Apple reportedly mulling the end of Mac Pro line

“Despite the coming availability of a new generation of Sandy Bridge desktop CPUs suitable for advancing Apple’s Mac Pro line, the company has reportedly been evaluating whether to continue to invest in furthering its full-sized workstation line beyond this year in the face of limited sales,” Kasper Jade reports for AppleInsider.

“Although the Mac maker has reportedly developed a revision to the existing Mac Pro that may or may not see the light of day, people familiar with the matter said management as far back as May of 2011 were in limbo over whether to pour any additional resources into the product line,” Jade reports.

“According to these people, the consensus among sales executives for the Cupertino-based company was that the Mac Pro’s days — at least in its current form — were inevitably numbered,” Jade reports. “In particular, internal discussions were said to focus around the fact that sales of the high-end workstations to both consumers and enterprises have dropped off so considerably that the Mac Pro is no longer a particularly profitable operation for Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]

104 Comments

    1. Just wondering, are you looking for better performance than the latest high end iMac for photoshop? What kind of upgrade(s) were you hoping for.

      Don’t mean to sound like a Apple Marketing person….just someone who is interested.

    2. I’ve been a Photoshop Pro for over 15 years. You don’t need a Mac Pro for Photoshop. Just load up an iMac with RAM and you’re set. If you had said Premiere or After Effects, or a 3D program, then I would agree with you.

      Photoshop. No.

        1. The problem being that Premiere and AfterEffects and Encore run quite well on Windows PCs and even include some features not available on the Mac (such as Blu-Ray authoring). The 3D software I use (SolidWorks) is only available for Windows. Now that I no longer use Final Cut, I have no reason to have this hulking Mac Pro other than the fact that OSX is so much more enjoyable. I run Windows 7 via Parallels Desktop for the increasing number of Windows-only apps I need to run, so, yeah, I’d love to see another generation of Mac Pro, but, just because you need a good bit of power to run Premiere doesn’t mean there’s still a market for the Mac Pro.

          1. Wait, you’ve chosen to use crappy products, when there are superior options (e.g.: Final Cut Pro X) and you think its Apple’s fault you’re getting a worse experience?

            Of course adobe wants to force you onto windows….its time to stop giving money to that no account, disreputable company.

            1. FCP X is not a superior product. It’s different. It has some forward thinking organization and is quick for some uses, but also lacks essential features a lot of professionals need. Not want. Not prefer. Need. It’s different. For some, better. For others, dramatically incomplete.

      1. The iMac has a glossy screen. I refuse to use a glossy screen for my high-end Photoshop work. If the Mac Pro is eliminated, I’m not sure what I’ll do for my next computer.

  1. I was hoping that Apple would build a combined Workstation/Server model. It would keep the numbers up, and these two markets could be served by a similar piece of hardware (recognizing that we’re not talking about 1U rack-mount server setups or even proper data centre use, but that most Mac servers are used by smaller workgroup setups).

    1. They did, it’s called the Mac Mini. If you need beefy hardware, you’re better off getting dedicated hardware — for instance, a Thunderbolt equipped HD video transcoder.

    1. Please, it’s a dumb rumor. It’s not going to happen. Apple has to keep the “high ground” with a Mac that has 12 cores (soon 16 cores) on multiple processors. For one thing, iOS developers use them. People in the creative arts use them, and they are important to Apple’s image.

      According to these same rumor-moron types, back when laptops started to exceed desktops in sales, ALL desktop Macs were going away and Apple would focus on laptops. Or back when iPod started to become a major force (when “Apple Computer” changed its name to just “Apple”), Apple was becoming a “consumer electronics” company and abandoning computers.

      Or iPod classic would be canceled (still hanging around). Or Mac mini would be canceled (it was significantly improved).

      But I think a new design is in order. The current (external) design has been around since the first Power Mac G5 (2003). Maybe it can use Thunderbolt to become much smaller and modular, with an array of additional hard drives stored in a separate (matching) enclosure, for those who need more storage capacity or a RAID. The main Mac Pro case would only have an SSD and room for one 3.5-inch hard drive, and that would also cut down significantly on the size of power supply and cooling system that is needed.

      Remember that people who write about rumors want hits to their web sites. Therefore, the rumors are going to be as “sensationalist” as possible. They are going to write about things that are in the realm of possibly but highly unlikely, because “probable” things are not as exciting; no one wants boring rumors. That’s why some companies were actually making and selling “iPhone 5” cases, based on a bogus rumor.

      1. “Please, it’s a dumb rumor. It’s not going to happen. Apple has to keep the “high ground” with a Mac that has 12 cores (soon 16 cores) on multiple processors. For one thing, iOS developers use them. People in the creative arts use them, and they are important to Apple’s image.”

        The mission of NeXT was to produce a UNIX workstation, as easy to use as a Mac, for University research centers.

        The market for high end Macs continues, albeit not like it used to be, but enough to keep development of the high end going. The ‘pro’ market may have to spend two or three hundred (or more) for them, but they will be available.

