Confirming earlier reports, Apple unveiled the long-rumored new 16-inch MacBook Pro on Wednesday. The first major update to the MacBook Pro line in three years features a slightly bigger and sharper screen than its 15-inch predecessor, adding louder speakers, better microphones and an improved keyboard to the mix. Starting at $2,399, the 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with a similar price tag as the 15-inch version that it’s going to replace. The fact that the new member of the MacBook family was announced rather unceremoniously via press release speaks volumes of the role that the Mac is playing at Apple in 2019: a supporting role to the main act – the iPhone.
In the recently ended fiscal year 2019, the company formerly known as Apple Computer generated $25.74 billion in revenue selling what it was originally named after: computers. And while that makes Apple’s Mac business of 2019 roughly four times as large as it was at the turn of the century, selling laptops and desktop computers has never been less important to the company’s overall success as it currently is. Mac sales may have quadrupled over the past two decades, but Apple’s total sales increased more than 30-fold over the same period.
While the release of the first iMac in 1998 marked the beginning of Steve Jobs’ second stint at Apple and the company's return to form, the Mac line has done little more than lay the groundwork for what makes Apple the most valuable company in the world two decades later. As the following chart illustrates, Mac computers gradually lost relevance to Apple as the company introduced one blockbuster product after another (think iPod, iPhone and iPad) in the first decade of the 21st century. In 2019, Mac sales accounted for just 9.9 percent of Apple’s total revenue, down from 86 percent in 2000.