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Allaying fears that Apple is scaling back Mac desktop development efforts as it concentrates on portables, CEO Tim Cook told employees on Monday that there are exciting products in store for the recently neglected segment.
Pulled from a thread on Apple's internal message board Apple Web, Cook's statement deflates rumors of an impending desktop Mac demise, reports TechCrunch.
Desktop machines are very much a different beast from portables like MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, Cook says. Whereas laptop specs are confined by form factor restrictions, desktops are defined by high performance processors, large screens, ample storage and "a greater variety of I/O." The last feature appears to be a sly nod to recent grumbles about the new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar lineup, which maxes out with four Thunderbolt 3 ports on 15-inch model.
With regular MacBook refreshes far outpacing those of iMac, Mac mini and the Mac Pro, the latter of which turns three years old today, some analysts believe Apple is slowly killing off its desktop offerings. Further, the various MacBook iterations generate more revenue for the company than desktop alternatives.
"Some folks in the media have raised the question about whether we're committed to desktops. If there's any doubt about that with our teams, let me be very clear: we have great desktops in our roadmap," Cook writes. "Nobody should worry about that."
In addition to the Mac desktop promise, Cook also took time to answer another employee question: What do you consider to be Apple's biggest differentiator, and what can employees do to foster and advance those efforts?
As stated and reiterated on many separate occasions, Cook said company culture and people are both keys to Apple's success. In particular, Apple pushes employees to think beyond expectations, and the ilk of worker that comprises the company's core is more than happy to oblige.
"I think it's that 'change the world' attitude and boldness that's deeply embedded in our culture, that 'good isn't good enough.' All of this is the fuel for everything else that we do," Cook says. "From a strategic point of view, we also focus on things where software, hardware and services all come together and bring out the magic that only Apple can. That's our secret sauce. It shows up in a lot of different places, and it's something that we look for in new employees."
Cook's response to the second question is reproduced below:
Our greatest differentiator is our culture and our people. They are the foundation by which everything else comes about. Without great people and a great environment that people can live in, we wouldn't have intellectual property. We wouldn't have the best products. We wouldn't have the inventions or features I mentioned earlier.
I think it's that "change the world" attitude and boldness that's deeply embedded in our culture, that "good isn't good enough." All of this is the fuel for everything else that we do.
From a strategic point of view, we also focus on things where software, hardware and services all come together and bring out the magic that only Apple can. That's our secret sauce. It shows up in a lot of different places, and it's something that we look for in new employees.
You can rarely see precisely where you want to go from the beginning. In retrospect, it's always written like that. But it's rarely like that. The fantastic thing about Apple employees is they get excited about something, and they want to know how it works. What it will do. What its capabilities are. If they want to know about something in an entirely different industry, they start pulling the string and see where it takes them. They're focused more on the journey, which enables so many great things to happen.
Just in the past couple years, pulling that string on Watch and fitness led to ResearchKit, and ResearchKit led to CareKit. We've got a ton of things on our roadmap that I can't talk about, but that I'm incredibly excited about, that are the result of pulling that string and not being bound by the box that so many people in life get bound by.
With so many things that we've done, we don't do it because there's an return on investment. We don't do it because we know exactly how we're going to use it. We do it because it's clear it's interesting and it might lead somewhere. A lot of the time it doesn't, but many times it leads us somewhere where we had no idea in the beginning.