RIP Apple’s trashcan Mac Pro

“Apple just missed the perfect opportunity to update the two year-old new Mac Pro. A machine that still ships,” Anthony Frausto-Robledo writes for Architosh. “So Mac users need to get used to one obvious fact — something different is coming our way and we hope, and we hope, it returns back to the basics we crave.”

“With no announcement in Q1 and no hardware at all at this year’s WWDC, it is clear that one of two things is going to happen: [1] Apple will quietly exit the professional computer markets such as film and broadcast, architecture and engineering, 3d animation and special effects, photography and graphics, science and medicine, and audio and music production, et cetera, or [2] Apple will re-introduce a new type of professional Mac in a brand new architecture,” Frausto-Robledo writes. “We are crossing our fingers and praying that Apple doesn’t choose the first option.”

Apple's Mac Pro
Apple’s Mac Pro

 
“Apple needs to stop making signature, iconic machines aimed more for the Smithsonian Institute than for actual production uses and start learning their core pro markets and tailor the next pro desktop design to around those needs,” Frausto-Robledo writes. “Let’s hope no hardware at WWDC 2016 portends to something really great come this fall.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple.com’s current “Compare Mac models” link is shown below. Notice anything missing?

Compare Mac models - Apple.com
Where’s the Mac Pro?

85 Comments

  1. Frausto-Robledo writes. “Let’s hope no hardware at WWDC 2016 portends to something really great come this fall.”

    It is a developer conference Sparky! It is not normal for Apple to announce new hardware at this conference.

    1. Not true. Steve Jobs announced the G5 Mac Pro or PowerMac at the 2003 WWDC.

      2003 WWDC – G5 Mac Pro
      2004 WWDC – 30″ Apple Cinema Display
      2006 WWDC – Intel Mac Pro
      2008 WWDC – iPhone 3G
      2009 WWDC – iPhone 3GS
      2010 WWDC – iPhone 4
      2012 WWDC – Retina MacBook Pro
      2013 WWDC – New black donut/garbage can Mac Pro announced

      So in fact significant new Mac Pro’s were nearly always introduced at WWDC.

      1. Assuming your list is complete, it is clear that in the last 3 years no new hardware was released. They did announce the Mac Pro in 2013 but it was not released until 6 months later.

        So Apple are clearly wanting to focus WWDC on software only. And that makes sense since it is heavily oversubscribed.

        1. Expecting groundbreaking new Mac hardware from Cook is one of the more painful experiences one can endure. The man sells only thin-client computing and has no grasp of the needs of businesses or offline personal computing.

        1. Pay attention to my salient point that the hardware we are talking about are Mac Pro’s and every significant upgrade to the Mac Pro was introduced or announced at WWDC. I made my own point thank you.

            1. Ok, so the list is of HW announced during the WWDC and not at another Apple event thus gaps in the list and nothing mentioned for the past 2 years at the WWDC since it is a developers conference. So that means the Mac Pro only had 4 model changes in the past 13 years?

            2. Just goes to show that Apple under Cook has gone completely AWOL with the Mac platform for the last 6 years. Both hardware and software. Unforgivable, Timmy. Completely unforgivable.

    2. This fall, my hope is to see an “Expandable Mac Pro” even though I realize I dealing in fantasy.

      Expandable is different than “upgradable”, which was the old MacPro Box designs of past decades.

      Given the long lifespan of components and the frequent need of users to add or upgrade functionality, I seriously think “Stackable” modules could house CPU/RAM, Networking, Graphics, Storage, NAS, UPS, etc.

      That way when a user needed to add functionality, he just replaced or added another “module.”

      One can dream.

      1. Yeah Bo. That’s a brilliant idea. I love it.
        It would require innovation and that comes through inspired leadership though.
        In other words, dream on.

      2. I know they tried it before (Power Computing) and it failed miserably but maybe it’s time for some entrepreneurs to convince Apple to license OSX so they could build top shelf expandable workstations.

