Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple’s Pro Mac Reboot, Five Years Later

How times have changed since Apple held that infamous “roundtable” discussion five years ago.

At the time, and for the next couple of years, the Mac was in its blunder years. Many models had not been updated in years, and still had some way to go even after this discussion. Every laptop was equipped with an unreliable keyboard. There was a sense Apple was uninterested in the Mac, and may perhaps discontinue its highest-end desktop hardware, which sold “a single-digit percent” of all Macs.

This discussion reset expectations. Apple really was committed to the Mac, even in its most niche markets, and it wanted to do things right. Five years later, the difference is a complete transformation. Then, it was hard for me to recommend any Mac to a friend; now, the Mac lineup is a question of what level of performance and excellence you desire. This press meeting felt like a turning point from one extreme to the other — eventually.

High on my wish list of articles for someone with the right connections to write is a deeply reported look at the Mac’s doldrums. It cannot all be due to stagnation in Intel’s processor lineup around the same time, or any one individual. Something else happened — or, more likely, many somethings else. I want to know what they are.