Regardless, the Fifth Age of the Macintosh is at hand. We just don’t know what form it’ll take. The first age began with the original 1984 Mac. The second age was marked by maturity and stability of the environment that came with Mac System Software 6 in 1988. 2001’s OS X did nothing less than save the entire platform. And when Apple finally figured out notebooks – around 2006-2008, with the introductions of the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air – the company brought the sexy back to the Mac.
The next major step could be a revolutionary spin on the Mac that goes way beyond merely keeping pace with modern computing and makes the Mac into an influential platform once more. We can even dare to hope that by building its own CPUs, consolidating the Mac’s hardware design further, and incorporating iPad manufacturing methods, Apple can finally produce a great Mac that sells for way under $900.
Or, it could be equally significant as The Last Version Of MacOS That Apple Ever Ships.
I have a distinct feeling – and I’ve had that feeling for years now – that something big is about to happen to the Mac. I do not believe that the Mac as we know it today will be around for much longer; what form it will take, exactly, is up for debate, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the platform slowly but surely move towards ARM, probably from the bottom (MacBook Air) to the top (Mac Pro). MacOS and iOS aren’t going to become unified in the sense they’re the same on an iPhone and a Mac, but they will run the exact same applications, just with different UIs depending on the input method (and screen size) used.
The upcoming Mac Pro might very well be the last traditional x86 Apple workstation.