Is Apple phasing out the pro-level Mac?

“As if the 80 or so minutes he spent showing off the iPhone weren’t enough, Steve Jobs concluded his 2007 Macworld Expo keynote in San Francisco with one final bombshell unveiling,” Michael Simon writes for Macworld. “It wasn’t a piece of hardware or an OS update, but it was just as significant: As he was summing up Apple’s increasingly diverse product line, Jobs announced a change that signaled a new direction for the company, one perhaps even more telling than the revolutionary mobile phone unveiled moments earlier.”

“‘The Mac, iPod, Apple TV, and iPhone. Only one of those is a computer. So we’re changing the name,’ said Jobs,” Simon writes. “Apple Computer became Apple Inc. And thus began the post-PC revolution, a conscious cultural shift that demoted the Mac to a device and gradually pushed it into the background. Over the years since, Apple’s innovations have been largely relegated to the mobile space, only appearing on the Mac after they’ve emerged as established, dependent technologies.”

MacDailyNews Take: Actually, Steve was being duplicitous; hiding perceived complexity for marketing purposes. All four are plainly computers, as he well knew. And as Apple obviously still knows full well today.

Simon writes, “No one knows for sure what Apple’s long-term plans are for the Mac, but it’s pretty clear that there isn’t a whole lot of attention being devoted to its longest running product.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There will be new Macs, including MacBook Pro models, for the foreseeable future. Desktop “Mac Pro?” The jury is still out, but Apple’s silence so far is deafening.

Apple debuts new iPad Pro TV ad: ‘What’s a Computer?’ – August 1, 2016
The only thing really wrong with Apple’s iPhone is its name – January 9, 2007


    1. I would say it’s dead except new code for a new Mac Pro seems to have been uncovered recently in El Capitan..

      El Capitan code hint

      This code uncovered in OS X El Capitan offers an evident clue that the 2016 edition Mac Pro may be coming out for retail soon. Seen on the reference found within El Capitan code, the codenamed “AAPLJ95,1” which is a very familiar signal for those who has been keeping up with the Apple flagship releases for this year, Pike’s Universum said.

      Here is the catch, the current Mac Pro bears the similar codename AAPLJ90,1. Therefore, the similarity claims and rumors have a plausible theory that the code may be referring Apple’s new version of the professional-level workstation which is kept for fans.

      But the clue droppings do not end there, there is yet another clue whereas saying that this rumored Mac Pro is really a fact. And we can assume that the code hints that there will be 10 USB 3.0 ports on the new flagship since only Mac Pros have in any ways have many ports.

  1. “The jury is still out, but Apple’s silence so far is deafening…”

    Just like it ever was before the ‘leaks’ that greatly diminished the essential element of surprise. Welcome the silence.

    1. You’re right. Apple never says anything. It’s the vast peanut gallery that usually uncovers all the clues. And it would seem that if there were a new Mac Pro we’d have heard some thing by now, some hints, in the same way you’ve got a pretty good idea what the next iPhone will be like and what the next MacBook Pro will be like. All there has been is an inference from a plist in El Capitan.

      Still one can hope.

      1. One more slim filament of hope: Mac Pros are made by robots in the U.S. — two points that bolster secrecy and reduce the potential for spying and prototype leaks.

        1. Its good to see US companies bringing robot jobs back from China to the US.

          The flood of human US jobs going to China will soon be viewed as a only a one-time temporary effect of China’s economic rise.

          That transition is already ending due to the growing flood of human jobs being taken over by machines in China, the US, and everywhere else.

          1. As I have posted in the past, the transition to robotic manufacturing will hit China and other low-cost labor nations particularly hard. Where will those people go and what will they do? Many of them came from difficult rural backgrounds in China and have no wish to return. What do you do with the flood of workers displaced by robots?? The result will be massive civil unrest in China and other nations.

    1. Yeah, the current “pro” offering is a joke. Not just because it’s 3 years old, but because of the form factor and lack of expandability for things like video cards, etc. Apple either completely doesn’t understand the Pro market or it just doesn’t care.

    2. Yes the current “Mac Pro” should be rebranded as “Mac”. It is a nice machine for what it does.

      Then a new expandable/highly upgradable Mac Pro should be released. It sucks that a large part of my job must be done on Windows because Apple doesn’t sell a machine capable enough any more.

