Marco Arment: Apple’s Mac Pro is ‘very likely dead’

“Apple chief executive Tim Cook [yesterday] addressed concerns about the state of Mac desktop hardware inside the company, following the release earlier this year of a refreshed MacBook Pro but no new Mac desktops,” Jordan Novet reports for VentureBeat. “Cook’s message is clear: Apple does not intend to stop making desktop computers, despite how things might look from outside Cupertino.”

“That Cook neglected to call out the Mac Pro or the Mac Mini by name in today’s message is indeed telling; it could be read as an indication that Apple does not intend to revamp one or even both,” Novet reports. “The Mac Pro was last updated in 2013 and the Mac Mini in 2014.”

Novet reports, “Prominent Apple-centric developer Marco Arment took Cook’s words to mean that the Mac Pro, in particular, is ‘very likely dead.'”

“As for new Mac desktops, at least it’s now a question of when, not if. For certain power users, they can’t arrive soon enough,” Novet reports. “‘These future Macs may be great, but a lot of people are tired of waiting,’ as Relay FM cofounder Stephen Hackett put it.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Time for our “theoretical ‘mini tower’ Mac Pro”?

As you can see from our poll, Apple is leaving a great deal of money on the table by not offering such a product.

How Tim Cook’s Apple alienated Mac loyalists – December 20, 2016
Apple’s not very good, really quite poor 2016 – December 19, 2016
Apple’s software has been anything but ‘magical’ lately – December 19, 2016
Lazy Apple. It’s not hard to imagine Steve Jobs asking, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ – December 9, 2016
Apple may have finally gotten too big for its unusual corporate structure – November 28, 2016
Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Apple’s disgracefully outdated, utterly mismanaged Mac lineup is killing sales – October 13, 2016
Apple takes its eye off the ball: Why users are complaining about Apple’s software – February 9, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


    1. Maybe Apple can design a notebook that can replace the venerable MacPro. Then again, Apple may just as well relegate MacPro to the dustbin of history from shear incompetence, laziness, and stupidity.

    2. Seriously considering a Surface Studio.

      We will look back at non-touchable desktops as antiques within just a few years, as the Surface Studio ushers in a new era of multi-input desktops.

      This is what has stopped me from buying an iMac. Apple is losing my business because they are too slow and not innovative enough.

      Apple’s problem: having 2 distinct operating systems. They need a new, one operating system to run on all devices.

      1. I agree. I have 3 iPads but I recently bought a Surface Pro and frankly I enjoy it more than my iPads.

        Cook makes unbuyable products and I refuse to buy another Apple product until the incompetent is replaced.

    1. Marco Arment is an American iOS and Web developer, as well as a technology writer and former magazine editor, living in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. As a developer, he is best known for co-founding Tumblr and creating Instapaper and Overcast.

      1. Marco is a good guy. A Mac lover. And he has quite a following in Apple tech circles. He has been banging this drum for a while now. Part of me hopes he is doing this to shame Apple into not deserting the Pro.

        1. Yeah…if both he and Gruber can’t kick Apple into action, with all their connections to inside sources, then probably, Apple has read the tea leaves and will kill the headless Mac hardware. When the numbers sold can’t support development you have to cut the losses. I see the problem more in terms of lack of ‘new’ developer support from graphics card manufacturers, than anything else. Better high end support would sell more MacPros’ but then games makers would need to do their stuff as well. The trash can Pro was a mistake even though they are beautiful machines. We need a low_cost_to_manufacture modular design and the drivers to match. I know it’s not that simple…just a New Year wish.

          1. It isn’t that hard to make a good tower box … when they already had one back in 2012 which merely needed a new fan guard for the EU market.

            The problem resides with arrogant “Designer!” paraiahs who try to ignore the laws of Thermodynamics. That’s how we end up with machines which slow down under the lightest of loads to prevent itself from meltdown because the thermal budget corner was cut.

            Any impressive looking benchmarks from such hardware was because it was done by Volkswagen.


