OWC Founder and CEO Larry O’Connor took some time to answer questions and offer thoughts on what he saw from Apple on Monday at the 2014 edition of WWDC, and on what the future might hold. Apple previewed the future of OS X with Yosemite along with iOS 8 at the annual conference in San Francisco.
What were your overall thoughts on the 2014 WWDC? Were you surprised by anything?
I’m surprised that there was no new hardware shown off. I like the OS X direction, but I’m concerned that it’s mainly consumer focused. There are some nice features, but nothing ground breaking for focused production environments. Overall it seemed relatively light on the Apple Mac side of the fence vs. the iOS side.
What do you think the 2014 WWDC says about the direction of Apple?
Nothing that hasn’t been apparent for years now in terms of path to intersection with iOS and OS X. For now, and the reasonable future, I do very much like that it is more symbiotic with cross functionality aspects. Neither truly replaces the other and the user experience is becoming far more enhanced with the utilization of both together. I saw a lot of griping that Apple was just copying, catching up – I’d argue Apple has had these features and functions in the plan for years and the Apple experience will continue to be second to none.
My biggest concern is that while the clear focus is on the consumer end and there are nice Enterprise security features throughout – when it comes to the Macintosh part of the equation, the focus on the pro user/business production user end of the equation is a distant second. That said – they still have a platform that remains tops for creative professionals and work groups. I just don’t want a lack of priority there to result in that changing. It’s an interesting reverse trickle in some respects.
Was there anything you were expecting that didn’t come to fruition?
Probably too early to ask … We need to see if Apple yet throws some new hardware out there over the next few weeks. Even if it’s just a new Thunderbolt HD and 4K display to expand line up and replace current Thunderbolt display. To me, it is embarrassing that the only Apple branded display today is now over 3 years old and provides only Thunderbolt 10Gb/s and USB 2 connectivity. Just a simple update with Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 ports would be a nice improvement.
Were you disappointed by the lack of new hardware?
I certainly expected a taste of new hardware, but we’ll see what the next couple weeks bring. May yet see something or may be waiting till the fall.
What do you expect from Apple in the coming months and throughout 2014?
A Mac mini refresh is well overdue. I am concerned they will destroy what makes the mini a winner – and short of a more basic processor & GPU speedup/refresh, I very much expect to be disappointed in what the next mini delivers. I still have hope, but not holding my breath.
MacBook Pro 13″ – the last flexible, truly pro model all but certain to be replaced with a 12″ Retina entry-level model. We shall see. There’s also potential for it to simply be retired, but it appears to still be selling well.
New Apple TV likely will have it’s own special event…
New displays and perhaps even Apple 4K “TVs”. If nothing else, how can they not be getting an update out there on the 3-year-old Thunderbolt 27″ Display…. 10Gb/s and USB 2.0? Really… at least kick it up to 20Gb/s Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 on the hub ports. It would be very convenient to have a good display with integrated TB hub for one connection to all.
I’d like to see the Mac Pro updated to have more than three independent Thunderbolt channels – move it up to 6 vs. the current 3 at least. 4K displays are bandwidth hogs (take down 14Gb/s of a 20GB/s channel) and leave little for other connected devices. More Thunderbolt channels on the Mac Pros would be welcome for many users.