Mark Gurman, reporting in his Power On newsletter for Bloomberg:

Over the past several years, Apple appeared to be shifting away from making devices as thin and light as possible. The MacBook Pro got thicker to accommodate bigger batteries, more powerful processors, and more ports. The Apple Watch got a heftier option as well: an Ultra model with more features and a longer life. And the iPhone was fattened up a bit too, making room for better cameras and more battery power.

When Apple unveiled the new iPad Pro in May, it marked a return to form. The company rolled out a super-thin tablet with the same battery life as prior models, an impressive screen, and an M4 chip that made it as powerful as a desktop computer. In other words, Apple has figured out how make its devices thinner again while still adding major new features. And I expect this approach to filter down to other devices over the next couple of years.

I’m told that Apple is now focused on developing a significantly skinnier phone in time for the iPhone 17 line in 2025. It’s also working to make the MacBook Pro and Apple Watch thinner. The plan is for the latest iPad Pro to be the beginning of a new class of Apple devices that should be the thinnest and lightest products in their categories across the whole tech industry.

We do not need this. I’d much rather take extra battery life, which has suffered in recent years, on most of Apple’s product lines than thinness, which doesn’t make sense to obsess over on “professional” products. While I do support making the MacBook Air or Apple Watch thinner, the MacBook Pro should be off-limits because there’s always more to add to that product. Imagine a thicker MacBook Pro with a larger battery and M4 Ultra processor, for example — or perhaps better cooling or improved speakers. The entire premise of the “Pro” lineup is inherently to pack the maximum amount of features into the product as possible.

Jony Ive, Apple’s former design chief who obsessed over thinness to the point where Apple’s products began to suffer severely, is slowly inching his way back into the company, albeit not directly. He clearly still has influence over the top designers, and now that Evans Hankey, who succeeded Ive, has also left the company, there’s a lack of direction from within. Take the iPhones 17 Pro, for example: Last year, Apple already thinned the phone down significantly, but now it wants to do that again, even when battery life has suffered. No iPhone has had better battery life than iPhone 13 Pro Max, and that was not a fluke. That model was one of the thickest iPhones Apple had offered before 2021, but users loved it.

I shouldn’t need to reiterate this basic design principle to Apple’s engineers over and over again. There should be a limit to sleekness, and when every other company is focusing on adding more features and larger batteries to their products each year, Apple should do the same — not go in the other direction. I don’t want the MacBook Pro to become thinner, even though I think it’s heavy and cumbersome to carry around, because its power will inevitably suffer. The reaction to this statement is always something like: “Apple made the iPad Pro thinner and it still works fine,” but that’s a misunderstanding. If Apple kept the thickness the same — the iPad Pro was already thin enough, in my opinion — but added the organic-LED display, which is more compact, it could’ve added a larger battery which would address the iPad’s abysmal standby time.

I’m not frustrated by Apple’s thinness spiel with the iPad mostly because I don’t think of the iPad as a “professional” device. I do, however, take offense to Apple applying the same flawed mentality to arguably its most professional product, the MacBook Pro. Apple can do what it wants to the MacBook Air, the lower-end iPhones, or even the iPad — but it shouldn’t think in even remotely the same direction in relation to the high-end important products.