  1. If the Mac Pro is dead then Apple professionally is dead to me. I will search out Hackintosh or PC Workstation solutions that satisfy. But just how much skin off their nose would it cost Apple to keep the Mac Mini & Mac pro going the way it should if this becomes true? Why are they so out of touch with those desperate to get the Apple Macs they need?

    This might be where Tim Cook “jumps the shark” for me as the type of more longsighted CEO Apple needs.

      1. oh i hear you so well…
        so sad but so true.

        im looking about to revert back to MS platform.
        at least i know 1000s i invest in software are not going to go up in smoke on someones idiosyncratic whim.

      2. I have defended pros for many, many yeas. You can go back and read my posts to verify that fact. But you guys are just killing me with your griping. If you really car, then quit wasting your time griping and threatening to switch to Windows and start a petition, gather backing for a powerful message to Apple, engage major shareholders…do something, don’t just talk and gripe and threaten.

      3. I have been buying hundreds of Mac Pro since 2003 for my creative studios . Last week , sadly, I gave up and ordered Lenovo workstations with Linux for the first time . I am very sad and I don’t understand why can Apple innovate with workstations / desktop and macOS while innovating with mobile devices . Just don’t get it . I decided , as a kid, to do what I do because of a macintosh. Now Apple are so behind graphic wise it is a shame . Shame on you Apple . Giving up on your Pro team like that . . .

    1. What I don’t get is why Apple simply cannot update the Mac Pro and Mac Mini with the next gen processors and chips be done with that? Next to no R&D required yet it extends the life of cash cows.

    2. I built a hackintosh and it was almost more than I could chew. There are so many conflict points to resolve, some critical non trivial system hacks and then there’s Apple updates…
      It’s almost like fighting a flaky Windows machine with corrupted drivers….and who ‘really’ needs that?

    3. Just another nod to those that “get it.” Apple’s future is in iOS and they have neither interest nor demand for macOS devices to fit any other need than as a dev platform for iOS apps.

      And that’s only until they can devise a development solution for iOS ON iOS.

  2. My Mac Pro is still plenty powerful enough for what I do. But my desk is a mess with external drive array, LTO tape, card reader, CD/DVD reader and cables for these plus printer, power etc.

    When I replace it I will buy something that has plenty of room inside it and sits on the floor. If there is nothing from Apple then it will be a Windows machine.

  3. A rather lame conclusion to draw from Tim’s words. He specifically mentioned the iMac because it was the last desktop Mac updated. That’s all there is to it. It’s apparent that the biggest whiners are also the same people who want this to be true.

    1. Been saying for a while now…

      Apple is focused on consumer technology now. In particular, mobile technology. The thing is, if you do a deep analysis of where Apple has been, and where they’ve always been headed, it’s easy to see where they are going. They’ve been telling us all along.

      Go all the way back to 1987…

      This is what Apple is building for consumers now. An iPad like device, with Siri, and wireless access to the Internet. 

Take a look at Apple’s “Future Shock.” Advanced user interface controlled by wrist device, virtual assistant, etc. All of which we can see merging in today’s laptop and mobile devices.

      Shortly before Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he was asked by Forbes Magazine what he would do if he came back to Apple. HIs response pretty much puts it all out there for anyone to see…

”If I were running Apple, I would milk the Macintosh for all it’s worth — and get busy on the next great thing. The PC wars are over. Done. Microsoft won a long time ago.”
      — Fortune, Feb. 19, 1996

Steve Jobs Returns to Apple. Apple starts cranking out iPods, iPhones, iPads with comparably few changes in the Mac line up.

      APPLE DROPS THE WORD “COMPUTER” from their name. Now called Apple, Inc.

      When interviewed at D8, Steve explained the “Post PC Era.” I.e. the end of the Mac (as we know it). PCs are “trucks” but most people drive “cars.”

