Why Apple’s new Mac Pro might never arrive

“Pros have been dissatisfied with Apple of late, and it’s not hard to see why,” Dan Moren writes for Macworld. “The so-long-in-the-tooth-it-qualifies-as-a-fang Mac Pro hasn’t been updated in more than three years, but still commands a hefty price tag. And last fall’s new MacBook Pro added the splashy new Touch Bar while seeming to skimp on practicalities like RAM and processor power.”

“But all may not be lost!” Moren writes. “During the recent Apple shareholder meeting, CEO Tim Cook had this cryptic answer to a question about the pro market: ‘“Don’t think something we’ve done or something that we’re doing that isn’t visible yet is a signal that our priorities are elsewhere.’ (Or, if I may paraphrase: ‘Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.’)”

“In case that wasn’t clear, he also answered more directly, saying, ‘You will see us do more in the pro area. The pro area is very important to us. The creative area is very important to us in particular,'” Moren writes. “But that doesn’t mean Apple is necessarily about to drop a new Mac Pro. Cook’s definition of ‘pro’ is open to interpretation.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: At this point, from what we’ve seen (or haven’t seen) out of Cook’s Apple, our interpretation of Cook’s definition of ‘pro’ is: iMac Pro and/or iPad Pro. (We’d love to be proven wrong with a real Mac Pro!)

Additionally, in virtual fit of tone deafness, Apple still refers to the over 3-year-old Mac Pro as the “new Mac Pro” on their website. Do your job at least, Phil. Not just jabbing a stick into, but stirring it around in the eye sockets of professional Mac users is the opposite of smart, effective marketing.

Dare we hold out hope for the Mac Pro? – March 1, 2017
Apple CEO Cook pledges support to pro users, says ‘we don’t like politics’ at Apple’s annual shareholders meeting – February 28, 2017
Yes, I just bought a ‘new’ Mac Pro (released on December 19, 2013 and never updated) – January 4, 2017
Attention, Tim Cook! Apple isn’t firing on all cylinders and you need to fix it – January 4, 2017
No, Apple, do not simplify, get better – December 23, 2016
Rare video shows Steve Jobs warning Apple to focus less on profits and more on great products – December 23, 2016
Marco Arment: Apple’s Mac Pro is ‘very likely dead’ – December 20, 2016
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
Rush Limbaugh: Is Apple losing their edge? – December 9, 2016
AirPods: MIA for the holidays; delayed product damages Apple’s credibility, stokes customer frustration – 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. Cook is clueless.


      A late 2016 Barefeats survey summarized:

      “Based on our survey, the most popular Mac Pro configuration is a Tower with 8 CPU cores, 64GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GPU, two external 4K displays, and 2TB of internal storage. The top three most desired ports are Thunderbolt 3, Ethernet, and USB 3.1 Gen2.”

      But also look at the pie charts, they show just how far behind Apple’s hardware is today:

      – 25% of respondents want a 16 core CPU
      – 9% of respondents want 256GB of RAM; 25% want 128GB
      – 80% of respondents prefer NVIDIA GPUs; 67% want Apple to support both CUDA and OpenCL
      – 80% of respondents use 2 or more displays at the same time
      – 91% of respondents need a display that has at least 4K native resolution
      – 43% of respondents need 4TB or more of internal storage
      – 73% of respondents need a dedicated Audio Out port
      – 89% of respondents need a dedicated Ethernet port

      Does Apple make anything that achieves all of the above at any price? No. By the time the user cobbles together all the adapters and 3rd party equipment to achieve the capabilities needed, his Mac system setup looks like a hodgepodge of parts from a tag sale, cables & adapters & breakout boxes everywhere, and a surprising number of incompatibilities that grows with every Mac release.

      Cook needs to walk a kilometre with a Mac user to understand. He clearly doesn’t get it yet.

    1. That’s how I see it too. If I don’t use Macs (as I have for over 30 years) then I don’t have a need for the Apple ecosystem. Most Macs are very good, but Apple has become tone-deaf to what heavy duty content producers need and want. We don’t want dainty and minimal. We want best in class big iron.

