July 26, 2017

Apple Planning Major Mac Pro Refresh

05 April 2017, 02:02 | Muriel Sparks

Justin Sullivan Apple is planning a major overhaul of the Mac Pro its high-end desktop computer

Mac Pro

Today, Apple announced that a new Mac Pro is coming someday that should please its most faithful fans.

No longer. Apple is "completely rethinking" the Mac Pro, SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller recently told a small group of reporters. During a round table conference with a handful of journalists at Apple's Machine Shop hardware prototyping lab, Schiller revealed in an interview to BuzzFeed that the company is now invested in rethinking the whole Mac Pro. Schiller also said Apple is working on a new display for the device, which would fill a bizarrely empty slot in the company's lineup. They aren't shipping, however, this year. Apple didn't actually say when they would be available; we just know it won't be in 2017. The $2,999 now has a 6 core CPU instead of 4, and includes dial AMD G500 GPUs instead of the G300. The Mac Pro, why it has taken Apple so long to update it, and Apple's commitment to the professional market.

There have been rumblings and dissatisfaction with the current state of Apple's "pro" lineup for a while now: the current Mac Pro is based on almost four year old hardware and hasn't been updated since its introduction in June of 2013. Commenting on the current Mac Pro, Terns said: "It served its objective well", he said.

And while "pro" Mac users makes up just a fraction of Apple's total audience, it's good optics to keep them happy, and many of them are likely developers that Apple will want to develop future iPhone apps.

But no Mac Pro this year.

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The situation was bad enough that AAPL staged this event to assure everyone that it hasn't abandoned the Mac or its professional users. "Please. Really, were going to fix this".

Apple's iMacs, which are traditionally designed for home consumer use, have received a bit more attention than the Mac Pro and have at least been updated on a slightly more regular cadence. And now you look at today's 5K iMac, top configs, it's incredibly powerful, and a huge fraction of what would've traditionally - whether it's audio editing, video editing, graphics, arts and so forth - that would've previously absolutely required the Mac Pros of old, are being well-addressed by iMac. "We're going to begin making configurations of iMac specifically with the pro customer in mind".

It's possible the iMac is popular with pro users because in many ways it out performs the aging Mac Pro. In recent months, several Apple users have declared their frustration with pro-level Macs, even threatening to move to Windows PCs. According to him, Cook's company divulged there is now a "completely rethought" Mac Pro in the works, and this one will come with a modular design.

Odds are Apple is concerned too many users are choosing option three and wants to stop those losses. The iMac is also due for an upgrade, although it's in less dire need than the Mac Pro; Schiller says an iMac spec bump is slated for "this year". It's been four years since the Mac Pro got a significant update, but that's changing.

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