It took a while, but Tim Cook has finally spoken about Apple’s desktop Macs.
In a Q & A session on Apple’s intranet, the CEO responded to the strategic importance of desktop Macs:
We had a big MacBook Pro launch in October and a powerful upgrade to the MacBook back in the spring. Are Mac desktops strategic for us?
The desktop is very strategic for us. It’s unique compared to the notebook because you can pack a lot more performance in a desktop — the largest screens, the most memory and storage, a greater variety of I/O, and fastest performance. So there are many different reasons why desktops are really important, and in some cases critical, to people.
The current generation iMac is the best desktop we have ever made and its beautiful Retina 5K display is the best desktop display in the world.
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. Nobody should worry about that.
What do you consider to be Apple’s biggest differentiator, and what can employees do to foster and advance those efforts?
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.
I just hope that Cook’s comment about the iMac is not a hint that the Mac Pro will be discontinued.
It has a bit of the cryptic “CEO speech”, but Cook’s talk does show the differentiated position that Apple historically occupies in the technology market. May this differentiation bring the Apple line to new and interesting places!