch, TV)?

  • It is pretty obvious to this bystander with some skin in the game that the Macs are clearly not all that important to Apple, and certainly not the Mac Pro, when compared to the iPhone. They may get around to it, but certainly not at this event. A quiet release of modest upgrades with maybe a press release, most likely the Macbook Pro getting a solid update and the rest just incremental bumps, with a notice in the Apple Store website. Pay attention, you might miss it. Expect no media event.

    I also don’t expect a Mac Pro update at all. Intel doesn’t have the appropriate chips ready in bulk yet (Intel doesn’t even prioritize workstations any more), and the Pro has even less mindshare than the iMacs or Macbooks, much less market share. Strictly speaking, despite techno-lust, the current Mac Pro no longer fits my use case–and relative poverty. As A Graphic Designer, when my current Pro gets outdated and demoted to Workstation #2 by an inevitable software release – my needs will probably be better served by a tricked-out iMac, and I’ll probably be getting more up-to-date hardware! My mid-2010 Pro, one of last of the towers, is already incapable of running many the software updates in Mac OS!

  • Andrej Gregov

    Often Apple operates in threes. The likeliest updates according to the rumor mill would most likely be iPhone 7, Watch 2 and Macbook Pro. Since new industrial design updates are not expected with the iPhone and Watch this year, that would make the event a bit of a let down. A new Macbook Pro model would jazz things up. Also worth mentioning, iOS 10 and Sierra plug nicely into phone and laptop releases.

  • Anthony Sorendino

    The iPhone has shared the stage with iPad Pro, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. I can’t see how “Apple will want to keep focus on iPhone and nothing else” makes any sense when taking history into consideration.

  • foljs

    Assuming Apple keeps September as its iPhone event, as its done over the past few years, the company will want to keep the focus on iPhone and nothing else.

    Already we know they’ll use the event for the iWatch as well…