      I call that “The Jobs Doctrine.” He established the direction for Apple before his death, and Apple is steadily moving in that direction. Apple is moving toward information appliances in the form of laptops (that cannot be repaired or upgraded), tablets, phones, and wearables. Disposable computers, that aren’t really disposed of, they just get handed down to friends and family and expand membership in Apple’s Ecosystem Services.

      Apple is demonstrably unconcerned with the so-called “pro-user.” The sheer neglect of the MacPro demonstrates this. The pro-market is tiny compared to the iPhone market. The iPhone is what turned Apple into the world’s largest company, not the Mac. 

Last year Tim Cook slipped up and basically said he doesn’t understand why anyone would buy a PC (meaning PC or Mac). That’s from the current CEO of Apple.

[ Personal computers may still dominate the workforce, but Tim Cook believes their time is almost up.

      In an interview with U.K. newspaper The Telegraph, Apple’s CEO was incredulous that anyone would continue to buy a PC in a world where his company’s iDevices are available. And that goes double for businesses.

      “I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore?” he told the paper during a trip to visit Apple’s flagship store in London for the debut of its powerful big-screen tablet, the new iPad Pro. “No really,” he said, “why would you buy one?” ]


There it is in plain English. PCs are DEAD. PCs meaning conventional personal computers like the Mac.

      We’ve all observed the lack of continuing advancement in the MacOS.

      There’s all of that and something else I’ve observed. The current “pro-users” in many ways now remind me of the old guys that were attached to Quantel equipment. They refused to see competition from PCs and Macs. Lots of guys kept spending millions of dollars on Quantel equipment.

      Now it’s happening again. Smaller computers are becoming more powerful. I hear repeatedly from people who bought the new MacPro that they do more editing on their MacBook Pros than they do on the MacPro.

      Guess what?

      The MacBook Pro IS the new MacPro!

 The MacBook is probably the computer for the average person.

      The MacBook Pro is the “Truck.”

      And over time, most home and personal computers will be phones and tablets.

      Apple also doesn’t really care about Enterprise Computing either.

      Apple is not interested in backroom IT, or large data center IT, or even the Enterprise, which is ironic considering all the IBM and CISCO attention. IBM recently got rid of all their Windows machines and moved to Macintosh. Then again, the IBM effort is built around mobile. MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and iOS devices. IBM is treating the MacBook/MacBook Pro just like an iOS device, i.e. with strong Mobile Device Management.
When IBM says “Mac” think “Mac Laptop.” IBM isn’t buying iMacs and MacPros or MacMinis.

      So if you’re a technology lead for a company that does a great deal of photography, video editing, animation, and 3D and any part of your workflow is significantly Macintosh based, what do you do?

 You start looking elsewhere for the trucks you need today.

      1. TMac : “

There it is in plain English. PCs are DEAD”

        guess Apple doesn’t agree with you.

        Jony Ives lab late last year filled with Macs and with Cheese Graters (guess they need upgradable GPUs) under the tables and Apple’s Brand New Indian Research centre filled with iMacs. Where the might iPads?

        1. What’s he going to do, use PCs in plain sight? This oddity doesn’t change the fact that THEY didn’t even use the current MacPro and they even know it’s a piece of crap. Probably had a ton of “cheese graters” available in India as well. What is the connection to the demise of the Mac?

  4. I’ve been banging this drum for ages.

    Tim is expecting pros to make do with skinny underpowered laptops connected to monitors they don’t sell. Pathetic.

    Desktop refresh? Real artists SHIP.

    Any pro Mac user who is not currently kicking the tyres on a Windows workflow is deluding themselves.

    Any IT pro that runs a Mac network, really ought to have a Windows based plan B arranged – right now.

    Tiny Tim will go down in history as the man who squandered Steve Jobs’ legacy.

    1. More like the man that brought Steve Jobs legacy to reality. It can be argued, very well, that this is where Steve was headed.

      It’s not that they want Pro’s to use underpowered laptops, they want Pro’s to use the most powerful systems out there… it’s just that those powerful systems are NOT Macs. (In other words, they’re welcoming a sizeable and vocal group of “Pro’s” to seek out greener pastures.)