    3. 20+ 5 star votes

      are you listening Apple?

      and give me my MID TOWER between the Mini and the PRO:
      – One workstation class multicore processor
      – upgradable GPU, RAM , HD
      – (maybe) one spare slot
      – Thunderbolt 3 or equivalent.

      build towers, cost practically nothing in R&D as Hackintosh guys can build faster macs than the cylinder.

      lots of us want to spend $$$ on the right mac.
      (I have 2 upgraded Mac Pros, a 12.9 iPad Pro, Macbook Pro etc. C’mon apple build them and see mac sales go up! see apple stock rise ! ).

  2. I’m doing all the work I used to do with my Mac Pro on an iMac.

    The latest iMac is an awesome machine and I cut 4k video like it’s DV footage. I decided there was no need to replace my 2010 Mac Pro with another Mac Pro because the iMac does everything I need for a fraction of the price and with a stunning display to boot. I suspect more and more content producers like myself are making the same decision and the market for the Mac Pro is diminishing rapidly.

    1. It’s just not the same thing. Too many compromises in too many areas for much pro work. Not enough ports. And you don’t have that extra “oomph” for when you need it.

      1. I am not a pro-user but am curious if you have examples of why and when you need the oomph. Is it to save a few seconds or is it more significant than that and what kind of things are you doing?

        Switched says he does 4K just fine.

        1. 4K comes in many flavors. I daresay 4K RED RAW would drive a iMac 5K to a stop. Plus 3D animation needs all the speed and GPU acceleration it can get. iMac is not upgradeable. For many tasks it’s great but just not the truly top high end uses.

          It also does not fully support Adobe Suite stuff like Premiere Pro not having an Nvidia solution and CUDA processing. Mac model selection is based on need. The iMac 5K could cut 4K UHD video fine but that doesn’t make it a top performer or the be all and end all by a long shot. Mac Pro’s are still needed and will always be needed for truly high end media production where there is a never ending quest for speed. And where 8K looms around the corner.

            1. Don’t think so. TB2 is not in the same class as a PCIe 3.0 slot as far as bandwidth, only a fraction. Even Thunderbolt 3, though certainly a lot closer. Thunderbolt is the actual bottleneck. Though for most people’s purposes is fine. It’s just those tasks that require everything out of a Mac Pro that would need the extra bandwidth.

        2. TBH the 5k iMac is so good the real world difference between the iMac and MP 2013 is only a couple of fps in realtime playback performance.

          The Mac Pro 2013 can stretch its legs in highly threaded CPU intensive tasks but you’ll need an 8 core mac Pro to really see a huge difference as the 4 core i7 iMac competes very well with a 6 core Mac Pro in most real world tasks often beating it as many applications are still unable to make use of highly parallel code.

          The iMac renders my video work plenty quick enough and I’ve never once wished I bought the MP 2013 instead or waited for an updated one. The iMac was fully loaded and was less than half the price of the Mac Pro I was going to order.

        3. A lot depends on your specific use case.

          For example, merely having a big digital photo library will make the image database management software (iPhoto / Photos / etc) crawl based on disk I/O performance …

          … and while it is easy to say “Fusion Drive!”, the reality is that their SSD buffer is woefully too small to handle such bandwidth.

          That means nothing less than an SSD, and the Apple Tax on those for an iMac is pretty rude (+$700 for 1TB). For larger than 1TB sized collections, you’re SOL because Apple doesn’t offer any larger BTO’s, so now you’re looking at aftermarket & trying to crack open the iMac’s case, or going to an ungainly external and paying extra for the “Thunderbolt Tax”. Both are extra headaches and degraded product value.

          In contrast, the old classic Mac Pro could accommodate a pair of internal drives on a RAID0 and get respectable performance, which represented a good value. Sure, its bandwidth was only ~230MB/sec, but back in 2010 for only $200 it’s still a better value than a Fusion Drive today – – which illustrates how Apple’s current Mac solutions are moving BACKWARDS in terms of ‘Bang for the Buck’ for these sorts of creator customer use cases.

          The same holds true too for the trash can: unless you’re using software that its GPUs like *and* you have a wicked fast (FibreChannel 8 or better) file server for your data, it is a poor value product for the customer’s use case requirements.

