Is Apple stretching itself too thin? That’s what one writer thinks was made evident at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week. But when Christopher Mims of The Wall Street Journal suggested that it’s time for Apple to kill the Mac to deal with this issue, he kicked off a firestorm of angry comments around the Web.
How many things can Apple be good at?
Mims called the part about Apple Music during last week’s keynote speech a “somewhat incoherent introduction.” He suggested that the best technology companies in the world are able to be “the best” at only two or three things at a time.
For example, he cited Google’s big three as search, Android and advertising, listing the company’s other projects as “a long tail of commitments that sometimes feel like someone’s pet project.” He listed Amazon’s items as Web services, e-commerce and “grand failures like the Fire phone.”
Is Apple stretched too thin?
Because of these examples, he thinks Apple and all of its enormous size are just stretched too thin. The company already makes strong computers, smartphones and tablets and now the Apple Watch. There have been rumors about a new set-top box and Apple TV service and of course the car. He also suggests that Apple has a long way to go to catch up with competitors in cloud services.
As a result, he thinks “showpieces like iMacs with screens that have more pixels than any PC ever” are “impressive,” but he question what Apple might be trying to prove. Further, he suggests that it isn’t in Apple’s best interest to continue spending resources on the Mac because it’s “a last-century technology.”
Sparks fly in the tech community
Mims admits that his suggestion that Apple kill the back is pretty much heresy. It didn’t take long for his controversial article to rack up the comments from readers who were horrified by his suggestion. It’s certainly true that the Mac is no longer Apple’s big money maker, but the segment is still profitable, which begs the question of why the company should dump it. After all, Apple has plenty of cash to throw around, so it has no problem plumping up its workforce more and more to keep cranking out the trendy gadgets with the Apple logo on them.
Macworld contributor Glenn Fleishman suggests that Mims’ article is “yet another variant on the ‘Apple is doomed’ gong.” He notes that Apple has done a good job of keeping its products interconnected, and the Mac fits nicely in the stable with the others. Other companies have not does as well in this respect, although Microsoft is now finally attempting it.
Jonny Evans of Computer World noted that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs once predicted that computers wouldn’t the big thing. He said that they wouldn’t disappear completely but that people would simply interact with them less often.
And these are just a couple of examples of the many voices raised in anger at the thought of the end of the Mac. We could go on forever here.