New MacBook Pro rumors only prove it’s time for Apple to refresh desktop Macs

“A recent report from DigiTimes suggests Apple is working on thin MacBook Pros for release this summer, which will be powered by Intel’s Skylake processors,” Nate Swanner writes for TNW. “The report itself is shaky and light on details, but I think I speak for everyone when I say: it’s about time you paid attention to the desktop, Apple.

“Apple needs to completely refresh its desktop offerings, because everything except the 12-inch MacBook is long in the tooth,” Swanner writes. “Give us a smaller Mini, and provide more spec options for the Mac Pro. Refresh the Thunderbolt display to 4K or 5K, too. The iMac was recently revamped, so all-in-one fans have something to hold onto – but Pros need more power.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We have high hopes for WWDC this June.

33 Comments

    1. For some people, a three month old design is “long in the tooth”.

      Apple has settled into making products that are ‘tastefully classic’ in their design aestethic; not faddish or ‘trendy’ because of the fickle nature of some people always thinking that ‘different’ is somehow ‘new’ or ‘better’. I much prefer a ‘vintage’ or ‘classic’ look. Apple tends to do this with all their products.

      Simple, ‘classic’ designs tend to remain viable for far longer than cheaply made tossers. Just look at the tennis shoe industry as an example of this.

      Personally, i like to upgrade Macs every 8-10 years, iPads 3-6 years, and iphones every 2-4 years; perfectly reasonable, in my estimation, since Apple makes their products so (reasonably) well.

      Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to getting many more years of pleasure out of my current crop of iDevices before upgrading again.

      Worth every penny.

  1. uhhhhh, 5k iMac wasn’t THAT much of a refresh…no Thunderbolt 3, no USB-C, no Display port upgrade…

    I hope we see upgrades across the board. I’ve got $5,000 burning a hole in my pocket to replace my 2011 Macbook Air and my 2010 iMac.

    1. Agreed. The iMac update was incremental. I was expecting more. Given Apple’s size and resources, it is unclear why Mac updates are on even longer cycles, in some cases, that in the “good old days.”

      1. Took the words out of my mouth!

        Apple would be surprised how many more people would be willing to move to the Mac if only Apple offered enough hardware configurations to cover the market.

  2. Every Mac needs to be upgraded in the coming months–literally every model.

    Sure, the 5K iMac is the most modern of all the currently shipping Macs, but even it is falling behind the times:
    Haswell processor (not Skylake)
    Thunderbolt 2 (not 3)
    Graphics chip hobbled by less memory and bandwidth than the chip supports (limiting options for additional external monitors)
    Bluetooth 4.0 (not 4.2, a major change)
    etc.
    etc.

    The rest of the Mac line is even further behind the state of the art.

      1. All the most important ones for graphics and video particularly in Adobe’s lineup. You should care as you can never tell where a future need may take you, and why would you begrudge or put down a choice that only makes your Mac more versatile anyway?

        1. I certainly didn’t begrudge or put down that request. To quote myself, I said “Fine by me”. I was just correcting the blanket statement of “all professional applications use cuda”. I’m very much embedded in the high end audio world and coda is pretty much a non-entity there. While the power of GPU processing is attractive, the latency is far too high. In much of this business, latency of 2-3 milliseconds may be all a customer can stand for.

          And this is not a niche pro business. We’re talking tens or hundreds of thousands of users.

          1. Yeah I knew you would say you were using audio. I believe at one time VST plugins were going to use CUDA acceleration, what happened to that idea?

            Seems to me it’s incumbent on DAW users to put pressure on those software manufacturers to rewrite their apps to utilize CUDA so more can enjoy the added speed and plugins boost.

            No offense since I also use audio packages but it is somewhat of a niche business on the pro side. Lots of amateurs though.

            1. “No offense since I also use audio packages but it is somewhat of a niche business on the pro side”
              Like every TV show or movie that you watch? Or every broadcast or CD?

