Does the recent drop In profits and sales in China for Apple and the rumours of an iPhone SE2 suggest that Apple may be refocusing and making more price conscious products? How might that move show itself in the Mac computer product ranges?
What We Know
At the start of the year, in a letter to investors warning of a profit reduction, Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, explained that the company revenues would be around $84bn for the last three months of 2018, which was down on Apple’s forecast of around $91bn, made just two months earlier. This will mean that Apple is likely to have its first drop in sales in 2 years when it reports the last quarter’s results.
Why Does This Matter?
With the drop in profits largely directed towards a drop in mobile phone sales in China, the rumours of a replacement to the iPhone SE have increased. Tim Cook has pointed towards the economic downturn in China, which has a huge potential market for Apple. However, it seems that the current range of ever larger and more expensive iPhones aren’t hitting the spot, especially in China. Instead, the Chinese market is looking for a more cost effect smartphone, especially when there are many cheaper phones available for other Far East phone manufacturers.
The rumours go on to suggest that what Apple needs, not only for the Chinese market is a phone that costs around $499 rather than what is currently the cheapest iPhone at $749, the iPhone XR. The other issue is that the iPhone XR has a bigger form factor with a 6.1in LCD screen, which may be too big for some markets.
It is being suggested that if Apple produced an iPhone SE2 that it would go along way to rebuilding the lost ground in the Chinese market, as well as being a popular option in other markets for those consumers who want an iPhone but don’t want the larger form factor that comes with the current range of iPhones.
Although the mobile phone market is a big proportion of Apple’s revenue stream, the Mac computers are not small fry. It has been reported that the revenue from Apple’s computer division is expected to bring in around $25bn in 2018. Although it is still nothing like Apple’s revenue from mobile devices, in the computer market it is considered to be a significant amount. For example, if you compare it to the computer giant Dell with all its server market as well as the home and office markets, Dell’s total revenue has been reported at around $80bn.
What if Apple adopted this more budget priced concept, which is being rumoured to be the driving force for producing an iPhone SE2, to its computer ranges?
Perhaps Apple has already seen the light a little with the new Mac Mini 2018. Take a look at this table. I have tried to compare the Mac Mini 2018 with the closest specced iMac, MacBook Pro and Mac Pro. I appreciate they are not identical, however all of them are 6-core, 32GB of RAM and 1TB drive and with regard to the processors I have tried to get the closest possible to the Mac Mini i7 and when it comes to the graphics card I have gone for the base option.
|Computer||Mac Mini 2018 i7||MacBook Pro i7||Mac Pro Trash Can||iMac Pro|
|Processor||3.2GHz 6‑core 8th‑gen Intel Core i7||2.6GHz 6‑core 8th‑gen Intel Core i7||3.5GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5||3.2GHz 8-core Intel Xeon W|
|Memory||32GB 2666MHz DDR4||32GB 2400MHz DDR4||32GB (4x8GB) of 1866MHz DDR3||32GB 2666MHz DDR4|
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 630||Radeon Pro 560X with 4GB
of GDDR5 memory
|Dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs
with 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM each
|Radeon Pro Vega 56 with 8GB
of HBM2 memory
|Storage||1TB SSD storage||1TB SSD storage||1TB PCIe-based SSD||1TB SSD storage|
|Price||$2,499 US Dollars||$3,599 US Dollars||$3,999 US Dollars||$4,999 US Dollars|
|Notes||Its a laptop with a screen||Includes mouse and keyboard and screen!|
For those who have taken a punt on the new Mac Mini 2018 and tried it with macOS Mojave with Pro Tools 2018, the news seems very good with comments like these…
After installing all my plugs, opening relatively high track count sessions, I noticed more CPU power in Pro Tools from the Mini over my 3.5ghz 6 core 2013 MP. The Mini felt more responsive, and I felt like the eGPU helped my screen redraw on my 4k monitor over the old MP.
So - been over a week running my 2018 Mini. Sold my 2013. Working really, really great.
Maybe with the Mac Mini 2018 and the rumoured iPhone SE2, Apple have realised that they need to produce price conscious products as well as the top of the range options like the iMac Pro and the iPhone X.
Do you think Apple has seen the light? What price conscious Mac computers would you like to see? Do share your thoughts in the comments below.