Apple, how about a little love for pro Mac users?

“I’ll make no secret that I believe mobile devices are the future of mass market computing,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld, “but even though PC’s are becoming trucks, I see no reason to leave those who need such heavy haulage behind.”

“Power, capability and Apple’s popularity gave the company a big growth story in the [high-end personal computing] sector, up until 2012. When things slowed down,” Evans writes. “Sure, Apple tried to revive interest at WWDC 2013 [with the new Mac Pro]… These new Macs won critical acclaim, but the lack of internal drive expansion turned off some pro users who may have needed to upgrade additional equipment in order to upgrade.”

“Since 2013, however, we’ve seen no action at this end of the market,” Evans writes. “This is a market Apple once owned – its advanced OS X, its move to Intel processors and tight integration between software and hardware gave the company huge advantages for pro users. The company can still grab this market back, it can still deliver the world’s most powerful trucks.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just a little love, Apple? Pretty please?

Here’s hoping WWDC delivers some Mac Pro goodness we’re sure developers and other pro Mac users would greatly appreciate.

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s iPad Pro will be the only Mac you ever need – May 31, 2016
Apple’s aging Mac Pro is falling way behind Windows rivals – April 12, 2016

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

60 Comments

  1. Tim Cook has shown that he has no interest, none at all, in Mac hardware. How long since the last Mac Pro? How long since the last Cinema display?

    Apple should be embarrassed at how awful their hardware has become.

    1. The last Mac Pro design was a mistake. Sexy and cool, but just not practical in so many ways. This I hope Apple corrects. The display, however, is another matter. Apple doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It relies on other suppliers that don’t always deliver as expected. In the case of the displays AND Mac Pros, you look to Intel for derailing Apple’s plan to deliver a standalone 5K display and quicker rollouts of Macbook Pros. The desktop Mac Pro just simply needs a reality check and redesign to a more industry standard form. (IMHO)

      1. I agree – a total mistake & miscalculation. Something only audio and music professionals can love due to it’s quiet running. Video is another matter, as is using cards appropriate to the type of work and application a pro might use (CUDA & 16X PCIe3 anyone?).

        No reason Apple can’t have more pro options (tower, mini-tower) instead of shoehorning everyone into the same minimalist trashcan (with unsightly cords dangling everywhere) design.

        1. I believe peter blood and I agreed on this same point about a month or two ago. We need multiple choices.

          There is no reason APPLE can’t have multiple Mac PROS. One should be a standard box (roughly the dimensions of the old Mac Pro G4) that allows the side to be dropped showing the internals. Give people the ability to easily add and subtract what they like. Sell them computers on a tray, about the size of the iPod Nano. Let them add 20-40 of these “mini-racks” to create their own cluster. Tweak OS-X Server.

          Make it pretty, shiny, power efficient. Sell them cheap. Hell, give them away. Really, if it’s such a small niche market why not just give the damn things away? Okay, okay, make some money on the things. But really, if you want to stick it to DELL and HP why not rub their face in it with a screaming box that is a gift from the GODS?

          All the science, art, video, game playing geeks will love it and love you for it.

            1. Thanks. Now if we can just get APPLE to read our stuff!

              Seriously, they can create everything that’s been suggested. They should let down their hair and stop worrying about the outside look of this thing and worry instead about the internals. I know they worry about it all, but really, all they need is a box into which they allow the geeks to open up and rummage around in it. Sort of like a fancy, expense Raspberry Pi. lol That really is what a lot of these people want, and APPLE should just give it to them.

              APPLE could focus on creating the smallest, most powerful, power efficient blade in the world. Make that the exciting, fancy thing about the box. Sell each nano blade for $250. They should be able to make the blades for $100 so they can maintain their margins.

              All the arguments and complaints about APPLE creating closed appliances would be thrown out the window. It gives APPLE an easy way out of this ongoing dilemma for them.