              The reasons that cuda or other GPU accelerators aren’t used are multiple. The most important thing is that latency is neither short nor predictable. When plugins or other processing are daisy-chained, then any delay in the process causes the entire system to bog down. Film mixing is done to picture, so if you can’t have guaranteed synchronization, your mix isn’t worth much. Tracking is typically done with a performer monitoring his/her self over headphones. If that signal is delayed by more than a very few milliseconds then the performer gets really messed up.

              The second issue is availability. Cuda isn’t on every computer. And you might be surprised. While a major mix might happen on a big system with multiple Mac pros, that same mix will very often go home with the engineer for weekend work on the laptop. Writing software that can run in either environment simply has no R.O.I. for the developer.

              Cuba and similar technologies work best for graphics, where much larger data sets are processed. Real-time rendering can happen, even when the delay between gazintas and gazoutas is on the order of a second or so. Audio–especially when dealing with low latency–has much smaller chunks of data. The setup time–preparing the data for transfer in and out of cuda–takes more cycles than you’d save.

              By the way, much of what I’m saying is the result of a face to face conversation with an Apple developer liaison.

              So this really isn’t an issue for DAW users.

            2. I work in TV, motion pictures, post production, etc., and belong to AMPAS & ATAS and YES it’s still a niche business. There’s nothing wrong with that. Pro users in the thousands is still comparative chump change.

              Well for motion picture mixing sound is slaved to picture regardless. When recording you are usually not using a bunch of plugins on a 64 track mix but only recording around 1-16 tracks (depending) at a time clean. You would use CUDA mostly during the mixing process when it would be needed most.

              Well that’s my point, you CUDA SHOULD be on every app and computer that could use it. Or at the least on media machines so designed for that use.

              All I’m saying is it would be nice if audio could take advantage of the same kind of accelerated processing.

  3. Apple should just forget the Mini! Instead they should create a special software package for the Intel NUC line. Sell OSX, iLife and iWorks as a package for the NUC at $149.

    Sixth generation NUC can have up to 32GB ram, i7 processors, Intel Iris Pro 580 Graphics.

    NUC’s are smaller than Mac Mini’s and they can be upgraded – hard drives and ram can be changed.

    1. Over Apple’s dead body.
      Apple’s average ASP for Macs is around $1400 and they now sell over 20M per year. That’s $28BB in revenue.
      If they sell the OS for a non-Apple machine, they would have to sell 190 million units to make the same revenue.
      Apple are all for cannibalization of their existing profits IF they can increase their revenue and profits. Selling the OS alone, would not achieve that.
      I do think there is space for a mini tower to suit those who want to upgrade the internals. Sadly I think it is low on Apple’s priority list.

      1. Don’t be so sure of yourself. Cook is managing Apple to maximize revenue first and foremost. He was the one who decided that Foxconn should build all Apple’s iOS devices. What’s to stop him from outsourcing the manufacturing of the next Mac Mini to Intel as well?

        It’s painfully obvious that Apple has pulled all resources away from the Mac teams. Intel certainly couldn’t do worse than Apple at keeping its NUC line up to date. What’s in it for Intel? They would LOVE to step away from Microsoft and sell a premium line of machines with a fatter profit margin. All they need to do is agree on terms.

  4. A Real Mac Pro tower that can be internally upgraded.
    A New Mac mini that does not have the CPU and memory chips soldered in with the option for a proper GPU.

    Thinner is bullshit. How about substance over style for a change?

  5. The 27″ 5K iMac is still the best all-purpose pro computer out there, as far as I’m concerned it’s totally “dialed in” when looking at the hardware and the full integration of El Capitan. There are minor quibbles, but this by far the best computer I have ever owned.

  6. This Digitimes report talks about Apple releasing 13″ & 15″ MB that are thinner than the current MBA. That doesn’t sound like a MBP to me. The MBP, depending on model, utilizes a 28W or 45W processor. It’s gonna be brutally hard, if not impossible, to keep those processors cooled properly in a chassis that thin.

    If anything, this sounds like additions to the MB line. That’s assuming if Digitimes is correct, of course.

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