        When I initially saw the trashcan and heard Schiller’s comment “can’t innovate my ass” I realized how out of touch Apple are with the high end work station user’s needs.

  2. We can only hope, but hope is running out fast. C’mon Apple, LISTEN to your pro market! We hope to bypass the current Mac Pro 2013 as a design iteration aberration and bad idea (for many). You could wow us so easily.

    1. I agree peter. Seems to me it would be very easy for Apple to make a GREAT Mac Pro. For Apple, this is not computer science. I’ve only owned one Mac Pro, a very old, ’02 G4 that still goes strong though slow.

      I’d buy!

      1. Back when you bought that G4, PowerMacs were over 25% of all Mac sales … but today it is estimated to be 1%.

        Yes, during the period while overall Mac sales have doubled, Apple’s pro desktops have declined by more than 80% …

        … and it seems utterly bizarre that Apple would ever allow themselves to knowingly lose the top end of any market that they choose to compete in. But that’s what the numbers show.

      2. Why you are saying that G4 is slow, though?

        It was wicked fast back in 2002, and it did not really became any slower (unless you are rendering things, of course, where the machine did become relatively slower).

    2. It’s the new Cube. Beautiful, iconic, and way too niche and handicapped to be useful. They should acknowledge that and just walk away. Maybe they’re still waiting on a return of their investment, but with a continued decrease in virtually non-existent sales that’ll never happen.

      Or Jonny Ive could surprise us and come out with the new Mac Pro in a pyramid or spherical shape, now that they’ve done the cube and cylinder.

      1. I agree about the Cube comparisons. Better to correct their mistake for a Mac Pro who’s sales must have plummeted by now for a corrected one pro’s really REALLY want that will sell like hotcakes. Doubtful Apple is worrying about making it’s investment back and should be more concerned with making this market segment happy. I love design for about everything but my pro needs and then the needs (upgradeability, internals, PCIe3 slots) trump all other effete & snooty design considerations. Give us plenty of device options Apple!

    3. Give me a demi MacPro
      Half the drive bays—2
      Half the memory slots—4
      Half the PCI cards—2 (one for graphics)

      And don’t fink out on the Firewire ports–every living, breathing creative pro in video and audio has some kind of Firewire peripherals if they have been in business in the last decade.

      1. lol sorry Synth but one thing I can GUARANTEE won’t be on a new MacPro is a Firewire port. Invest in Thunderbolt to Firewire adapters cause that ship has sailed…

        1. Unfortunately, you are correct, but it is still dumb that they abandoned the Firewire ports on their “Pro” machines. Pros have been using FW for at least a decade for every type of A/V
          peripheral.

      2. Demi Mac Pro sounds nice, Synth, but:

        • Eight 3.5″ SAS/SATA 15k/10k/7200rpm on 2 x RAID controllers (both redundant to each other (if desired) or as one array; RAID 5 upward
        • Eight memory slots minimum (up to 64/128GB RAM)(future proof)
        • Eight expansion slots (most new graphics cards take up two slots these days)(grrrr)
        • Four gigabit ethernet ports
        • 8 x FireWire 400/800
        • Two 4/8GB Fibre Channel Slots (optional)(legacy xRAID)
        • Two InfiniBand ports (very optional)

        Design brief: Jam that lot into a Demi machine with fans, power, etc., Mr. Ive, and make it so futuristic that I want to bow down and worship it. Earn yer money! 😃

    4. Yeah, it was another PowerMac G4 Cube. Style over substance.

      Apple should release 2 new Mac Pro models (tower and mini-tower) and make them lightweight aluminum and plastic. The tower model should have with an optical drive bay, dedicated graphics card and additional PCIe slots, while the mini-tower has just a dedicated graphics card. Throw on some USB 3 and USB-C ports, Bluetooth, Wi-fi. Tower starts at $2000, mini-tower starts at $1400-1500 and call it a day.