            2. Unfortunately, you’re not living in reality.

              Blades for $100 to $250? The cheapest Intel chip that Apple might use in a Pro system that can support such blades costs over $200 in quantity. The chips that Apple is likely to use in any next generation pro machine will likely cost two to four times that.

              Hell, Intel’s high end “enthusiast” chips announced earlier this week cost up to $1723 each when you buy them in quantities of 1,000.

              Wishing that Apple will create systems that allow you to scale capability at $100 a shot is just not going to happen in the foreseeable future. Wishing it to be so just shows how out of touch with reality you are.

            3. And while APPLE is at it, work on offering a non-Intel version of the box.

              They need a number cruncher statisticians and those into simulation can use. I don’t know all the ins and outs and difficulties they would be facing if they filled the new BOX with their own CPUs, but why not take the plunge and try it.

              Make the nano racks so that as the newer A10, A11, A12, etc came along the racks could be updated. Make it a real geek machine.

              Maybe APPLE could lovingly codename it, GEEK BOX.

            4. You may be scaring Apple away now. 🙂 For now I will settle for an improved expandable Mac Pro that backtracks into more Tower upgradeable territory. We all know Apple could do plenty of damage to the Windows hegemony if they really wanted to, doing the things you say.

            5. +10 up votes to peterblood71 and JWW.

              I write engineering software that can’t get enough cycles and uses CUDA. Which means I have had no choice but to run large problems on Windows.

              Dear Apple, you have left me in hell. Cool glass of water please.

          1. “Sell them computers on a tray, about the size of the iPod Nano. Let them add 20-40 of these “mini-racks” to create their own cluster.”

            Gee. Theres’ this little thing called thermodynamics that prevents any truly useful CPU and support chips from being the size of an iPod nano.

            Some reality needs to be observed.

            While I, as much as anyone else, has stated from the beginning that the cylindrical Mac Pro was a very bad idea, and I have pushed for Apple to build a real pro machine once again. I have to admit that I’m very reality based. I want the best of what CAN be built.

            Apple can pick and choose among the current, top of the line Intel chips (from both the XEON and -E categories) and build real, leading edge machines that will accept the latest AMD and Nvidia boards. Apple can design them to use up to 256 GB of fast 3000 (or at least 2666) DDR4. Apple can design them to support 10 Gb Ethernet. Apple can design them to support DisplayPort 1.4 and Thunderbolt 3 (and maybe even HDMI 2.0b). Apple can design them to implement up to a 1 TB 8x PCIe connected SSD boot disk with internal support for a minimum of two 3.5″ HDDs. Apple can design them to support 802.11ac and 802.11ad. Apple could even include native support for 100 GB Blu-ray support at 128 Mbps. Hell, Apple could even pair this with up to six 5K displays (depending on graphics cards selected).

            Apple CAN do all this. Wishing Apple will do something not viable within the foreseeable future gets us all nowhere.

            Demand that Apple do the best it CAN do, and keep demanding it!

        2. Unfortunately, there is a reason why Apple ‘can’t” have more pro options, which is that the market isn’t big/wide enough to generate as nice of profits as other business segments, and any of the “halo” effects that it has have been highly depreciated to also not be worth doing (which eliminates any “Loss Leader” types of discussions).

          And in my perspective, the answer to the question is “No”. Apple is not likely to move the rudder on USS Apple to bring any degree of emphasis (or interest) back to Pro Macs … the decision has already been made and the ship has sailed. Proof of this isn’t merely the Ive egotistical trash can nephew of the Cube, but also in the deliberate EOL’ing of Aperture and similar Pro applications and portions of the Apple Ecosystem, as well as deliberate “dumbing down” of OS X (such as how Disk Utility stopped supporting RAIDs).

          What Cook has been very good at is to streamline product and manufacturing supply chains – – this means “cut – cut – cut” away at supposedly unnecessary (and less profitable) nonessential features, but the hidden trade-off of this management decision is that the richness through diversity of the Apple ecosystem is being sacrificed – – everything is being necked down.

