An open letter to Tim Cook

Dear Tim,

I am a 28-year-old IT professional. Computers have always been a massive part of my life. Growing up, I used PCs and Macs at home and school. Eventually, PCs became my dominant platform, but in 2006, as the Intel transition was underway, I wanted to rediscover the Mac. I saved up my money and bought the very first Intel Mac mini. It didn’t take long for me to decide that the Mac was the computer for me. I didn’t want to own a PC anymore. The Mac was a vastly superior experience; the hardware was robust yet meticulously designed, and the beauty and elegance of the operating system belied its power. Windows felt trashy by comparison, and PC hardware was inconsistent and messy. Today, ten years later, I’ve been the proud owner of many Macs, and I’ve been a champion for Apple computers at every job I’ve held. I’ve also owned every generation of iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. My home is an Apple home, and I’m proud of that.

I’m writing today because I’m worried about the future of the Mac. I understand that iOS devices are the future. My boss is constantly blown away by how much work I get done on my iPad. But the computer at my desk is still a Mac, and I wouldn’t be able to do my job without it. In addition to providing IT support for almost 500 people, I also work with media. I work in Final Cut and Logic. My job involves creative work, and I consider myself a pro user as well as a technology enthusiast. I would like to think that I am part of the group of creative professionals that Apple gear particularly appeals to.

I am also the person my family and friends come to for technology advice. This year has been difficult. I have had people ask me what Mac they should buy. The state of the Mac lineup this year made that question a hard one to feel good about answering. I have watched the Mac line languish. The recent news about external displays, macOS automation, and AirPort routers only heighten my fears about the future. I’m not excited about connecting an ugly third-party display to my Mac, nor do I look forward to buying a Linksys or Netgear when the time comes to replace my AirPort, which has been the most reliable piece of network equipment I’ve owned. Apple’s hardware has often been described as magical, but today Apple seems not to care about the widening gaps in that experience.

I fear Apple is sending a very unclear message about the Mac. I don’t believe that the Mac no longer matters to Apple as much as it does to its users, but I don’t think people can be faulted for thinking it looks that way. It would mean a lot to have some clarity regarding the future of the Mac, because right now we just don’t know. That’s scary for a lot of people who love and depend on Apple for its computers. Are desktop Macs dead? Will there never be another Mac Pro? Why is this the right decision for your users? Can you provide or recommend something else for people who depend on this type of hardware? Tell us there is a vision here. We trust you; we will listen. But the silence is doing a lot more damage than it needs to.

Thanks for taking the time to read. The new MacBook Pro looks great. I hope there’s more to come.

Danny Stewart