  3. We are with you APPLE! We know you can do it! Amaze us!

    Updated G4-sized box with drop down side allowing us to get at the guts. Then sell us a raft of hard drives, specialty cards and nano-blades each of which contains a series of Ax chips that are fast, cool and energy efficient we can slide in by the handful allowing us to create out own mind-blowing, super computer.

    That’s all we want. 🙂

    Your dear friend, JWW

    1. The pro market is DEFINITELY with Apple!! And yes, they can most definitely amaze us. I happy to see readers here mostly agree that Apple needs to just move forward and certainly not give up on the pro markets that were its life blood during its darkest moments.

  4. I’ve got $4k burning in my pocket waiting for a new Mac Pro (or a 4 core, i7 mini), Apple… and that burn has been there for at least the last year or so. I like my monitors… don’t want an iMac. I can’t imagine they’d abandon the very groups that helped keep them relevant during the dark times, but Mr. Jobs isn’t around to remind people of that. ugh.

  5. There is a place for a professional-grade modular chassis Mac. And the trash can was not it.

    How can Apple design so many brilliant, beautiful *and* functional objects, and then throw all of that out the window to build this monolithic wank-job lump of metal?

    It is uninteresting as an object. It is less so as a product.

    You know what is interesting? An object that does exactly it’s job, and surprises us with the pleasure of using it.

    They built an objet d’art to sit on a shelf, untouched. They forgot that a professional has a hands-on relationship with the tools of their trade. Even when it’s a desktop computer.

    On this one Apple was designing form the wrong brief.

  6. There is no real reason Apple could not license Mac OS X but restrict it to certain markets.

    I have no doubt Sony, Dell, HP, Lenovo or others would jump at the opportunity to sell Mac towers to enterprise and pro markets. I really don’t give a damn about Jony Ive’s fashion on a workstation.

    A modern version of the cheese grater would be fine with me.

      1. What you are describing, is in essence a Hackintosh.
        I am glad I went ahead with my Skylake TB3 Hackintosh build, it out performs the Mac Pro Trash can (with the same number of cores) has more ram, more storage, faster network, TB3, USB 3.1 (c ports too), more powerful GPU.. and was much cheaper then the base model Mac Pro Trash can.. and its liquid cooled, so its just as silent. Running 10.11.5 and Protools on it no problems.

  7. There are plenty of people out there with perfectly useful displays (many made by Apple, even) who want more than a mini, but don’t want to buy an iMac. Many of them aren’t even pro users, but they don’t want an iMac (with its all-in-one form and non-upgradeability, it is neither flexible nor repair or eco-friendly). I’ve only had pro machines (the G5 and Mac Pro towers) but never made a penny off of using them. And I don’t want an iMac, because I already have a display.

    My current machine is a 2010 Mac Pro, all bays full, with PCI cards. That’s what I want to replace someday, and Apple isn’t offering options. It doesn’t have to be the exact shape, but needs similar features with new components.

    And just like the iPhone SE, I think they’d sell surprisingly well, in spite of having an older form.

    1. It says clearly in the first few sentences the Mac Pro is shipping. Still. Nobody is saying the Mac Pro isn’t available. We just know that, given what is a logical analysis of where we stand today, the current machine, if it was going to get updated at any point, should have been now or before. This machine is done.

      1. That’s what I believe, and because I bought one of them in 2013 and haven’t seen any updates, I suppose I own a future museum piece. I don’t deny the deficiencies cited by others. Their wants and needs were not met. Mine were, as were the needs of an estimated 750,000 others, but that’s few enough that Apple will recalibrate their sustainability equations and send their designers back to the drawing board. That robotic factory in the U.S. could be reprogrammed to stamp out cheese graters, and Apple has to be mulling that over. The one thing I can’t imagine Apple doing is tossing a grenade into the assembled group of Pro users, fragging the lot of them. I’d be standing safely in the distance with my fellow researchers but, you know, we’d still be appalled. And we’d start eyeing Linux or Windows solutions ourselves.

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