          And the problem with moving your business into one skinny neck is that it becomes highly susceptible and vulnerable – – one relatively hard hit can make it go extinct. That’s what happens when you over-optimize.

          1. I disagree that Apple can’t do this even if the pro market is minimally profitable. Strategies and devices change over time and what seems not as important now can become vital later. So it’s wise not to be shortsighted. At the very least Apple owes the pro community for their previous unflagging support and it would cost them very little to do it and make a lot of people happy, ensuring the Mac’s continuing place in the pro market. And who knows – a more revitalized pro division might entice those from the dark side and build it bigger than ever.

            1. Agreed. Apple traditionally has cared about higher education, science, and high end media production.

              Those might not be huge markets, but they are influential markets.

              Also, Apple can develop performance hardware and software technologies for Pro computers and then migrate what they learn to less powerful computers over time.

              Finally, since Apple is going into the enterprise with IBM and others, it is a big deal to be able to supply both low end and high end computers with the same OS. That is a selling point that benefits sales of low-end Macs and even iOS devices.

            2. Oh, I agree with what you’re saying .. the issue here is the difference between “can’t” and “won’t”, which I tried to allude to (apparently not successfully) by putting can’t in scare quotes.

              So sure, Apple CAN do this.

              …but I’m afraid that Apple will chose not to do so.

              We can only speculate at their motivations. But we do know that the value of faithfulness to one’s customers (and to one’s employees too) is pretty close to dead within Corporations today. As such, the fact that historical unflagging support is ignored and is a far more cynically blunt “..but what have you done for me lately?”

              And so on.

              What I’ve seen are the cut – cut – cut necking down which makes Apple substantially less diversified and more vulnerable / fragile as a corporate enterprise. They’re putting their eggs all in one basket (even notwithstanding the Apple Car rumors) which makes me concerned not only as a customer, but also as an investor.

              FWIW, another motivational consideration on the decline of the Mac could also hearken back to Steve Job’s “milk it for all its worth and move on” statement from the aspect that if one is 100% convinced that the desktop PC market is in permanent decline, then why would one want to “waste” your money to grow your presence / marketshare there?

            3. Apple had far fewer eggs in the recent past when they mostly had just Macs and has expanded their portfolio, not contracted, over the years so I don’t think this is true. They still rake in plenty of Mac money (which have been increasing, not declining like the general PC market) along with their other devices. Apple Car and services will add or does add to the pile. I am also an long time investor and my concerns are not this.

              Hopefully with Apple there is a will there is a way to do right by their long standing pro customers. Hope springs eternal. And if not, I have alternatives available. But it will be to their continued loss and I don’t understand why they would risk tearing down old loyalties since you never know what may be an unseen and unpredictable fatal blow. AKA The beginning of the end. WWDC in a few days will be revealing in more ways than one.

      2. Yeah, you can’t really blame apple for the processors being behind schedule, and Intel abandoning display port 1.3 with thunderbolt 3. That said, This forum is always full of people bitching about why something isn’t done right, but they never look at the external factors.

        Like the guy down below that says he can build a “Mac Pro” for half the price… Spec it out exactly the same and I highly doubt that. Hp, dell, Lenovo, etc… Can’t do that so there’s no way you can do that with retail parts. Again, make sure they’re the same components. And the same pic-e storage that runs at 1-2GB/s not a Sata ssd that is half or less as fast. And ram that won’t overheat your system bc it’s substandard. And a thunderbolt 2 card that has 4 ports, and an hdmi port that can drive 4K + displays along side multiple other 4K + displays, an AC chip, Bluetooth, and twin video cards that can handle those displays in sli/crossfire, oh and e-5 Xeons… If you can build that system for 1500.00, post the build and let us all see it….