        I actually think this is funny, because 9 or 10 years ago I stated on the AOL Apple board that Apple would be better off abandoning the creative market (1% of total market) in favor of the much larger general use market. In a weird way Apple did just that, only Apple did it in a particularly Apple way. They made creativity available to the masses, on Macs 1000X more powerful that G3/4/5 work stations of the period.

        1. It is in Apple’s “Think Different” DNA to support the Creative Market. To do otherwise is to lose its soul. Even Pixar needs high-end equipment- Apple cannot abandon the pro market. On the contrary- I’d like to see them dominate it completely- buy Adobe. Make it Mac-only.

          1. I think Pixar uses more specialized hardware and software for rendering its animation, and they are not high-end Macs. But I’m sure there are plenty of Macs (including Mac Pros) at Pixar HQ, performing many functions.

        2. Even if it’s not a significant source of profit, I can’t imagine Apple abandoning the work station high ground. It would be like BMW abandoning racing. The Mac Pro in the editing suite and complex design is a symbol of their superiority and seriousness.

    2. You’re an idiot.

      If you were a professional, you’d know that Final Cut Pro is a dream to work with… doing professional work. In fact, I just cut the most professional short in my life using Final Cut Pro. (I held off on upgrading for a few months because other projects were taking priority…)

      That program is, without a doubt, the best cutting tool in history.

      Anyone who complains about it not being “professional” is an idiot. (And yes, there are professional idiots. Some people don’t understand they are just trained monkeys… a lot of those types in the video editing industry… but even if your’e a trained monkey, refusal to learn to use new better tools makes you less of a professional, not more.)

      I look forward to the day when you types are out of work because younger guys took the time to learn FCPX and are much more efficient editors as a result.

    1. Remember when all the rumors were about Apple planning to discontinue the Mac mini?

      Some people have nothing better to do than invent silly rumors to mess with Apple’s stock price. Thank goodness MDN is too smart to fall for their transparent schemes.

      Oh wait…

      1. I remember the rumors that the new iteration of Final Cut would take it in a prosumer direction. They were quickly squelched. They turned out to be right. I tend to think this has legs.

      1. You got it.
        And remember this:
        Just days, even hours, before the iPhone 4S event, we were told that Sprint was getting an “exclusive” to sell the phone into early next year. That there would be two new phones.
        And that Steve Jobs would make an appearance.
        If there is a prize for the most wildly, tragically wrong rumor of all time, that last one really qualifies.

  2. Substituting an iMac for a MacPro could be feasible since:

    1. Current iMac cpus can be very powerful
    2. Current iMac gpus can be very powerful
    3. Currnet iMacs can hold 32 GB RAM

    But:

    1. We need a lot more Thunderbolt storage options, esp, reasonably priced ones.
    2. We need a lot more Thunderbolt to PCI conversion boxes so that everyone with high powered video and audio cards can continue to use them. Again, these boxes have to be reasonably priced.

    I wish Apple would simply make a rack-mountable demi-Mac Pro with half the memory slots (four), hd bays (two), optical bays (one) and PCI slots (two) but at least three or four Thunderbolt ports. If they could figure out a way to swap out the optical drive for a back-up power supply, then it could also double as a rack mount server.

  3. I switched from a Mac Pro to a high end iMac last year. In general, I am happy with the iMac – even with 3D rendering using Modo, game development in Unity3D and some video editing.

  4. Obviously, Apple is succeeding in the consumer space and it is logical to continue to concentrate there.

    This is the first time in 30 years that I see a “need” for Apple to license it’s OS. One pro/server licensee that would deliver hardware in the space Apple is abandoning.

  5. That would be sad. I like my Mac Pro. But I suppose I could everything I do on it on a iMac. I’ve had the same Mac Pro since 2006 with no problems. My Mac Pro 1,1 was the best investment I have ever made with a computer. Its extendable. You can add PCI cards to it. You have options with RAM.

    1. I own four of the big silver boxes, one of which I bought used last week. Hard to beat a 2008-2009 3,1 Pro with twin quad-core processors for $1,400.
      The Mac Pro is a DREAM for upgrading and maintaining. Optical drives, vid cards and RAM are replaced in minutes; hard drives in seconds. I replaced an optical drive in an older Mac Book two weeks ago and it took nearly an hour; a blindfolded child can replace a Mac Pro optical drive.
      With a 1-gig 5770 vid card from Apple and 8 gb of RAM and a 120 gb SSD boot drive from OWC, plus a nice little stack of 1 tb HDDs, I will have 8 cores, 12 gb of RAM, 3.2 tb of on-board storage, a fast graphics card and twin optical drives in an enclosure lovely enough to be a liquor cabinet on a corporate jet — all for $2,200. Top that for your porn streaming needs. Apple might not earn a shit ton of money from the Mac Pro, but there’s nothing wrong with a flagship computer for the users who helped sustain the company during its darkest days.

  6. I can understand the end of the desktop tower form factor but getting rid of the only model Mac that has expand-ability to suit the needs of the professional workstation is beyond me……unless of course we see an expansion of peripherals that can be plugged into another model to really push it to the limits. but wouldn’t that just mean you need more desk space and now have to deal with a myriad of other form factors playing cohesively.

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