"To customers who are coming in at these price points, the Mac looks old and has older features and specs than those in other product lines," Baker said, referring to competitors that sell Windows-based premium PCs.
Those rivals, which include Microsoft itself, have learned from Apple. "In the last 6, 9, 12 months, Windows guys have picked up their game considerably," Baker said.
But old wasn't the only explanation for the Mac's problems. "It's clearly not the whole reason," said Baker, who then went on to argue that Apple's own shift in emphasis toward the iPad Pro has had an impact. "You can't dismiss the idea that some people are moving from Macs to iPad Pros. It's one of the unrecognized issues in the challenge to sell Macs."
Apple will live-stream its Thursday event -- where most expect to see revamped MacBook Pro and MacBook notebooks -- starting at 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET) from its website.
Mac sales declined 14% in the September quarter (Q3 16), marking the fourth straight downturn.
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