            1. The biggest disadvantage is that you will get zero support from Apple. “Hey Apple, I’m running Final Cut Pro X on my Hackintosh and…. click…. Apple? Hello?” And anything that happens will cause you to suspect the hardware first, and not the software.

              But there is a strong and thriving community out there now. Typically I go look at tonymacx86.com for current information before building a system. All the information on compatible components is there. He’s been around since Apple went Intel. I’m surprised they haven’t gone after him with the DMCA. When an OS X Upgrade comes out, I wait until they bless it on tonymacx86.com. At best its been within a couple of days, at worst a couple of weeks, but that bad one had Mac users trying to downgrade as well.

              The most popular reason for building a Hackintosh is video editing. People run Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere on Hacintosh all the time. I screwed up a build by choosing the wrong SMBIOS. Once I chose the correct one, everything was great.

              I’ve been trying to find someone to finance my portable hackintosh render farm. No takers yet.

              All of this would just go away if Apple would recognize what pro users need. not to mention hyper-enthusiasts.

          1. Before Apple had the MacBook Air, I tried the Mackintosh thing. It was nothing but a pain. Having to make sure like one guy wrote the correct kext before any update you installed or the whole thing stopped working. Maybe it’s better now, but wasn’t worth the hassle to me.

          2. Ok, two things:

            One: not the same components. Two, not half the price, and 3, he just specified the processor and video card and ram none of any of the other components.

            He said that Mac Pro was a 4,000 machine, it’s not. It’s 2,999. So his component cost was 2,200 as stated which is only 27% less not HALF. I will say the processor is faster in bench marking bc it’s 6 cores. He compared a quad core to a 6 core, so if actually was comparing apples to apples (ha ha) he needed to use the 6 core config of the pro. In that instance if the benchmarking apps were as dramatic I would accept his thesis, however I can’t with the current comparison. So let’s assume he adds all the other components I named and see what that costs? It’s not half….

            I say again build the same system for half and show us. You double the performance for half the price, that means 1500 or lower… I will accept a machine that is 10-27% less expensive can out perform the base system with modern components. But not what you said.

            1500 or less. Double the performance. Same components or better…

            Side note, he’s a reviewer and probably gets preferential pricing so factor that in.

            Just give a list of the retail components at that price point and we’ll call it a day.

            1. I just built one last week. Came to 2400 and change (Canadian).. it out performs the $3500 Base model Mac Pro (Canadian Price) both in CPU and GPU and DISK benchmarks. Also it has 256GB of even faster PCIe flash for boot and as many SSD drives as I want inside for data. Waiting on a 1070 to drop in, that outperform the DUAL gpus in the mac pro.. by A LOT and uses LESS POWER. Plus I have 32GB of faster ram.. and ready for USB 3.1/TB 3.0 on the MOBO as soon as OSX joins 2016…

              maybe apple announces something at WWDC that will bring their product up to my spec.. that would be great, but it would still cost more.

            2. A Mac Pro that cost more would be fine (for me anyway) as long as I can put 4 high end nVidia Tesla CUDA cards in it. Currently there is no option for even one.

              I am happy to pay more for a Mac as they have a better OS and more reliable hardware. Just wish Apple offered options comparable to what a Windows PC can do.

            3. Yeah and that pricing I would believe, but he stated half… And I know that’s not possible. I’d love better performance, it’s why our mid cycle 2010’s are still around, and our 08’s moved into the sever room. And although we have been happy with the cylanders, the newer e-5’s would be a welcome addition and higher end graphics cards too. Although for our purposes they’re much better than what we had, others may want more raw horsepower. Honestly since we have the render farm our desktop needs aren’t as great as others, and most of the time the 2015 27″ 5k iMacs are more than capable of filling what we need. But expand ability would be welcome. Maybe the cylanders design with swappable graphics cards, ram, and ssd. Currently the ssd and ram are swappable but that’s it.

