When Apple unveiled the new models of the MacBook Pro, the company might not have expected that it will not appeal to many hardcore Mac users.
The Touch Bar, found in two of the three new MacBook Pro models, is a customizable OLED strip that replaces the traditional function keys in computers. To demonstrate it, Apple used tasks usually carried out by creative professionals, such as tweaking settings in Photoshop and remixing music tracks.
The jury on the overall usefulness of the Touch Bar is still out, especially with the MacBook Pro models that will come with the new feature still not yet released. However, by replacing the function keys, many creative professionals and developers might see huge changes to their workflow, as important tasks could still be tied to the function keys in software that they use.
The computing power provided by the new MacBook Pro might not be enough to cater to developers working on projects in 3D graphics and virtual reality, and with a limited number of USB-C ports, other professionals might find it difficult to purchase and carry around all the necessary dongles that they need.
Creative professionals have been the niche that Apple catered to for previous MacBook Pro models, a market that Apple is now in danger of losing to rival Microsoft and its recently announced Surface Studio.
Looking through the capabilities and shortcomings of the new MacBook Pro, it becomes evident that Apple is not catering to professionals with the computers, which is why power users are up in arms against the supposed update. Apple looks like it is catering more to amateur creatives as opposed to professionals, which is confusing given the “Pro” name of the new computer.
CNET writer Sean Hollister envisioned Apple’s announcement of the new MacBook Pro, but with the name replaced with the MacBook Air, and came up with an arguably better presentation. According to Hollister, the problem lies in the fact that Apple decided to market the new laptops as thinner MacBook Pro models, instead of faster MacBook Air models, despite being practically the same thing. Phil Schiller, the marketing VP for Apple, even said that the 13-inch MacBook Pro with no Touch Bar would appeal to MacBook Air customers.
How well will the new MacBook Pro models perform in the market? That remains to be seen. However, we will never know if the computers would find more success if they are named as new MacBook Air models, a move that might have been a smarter one for Apple.