Translation From Apple Lingo to English of Tim Cook’s Year-Ago ‘Why Would You Buy a PC Anymore?’ Comment

This year-ago quote from Tim Cook in an interview with The Telegraph, in the wake of the launch of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, is getting a lot of circulation this week:

“I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?”, asks Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, who has just flown into Britain for the launch of the iPad Pro. […]

“Yes, the iPad Pro is a replacement for a notebook or a desktop for many, many people. They will start using it and conclude they no longer need to use anything else, other than their phones,” Cook argues in his distinctly Southern accent (he was born in Alabama).

People are pointing to this as proof that Tim Cook doesn’t care about the Mac, because he thinks everybody should just switch to an iPad Pro. But here’s the thing, in Apple lingo, the Mac is not a “PC”. A “PC” is a personal computer that runs Windows or Linux or whatever. I’m not splitting hairs here — this is how people inside Apple talk. It’s right there in the opening lines of the years-long “Get a Mac” ad campaign (66 ads!) — “I’m a Mac…”, “… and I’m a PC.”

The second paragraph above shows the difference. In the first paragraph, Cook is questioning why anyone would buy a (Windows/Linux) PC. In the second, he’s saying many people don’t even need a notebook or desktop, period, implicitly including Mac notebooks and desktops. This is true for many people, probably even true for “many, many” people, as Cook says. But even “many, many” is not “most”.

You can argue the sorry state of the Mac hardware lineup is proof that Cook doesn’t properly value the Mac. If this goes on much longer, it’s an unavoidable conclusion. You can also argue, quite possibly correctly, that Cook is too bullish on the iPad. But Cook’s “Why would you buy a PC anymore?” question is only a slam against computers other than Apple’s.

Note too: Tim Cook has an iMac on his desk.

Monday, 31 October 2016