On Thursday, Apple began “sales of its iMac Pro, a more powerful version of iMac aimed a professional users,” Mark Hibben writes for Seeking Alpha. “The lowest end ‘standard configuration’ (available now) lists for $4999, while the highest end (available in 6-8 weeks) maxes out at $13,199. Certainly, the pricing is ‘professional,’ but I find myself wondering how many professionals will be drawn to the iMac Pro.”

“There are many professionals who would have no use for the iMac Pro. Most machine-learning researchers would prefer to run their software on an Nvidia (NVDA) Tesla V100, or the new Titan V. These have become the standard platforms for AI development,” Hibben writes. “In short, the iMac Pro is more Prosumer than Professional. It’s more for traditional Mac users who simply want and can afford more power than had been available in the iMac until now. There’s nothing wrong with this, as Mac users have needed more powerful iMacs for some time. But I suspect that the market for the iMac Pro is very limited and that sales will not significantly impact Mac revenue in the quarters to come.”

Apple's all new iMac Pro staring at $4999

Apple’s all new iMac Pro staring at $4999

“In light of the ongoing work on the next Mac Pro, the iMac Pro feels like something of a stopgap. But Apple clearly needs more than a stopgap. While the iMac Pro is a nice machine, it suffers from the same inflexibility that doomed the Mac Pro [trashcan],” Hibben writes. “Hopefully, Schiller’s statement about the need for a modular system will mean the return of PCIE to the Mac. PCIE slots would afford Mac Pro users a choice of what type and how many GPUs to include in the system, as well as a wide variety of video capture cards. And hopefully, this time aesthetics will not trump practicality. The PC box may not be exciting to Apple’s designers, but it has probably been the right answer all along.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There is a market for a sealed, very powerful Mac. Most professionals who will purchase the iMac Pro look at it in terms of cost per year. A $6,000 iMac Pro that will be used for the next 36 months and then “upgraded” simply by buying a new one is an expenditure of $2,000 per year or less than the cost of a well-equipped MacBook Pro.

Of course, there is also a viable market for a true, modular, expandable Mac Pro.

Different tools for different users and different jobs.

Satisfying the upper-end of Mac-using professionals is vastly more important that the revenue that can be generated from the market. These are the vocal opinion-makers. Trifle with them at your own risk. — MacDailyNews, April 6, 2017

Let’s hope Apple’s brass has now awoken from their years-long stupor — coffee table books, self-aggrandizing headquarters, Christmas trees (!)* and get back to doing some real work so that Mac-using professionals can, too.

*All of which add up to time that could have and obviously should have been spent building a Mac Pro that Mac professionals actually want.MacDailyNews, April 7, 2017

Make the next-gen Mac Pro expandable, extensible, and flexible, Apple, and the Mac professionals will beat a path to your door – but, for Jobs’ sake, do it sooner than later!MacDailyNews, April 11, 2017

Whatever artwork Apple comes up with, as long as it’s properly extensible, professional Mac users will consider it a masterpiece.MacDailyNews, April 14, 2017

Don’t overthink it, Apple. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Just use modern parts and give Mac-using professionals the extensibility that they require.MacDailyNews, May 1, 2017

Apple should include an apology from Tim Cook and every upper level manager responsible for the last 4+ years of stupefied inaction inside every box. Back in 2013, when Apple said the new Mac Pro was “stunning,” little did anyone know they were referring to themselves.MacDailyNews, May 11, 2017

Here’s hoping Apple’s properly chastened by their painfully obvious mismanagement of the desktop professional Mac and they do actually deliver a user-extensible Mac Pro instead of another dead-end vanity project. If Apple fails here again, it’ll be the last straw for professionals who need powerful, expandable, configurable Macintosh computers.MacDailyNews, May 8, 2017

Apple’s monstrously potent iMac Pro is for these professional computer users – December 14, 2017
How pros are already using Apple’s powerful iMac Pro – December 14, 2017
Apple’s iMac Pro, the most powerful Mac ever made, is now available starting at $4,999 – December 14, 2017