MacDirectory Magazine

Jason Seiler

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 30 of 125

This data is visible in many ways. Browsing data shows mobile overtook PC use this year. Shopping data around Black Friday points in the same direction. Data on user interaction captured by comScore is shown below[2] PC use went from half to a third of time while mobile went the other way: from a third to half of time within only four years. All the data is consistent: mobile use has swept PC use aside. We can see the contrast simply by placing iPhone, Mac and all Windows PC on the same shipment graph. This contrast is spectacular. I bring this contrast up because I believe it is what focuses the minds at Apple. For them it’s pretty clear where the puck is going. And not just now. Mobile has been foreseeable as a disruption to computing a decade ago–at least to some of us. And so what do you with the Mac? To answer this we have to ask what exactly is the purpose of the Mac in the age of the Mobile device? Note that this is not the same as asking what is the PC in this world. The PC is not having to share a resource pool with an iPad/iPhone. It does not have to answer for its existence to a phone. PC makers and Microsoft are not fighting with an usurper in their midst. They may see the outsider challenger but it’s not an inside challenger. This makes all the difference. Indeed, because no usurper was allowed to emerge, PC/Windows never moved to a mobile evolution of computing. Microsoft’s platform future was lost because the antibodies which eat disruptions were left unchecked. But Apple’s immune system was suppressed. It allowed a disruptor to emerge from within. Apple gave birth to its future by suppressing the reaction to that new seemingly parasitic organism. It took an immense willpower to allow this to happen. But it takes us back to the question of what to do with the incumbent, the donor of DNA and resources. The parent that sacrificed for the child. The Mac is thus not treated disparagingly. It deserves and gets respect. It is preserved but with limited responsibilities. Which brings me to the question of what it is allowed to be and hence what it is. It cannot take on the role of being the future. That belongs to the touch screen devices. It will not morph into a touch device any more than a teen’s parent will become cool by putting on skinny jeans. What it will do is become better at what it is hired to do. The key to the Mac therefore becomes that which the iPad/iPhone isn’t: an indirect input device. The keyboard and mouse/trackpad are what define the Mac. The operating system, the apps, the UX, are all oriented around the indirect input method. The iPhone’s capacitive touch brought about the direct input method, a third pivot in input methods (first was mouse, second trackpad/scroll wheel). Each pivot launched a new set of platforms and the Mac is the legacy of the second. It’s not obsolete but it is a decreasing share of engagement. Alternate ways of doing the jobs it does well with direct input are emerging on the third pivot but they are not yet good enough. The children are still adolescent and making lots of stupid mistakes. There’s still life in the parents. The management thus has to focus on how to make the

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