      Start your migration now and in 5 years, you won’t even care what Apple’s doing 🙂

    1. I’ve noticed several Mac companies announcing Windows versions of their products.

      MacPhun, Camerabag, Affinity, Diskdrill etc.

      This tells me these developers think they better diversify their income away from Mac OS.

      Sad days indeed!

  5. A few years ago a Mac evangelist I know told me that Apple should kill its pro line. His reasoning was thus:

    “In the early days of Mac vs Windows, Apple strictly controlled/enabled software interface design, even for 3rd party products. So Mac versions of software were inherently better than Windows versions. Now though [back then, this was I don’t know, 2009/11?] the application interface is the same on both Mac and PC versions, and PC workstations are cheaper, iterate more often (if you are prepared to swap brands) and are buildable. Apple can’t compete, yes they be first out with a new flagship, but it’ll get matched in a few months.”

    I protested that OSX was a better working environment than Windows.

    “You are not a Pro” he said “you a a dilettante that swaps between applications. Pro’s work in Adobe or whatever pretty much exclusively, they need a file system is all.”

    I didn’t believe him then, but seems he was prescient.

    1. Apple did kill its pro line already. It’s just Cook can’t seem to find the cash to remove the pro monikers from all the stale old products that used to be competitive 6 years ago. All new hardware from Cook is overpriced consumer jewelry no matter what they call it. There isn’t any Mac that is cost effective for productivity today. The competition keeps forging ahead but Apple has only pushed the Mac to become subservient to iCloud and iOS. Stupid move Apple.

  6. If they don’t want to make a Mac Pro, license the OS!!! I just went and built a Windows 10 box to hold me over until something compelling is released. Abobe Creative Cloud is a lifesaver… just moved those apps over and was on my way (I wasn’t going to buy Apple’s current line up, since it’s a year or more overdue for a refresh). Windows 10 isn’t MacOS, but it’s the best Windows yet, and the Ubuntu Bash shell integration is interesting, but not fully baked yet.

  7. I have never seen so much negativity from Apple loyalists to Tim Cook. This has to be very embarrassing that the perception from loyal fans is he is literally destroying the company. I agree 100% and think Tim either lives in a bubble or is a complete moron on how the company is being managed. Letting 95% of your product line rot and only making sub marginal improvements on the phone is insane. 2017 will begin the purge of incompetent managers starting with likely Eddy Cue. Shocking the negative press from fans

    1. “Letting 95% of your product line rot”
      You mean that tiny Mac SECTION of the larger products that extend into tablets and phones? Because the majority of what Apple ships a LOT of gets refreshed fairly regularly.

      They just don’t ship all that many Macs by comparison.

  8. In its current form, the trashcan successor to the Cube is ready to die.

    It is long past time for Apple to offer 3 lines of display-free desktops: Mac Mini, Macintosh, and Mac Pro. i5, i7, and Xeon. good, better, best. SIMPLE but POWERFUL. Every one with 2 year update cycle and more options for post-purchase user expansion as you move up.

    Move the existing iMac to a low-cost educational / enterprise offering and price them to move.

    Fix the MacBook ASAP with a proper 17″ PRO model, and drop the 13″ non touchbar to be just called a Macbook, then drop prices on the 12″ and 13″ Macbooks with some advertising to attract customers that Apple scared away in the past 4 years via overpriced dongle hell. Give away the adapters with purchase. For goodness’ sake, Apple already charges enough for its Macs. Toss your ailing customers a bone,

    1. I think this kinda shows why Steve had disdain for Pro’s. What Pro’s want (many times due to necessity) is always where the puck is or where the puck was… NEVER where the puck will be.

      Apple had a vision for Final Cut that the Pro’s rejected because it wasn’t “the same ol’ thing plus faster and with bells”. But looking at FCPX now… if dumping all those users then means that someone starting today has an experience that isn’t easily replicated on any other editor… then it was worth it.

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