          The net result is that Apple has “Innovated” their power user customer base to go use a competitor’s products to get their jobs done:

      2. I must admit I did wonder if I would miss the extra ‘oomph’ but in 6 months of flat out work I’ve never found the iMac lacking in any regard. If I had bought the Mac Pro 2013 I would be paying for a lot of ‘oomph’ to be sat on the desk doing nothing.

        1. I can appreciate that for your uses. As always your uses or mine are not everyone’s though. There are also things missing like much faster than Thunderbolt 2 PCIe3 16X slots for multiple video cards and other PCIe cards. Glad you saved some money and were still able to satisfy your needs though.

        2. If the iMac is the new path for all heavy professional work then we need a stronger CPU and GPU options on the iMac (An iMac Pro). A more powerful machine, probably heavier, expandable or with an optional expansion box via TB 3.0 and easy to open and service.

          All this is for a mid size workstation iMac. If you research a bit you will find top workstations from HP, Dell or Boxx have dual socket CPUs and at least dual graphic processors capabilities. So at least we need a top single CPU and GPU iMac.

    2. iMac will heat much too much for a long heavy rendering, for instance. Few jobs just won’t be done if not enough air gets driven through enough CPUs an big Graphic cards.

    3. the iMac 5k has a 4 GB GPU max

      I have a 27 inch Cintiq pen monitor for work.
      if i connect it to the iMac, the GPU has to run both the iMac Screen and the Cintiq i.e roughly 2 GB for each (which is joke as you can get way more powerful PC video cards).
      If I did 3 D on it , it will be slow. Almost all 2 D artist pros have Cintiqs, many 3D as well. shows an iMac 5k vs a 2010 Mac pro with UPGRADED video card doing a GPU intensive game:
      the iMac 70+ fps
      the 6 year old Mac Pro with upgrade card: 181 fps.

      (the game test just shows GPU power. You need GPU power if you want to run several large monitors or things like rotate complex high polygon 3D objects. Note the 2010 MP is using old subsystems and processors . Imagine a full fledged current top line PC… ).

  3. I’m very concerned about the lack of a new Mac Pro. I’ve been waiting for some time for a new one. I don’t know how much longer I can hold out. There are a lot of us that have been concerned about Apple abandoning the professional space. We became worried when they dropped the price of FCS more than two thirds. That’s usually a sign a company is moving to the amateur space.

  4. Could it be that construction of a new HQ and move planning is disruptive to the company, and that once they are settled in the new building we will be treated once again to a new era of innovative products?

  5. Obviously Apple does more to please the shareholders than the pro users of Mac!
    Is Apple becoming just some fun and entertainment company or something?
    Please, Apple, if you want to turn your back to serious computing, allow, at least, other companies to create clones of the “trucks” some NEED to work!

  6. So what will the professionals at Apple use to design their products and services, or make their weird TV shows? Or build their Apple Car? Will they resort to Windows?

  7. The headline seems to be compliant with the “Betteridge’s Law of Headlines” (which states that when headline asks a yes/no type question, the answer is always No).

    However, the article itself is a bit less reassuring, and I can see both outcomes as plausible. Mac is clearly a very profitable line, and still has the potential for modest growth (grabbing market share away). The question is if Mac (hardware and software) profits cover the effort invested in the research and development. This isn’t that easy to determine, since Apple is (from what we hear) a very horisontal company, with engineers being moved between projects and divisions based on the demand. Unlike Microsoft, which has always been hobbled with unbreakable silos that compete against each other for the love of Steve Ballmer (or Gates before him), Apple mostly has people working together and across product lines (with the possible exception of development of new paradigm-shifting products that go in secret).

    In other words, we can’t know if Mac is worth the effort for Apple, when all things are taken into account (revenue, ecosystem, fan base, etc). Based on the lack of attention over the past years, indicators are that the answer may be no, it’s not quite worth the effort. This is quite unfortunate, as desktop computing is still a mainstream sport, and one in ten people prefer to practice it on Apple hardware.

  8. I’ve been waiting years for an updated Mac Pro and when it came it wasn’t what I wanted. I ended up building a hackintosh, not because I didn’t want to buy a Mac, but because they didn’t have the Mac I wanted. Apparently, a lot of other people do the same. Unfortunately, you can’t use hackintoshes at work and I make do with the trashcan.

  9. More fear and loathing. Apple is not about to bail on the Pro line equipment and have to … choke, choke … start using Dell & Microsoft laptops and desktops.

    Give me a break.

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