        1. That crap about Off the shelf parts being substandard is very funny. There is no difference in the major parts used by manufacturers and retail. Including and especially Apple. An Intel core i7 6700k is the processor in my iMac. It can be had from Amazon for around 380.00, and so on. Time to get past the myths.

          1. I never said they were, but baseline retail parts below a certain price point are in fact crap. I know because we update our ram all the time and if we don’t get decent stuff it can really hurt the system.

            1. Voice of Reason… your anecdotal experience with RAM has nothing in the world to do with the fact that processors are processors and GPUs are GPUs. The exact same processor on sale at Amazon is not “substandard.” Typically you get a slightly better version. More cache for instance, because companies like Apple look for ways to save a buck.

              The GPUs on sale from Nvida and AMD are the same ones the big guys buy. Your assertion that there is somehow a difference is unfounded and basically a lie. Or.. and this is probably the more accurate statement… you don’t know what you are talking about.

            2. Thelonius, I always like your comments. And again I wasn’t saying off the shelf parts are sue standard, I was specifically referring to ram. We have put many drives and processors in our old cheese grater Mac pros and they’re generally fine. However it does matter who makes the graphics cards, sometimes evga can be wonky. I’m simply saying high grade retail parts, specifically ram. You have to agree that really cheap ram is not the best idea. Nor are really cheap ssd’s or hdd’s, or really cheap usb drives or sd cards for that matter. Off the shelf parts are fine, but you have to spend the right amount on them. That’s all I’m saying.

            3. Crucial is fine, however sometimes it has a tendency to overheat. Our best performance has come from owc ram, which is 229 for 32GB. I’d 196 is fine for ram, and I never argued that apples ram pricing isn’t too high. But the corsair vengeance for example is 124.99 for 32GB and that’s not enough for that much memory.

            4. You’re right about the Machine being a 2999 machine. I suspect he bought his before Apple dropped the price. Thing is, you’re still getting 3 TIMES the performance for 2/3rds the cost. Equivalent parts by the way.

            5. Right and I’m not arguing it’s not faster. But he did use a 6 core against a 4 core system. If the comparison were fair he’d use the actual 4000.00 Mac Pro config with the same hexacore processor, D500 cards, and 16GB of ram. That’s why I don’t accept the comparison simply because it’s very misleading. Now if that system outperformed the 4000 config by the same margin I’d totall buy it. And that system has been 2999 since it came out. The price points haven’t changed since we bought our first batch of cylanders.

            6. Apple uses off the shelf parts… The same parts as everyone else… they just paint them black and call it a day.
              Nothing special about an Apple “Logic” board except for its shape.

    2. If Apple is going to play with IBM & SAP and Pro users in audio, video, images and CAD, it “needs to get with the program.”

      I still vote for a stackable modular system, so the customer buys the “modules” he wants.

      Not everyone wants blazingly fast CPU, video or NAS or PCI cards or other things, but they ought to be able to add or upgrade as they need the power or expansion.

      Computers are becoming commodities and Apple still needs to excel in that world.

    1. Nothings wrong with my New Mac Pro… its a quad core Skylake i7, with 32GB of 2400Mhz DDR4, 1TB of SSD.. oh yah did I mention it also has PCIe slots just waiting for the NVidia 1070/80 cards to arrive? Also costs 50% of an equally specced out Mac Trash Can.. only I can still put more internal SSD and PCI cards in it.. Hackintosh is the future. Mac Pro is dead.

        1. My Apple support is pretty unflaggingly high on most things but where it concerns the Mac Pro it’s ruthless. I know what I need and want, just give it to us! How hard can that be? Plus at long last 5K Cinema Display monitors.

          Why do the words “long overdue” or “still waiting” mostly apply to Apple’s high end pro offerings? Give us a little more love please!

  2. It’s clear, or it should be, that this is a market Apple has no interest in and they are perfectly happy to relinquish the so called “pro” user to Windows. It’s couch change to Apple. They became the largest company selling tiny tablets with phones attached and almost went out of business selling computers. Apple may continue to make the Mac for a while but this is not where their future is.

