This week Apple killed the MacBook until further notice.
Apple couched it as a “transition” away from Intel but the net effect is the same: any Intel-based MacBook Pro or MacBook Air you buy from here on out is ultimately dead in the water.
Here’s some simple advice: don’t buy a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.
People who know a lot about Mac hardware are offering that advice too.
PC World Executive Editor Gordon Mah Ung offered similar guidance this week: “Why Apple’s move from Intel to ARM means we should stop buying Macs”
As did others, including: You shouldn’t buy a new Mac right now (MacWorld).
Here’s what Ung said.
“There’s a practical, real reason why you shouldn’t drop $1,500 or $4,500 on a new Mac: You’ll be abandoned.” —PC World, June 22, 2020
I would offer this as a rough analogy: would you buy a Windows phone? Yeah, it’ll work and run some apps but it’s a dead platform — and good luck getting any support. That kind of scenario may be in the not-too-distant-future for Intel-based Macs.
I asked PC World’s Ung about Apple’s transition to its A Series processors.
“I would be concerned that longer term—even if Apple doesn’t dump Intel-based Macs overboard as quickly as it did PowerPC Macs—optimizations won’t flow as fast since it will be a legacy platform,” he told me in an email.
That bothers me too. There is little incentive for Apple to optimize going forward, i.e., less need to ensure Intel processors run smoothly, efficiently on macOS.
If I bought*, for instance, a 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro, there would always be that nagging feeling that a glitch or overheating or slow performance or buggy software would be due to a lack of support and/or focus from Apple.
I could wrong. But, then again, I could be right. That doubt alone kills the deal.
Barring unexpected snafus in the transition of the Mac to Apple’s processors, buying an Intel-based MacBook doesn’t make any sense.
“Intel Macs will soon be those curiosities sitting at the corner Mac Repair shop yellowing in the sun with the PowerPC macs,” Ung told me.
*Until Apple’s announcement, I was planning to buy the high-end 2020 Core i7 MacBook Pro 13. I’ll wait for the ARM Macs.