The new Mac Pro and Apple’s continued adherence to Steve Jobs’ golden grid

“Some 15 years ago, Steve Jobs’ introduced a novel strategy for Apple to follow in all its products: all computer users would be divided into two segments: professionals and consumers,” David Morgenstern reports for ZDNet.

“For each segment, the company would offer products in two categories: desktop and mobile, which at the time meant portables (laptops),” Morgenstern reports. “Surprisingly, this simple grid continues — with some slight modifications — with Apple’s latest lineup. The forthcoming new version of the Mac Pro, announced this week to ship in December, will finally give Mac professionals a chance to fit into Apple’s classic strategic grid. They’ve been waiting a good while.”

“The introduction of the new Mac Pro will restore the classic grid introduced by Steve Jobs at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. His spare division of the market and Apple’s product strategy appears to mostly be holding,” Morgenstern reports. “Of course, mobility must now be subdivided into three platforms: laptops, iPads and iPhones. So, the four-square grid would nowadays be a long rectangle with 8 slots, still with only the two segments (professional, consumer) but now with four platforms: desktop computing, laptop computing (mobile desktops), tablets and smart phones.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. So glad I have the old 8 core Mac Pro with 64 GB of RAM, 2 x 1 TB of SSD plus 4 x 4 TB of hard disk. In total 18 terabyte which I do need for professional video editing.

    And all in one case, no external cables, no stacks of disks or an expensive thunderbolt array. Just regular hard drives put into the bay, that’s it. It will do the trick for a long time to come.

    1. Yeah and takes up a juggernaut of space and needs a JCB to move, can’t see the advantage myself and far less flexible in my book but all to their own taste I guess.

      But back to the article clearly this writer doesn’t get that most graphic designers and studios actually use iMacs so the distinction between pro and consumer isn’t really there at all which makes the argument irrelevant.

      1. It takes very little space actually. Much less then I would have it all in separate boxes and cables. For me it’s the best Mac ever made, and a lot of pro users will agree. Yes, some of us do need hard drives for the big files. SSD for programs and scratch disc, and HD for the big video projects. The new MacPro will sell very well, but for me it’s not the right machine.

    2. I couldn’t agree more. The new Mac Pro is a true piece of art, but how pretty will it be after I have to plug all that stuff into it. I hope at least, there are two SSD slots in the thing. May Apple will be making some sort of matching expansion bus for it. I guess it could connect via Thunderbolt. This is the big mystery, pro users need to add stuff to pro rigs, yours being a good example.

      One of the things I’ve been doing with the current Pro for clients is putting in a fast HDD and an SSD and turning them into a fusion drive. Other World Computing sells the adapter you need for the SSD. They also post the instructions in their support forum. I will no longer be able to use this solution with the new Pro.

      I also wonder if Apple will continue to sell Pro’s using the current form factor.

    3. We’ll have them in the edit suites at work and just attach each directly to the SAN for all the storage they need. We’ve already got some big ass 4K Sony TVs in every meeting room, so it’ll be great to finally have some kit capable of using them to their potential. In the meantime, being able to install the Mac Pros in the suites themselves saves us several racks worth of space in the “server” room, meaning even more room for disk arrays.

  2. “Purists will point out that there are machines outside the grid, such as the Mac mini and perhaps the MacBook Air. In addition, most of the grid boxes encompass multiple models: most offer different sizes of screens and price points. Whatever.” Not whatever Steve’s point was 1 unit in each square not 2 or 3 KISS principle. As when he came back there was way to many in each square.

  3. Also the price is misleading with only a 256GB SSD you will not be able to use this computer for anything with out at a minimum an external RAID connected to a Thunderbolt port IE the Promise Pegasus R4 4TB @ $1000. At least that is my plan.

    1. That Pegasus is a joke. Its limited.
      Spinning drives limit your IOPS.

      Save yourself the trouble and buy a Drobo 5 if you want thunderbolt.

      At least the drobo will support SSDs if you choose to put them in later.

  4. I don’t have a need for the macPro, but as for your space needs (expansion) get a NAS.

    Like myself I only have a 256ssd, but I use a NAS with over 8TB (3TBx4 Raid5)
    Basically I am backed up for life.

    Its not as fast as a direct bus in your computer system- but some are connecting faster.
    They do make ssd Nas too..

    1. @ “Me”:

      NAS may be the right solution for you, but many other people have need for low cost, high-reliability storage as opposed to fast storage or net-accessible storage. Still others need “old school” SATA or even SCSI or other legacy connectivity to connect clients’ drives. The new Mac Pro therefore forces unnecessary costs and complexities that the old Mac Pro handled beautifully – internally or with a simple user-installed PCI card.

      Reality is, Apple is foregoing the profit of a customizable desktop workstation, and 3rd party Thunderbolt accessory makers will profit from it … if enough customers buy into Thunderbolt. Right now Thunderbolt is selling about as well as if it was called “Firewire 20,000”; it’s practically unheard of outside the ~10% of computer users who use Macs. Like Firewire, the superior connection technology with die in the competition with USB unless Apple/Intel does a better job selling it.

      MDN: why don’t you conduct a poll asking how many Mac owners own one, or two, or more Thunderbolt accessories? Even Apple seems to hide the fact that it sells one model of Thunderbolt display (right next to the otherwise identical Mini DisplayPort display).

      Remember how successful Apple was at pushing DisplayPort as a universal monitor connection standard? Or the lovely Apple Display Connector? Past track record offers little confidence in Apple’s fickle cable connection strategies.

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