    It’s too easy to wander over to Amazon and for half the cost of any Mac, purchase parts that allow you to double the performance. Intel 10 core i7 processors shipped this week. Everyone is salivating over the prospects of new GTX 1080 cards. If there is a bump to the MacPro, it won’t reach state of the art, or provide for upgrading. Apple sells information appliances, and they they’re doing darned well at it. If you need serious conventional computers, take that need and passion for technology and spend a day learning how to build machines. Hold your nose and try out Windows 10 as well, it won’t kill you.

    I believe Apple will eventually get the message as the passionate “pro” users jump ship. They don’t seem like much to the bottom line, but they are the primary carriers of the Apple message. Not silly feel good commercials. Bob the video editor helped his family, his neighbors, his neighbor’s families and so to buy Macs, get hooked up with iPhones avoid Android, get off Windows and so on. Now he’s completely ignored. Well Bob has somewhere to go and he might like it better, and he also isn’t tied to that Apple ecosystem anymore.

    And maybe Bob is starting MacRefugee Systems.

    1. Problem is as so goes the pro market so goes any Apple claim to entertainment industry support fame as Apple begins the move to creating their own media content. Plus as you say pro recommendations to family and friends. Suddenly the previously dedicated pro Mac user becomes platform agnostic and less Apple passionate. You can underestimate the support the pro community has given Apple over the years in good times and bad – an inheritance of blessings they are squandering.

      The Mac itself in is consumer forms will not go away anytime soon and to suggest that is folly. It still makes a ton of money and is doing better than PC’s. What is vastly irritating is that with their vast fortune it would be nothing to make the pro line sing to great pro satisfaction.

  3. STFU One Note Broken Record Doofus Joe from Trollville, MO. You’re persistent and tiresome sniveling driveling day is over.

    You can waste a few moments reading any nonsense post from (anonymous-fill-in-the-new-name) Joe, or you can save yourself the time and agravation and just skip (idiot) Joe’s post. You aren’t missing a thing except major and rampant stupidity.

    Guess which option is the better choice?

  4. Think about it. Apple is Beats headphones. 3 billion for that crap. That says who they are right there. Apple is Music. Apple is iPhones. Apple is iPads. Yes Apple still makes the Mac,but each generation is more sealed, more ultra book like, more of an Appliance.

    High Performance Computing is not where their head is. Migrating Mac users to iPad and cloud base computing is what they are all about.

  5. How many people here can name someone in their family that knows how to upgrade ram, reinstall an operating system, change out a hard drive, power supply or any other upgrade you can think of. There are maybe 2 in my family. The average person depends on what the Geek Squad at their local BestBuy tells them to do. I wholeheartedly agree Apple needs to maintain their pro market. I also agree Apple is dependent upon suppliers to do so on a regular basis. I do not believe Apple should be pioneering Human Rights, Tim can do that on his own time. Apple does have a right to ensure Human Rights are given to their suppliers employees. That’s my 2 cents.

  6. Maybe they should quit ignoring gamers too. If the new Mac Pro isn’t compatible with the latest VR headsets and comparable to a 2x SLI GTX-1080 setup, I’m buying a PC instead. I’m not going to blow thousands on another Mac that does Facebook well but can’t handle 120fps on multiple 4K monitors. Ridiculous

  7. Apple really missed a niche market between the iMac/Mac Mini and Mac Pro cylinder. Far too much of a gap there as many know & have commented.
    Just a simple small tower with some room for 2 drives, user expandable RAM at a price point in between those machines would be awesome. In the meantime I’ll be holding onto my Late 2012 Mac Pro tower.

  8. Apple could have owned the desktop/workstation/pro market, in the same way the own the iPhone market. But they missed a great opportunity in the last couple of years.

    Too bad there’s no one left at Apple that knows how to build great computers.

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