  1. No worries. I have an alternate plan called a “PC Workstation” if Apple shouldn’t heed or care about it’s professional market. A sad plan to be sure.

    Sorry for those here who tire of pro complaints about this. (But then you probably don’t have these issues with Apple. Nice for you.)

  2. I wonder how many of us are there really? In other words, those of us who value the Mac above all of Apple’s other products. For me, the Mac is what ties me to Apple. Not the iPhone or the iPad or the watch. Certainly about the services. Other than the Macintosh anything else that Apple makes I can get elsewhere. In some cases arguably better. I wonder though if Apple sees people like me as a very small minority. Perhaps Apple sees us as a negligible market niche. If so, I wonder are they willing to just let us die out slowly as they transition from computer company to consumer information appliance company.

    1. When we die, that’s when Apple die.
      This is the first time I am beginning seriously to consider “non-Apple” options, after so many decades. I feel Apple we used to know has forever gone. Although it might be a cliche, Apple indeed died when Steve Jobs died, or any other visionaries in that company left. The Apple culture we used to adore and admire was replaced by relentless money grabbing moves.

        1. Wrong. The only M$ product I use is Office mac. I do not even know how to operate Windows PC. I’ve been with Apple for more than a quarter centuries and it was a good life until recently.

        2. It’s not about love. It’s about keeping up with the competition. Apple has not kept the Mac fresh. Both hardware and software are falling significantly behind. Apple is doing nothing to get software makers on board. So why pay a premium to run BootCamp on inferior old Mac when you can have a state of the art upgradeable computer from someone else? It’s up to Apple to earn its way into our office, fanboy.

      1. This is what happens when a company gets in bed with Wall Street and Goldman Sachs – it becomes much more about money and focusing upon that one or two products that grow marketshare exponentially while making lots of money for the overloards, and less about other product lines which no longer contribute to the expected revenue stream in any Wall Street-meaningful way.

        Lose the Wall Street focused Apple, and gain back the product driven Apple.


    2. I am also with Apple because of (and only because of) the Mac. If I have to move to Windows I’m done with Apple. I don’t use any of their paid services and my Apple TV is in a box in storage waiting for me to put it on eBay. I hate iOS. It niggles constantly and I’m forever abandoning my iphone or iPad to do something more easily, or at all, on the Mac.

      I’m not happy with my Macbook with its chiclet “pretend” keyboard. I won’t buy another Apple notebook. My Mac Pro is still fast enough but it’s a mess of cables and boxes on, instead of under, my desk. My next fast computer will be a tower. If Apple don’t make one it will be Wintel.

      The soul left Apple when Steve died. Tim Cook may know the cost of every component but he has no idea what people need in a workhorse computer. Ditto Sir Jon.


  3. They got owned by doing their mac pro factory in the US of A.

    They are waiting for all the contracts to end and start over.

    Welcome to America.

    They are so polite, they don’t trash talk about it.

  4. I don’t care if it’s an iMac Pro. All I want is a Mac that can keep up with Adobe Creative Cloud and Modo, the rest of my developing applications can run on much more meager specs. But I do need a robust GPU and hefty processors. The only thing that has allowed me to wait this long is the purchase of a 2015 Macbook Pro, which I have been using for video work. The rest of my work is still stuck on an aging 2008 Mac Pro. Excellent machine, but I really need a new Mac at this point. Even InDesign is getting laggy on this hardware.

    1. An iMac Pro would not surprise me at all. They’ll take a standard iMac, color it gold, change the stand, add a few dongles and give it a new Pro designation.

      PLEASE PLEASE give us a Pro device worthy of the name!

      1. Lol! Funny as hell. Sad to say but it’s likely true and Apple should be known as Apple –the dongle company. Imagine the hell 10.3 is going to cause for everyone as it’s been five years now of problems every time a software update is released

      2. beosjim, I feel your frustration, I bit the bullet a few weeks ago and built myself a new wintel box with a nice GTX 1080ti 12gb graphics card, half the price of the entry level mac pro, and it just screams, CC and Modo 10 runs like a dream, I can spin 4 million polys around in the viewport without issue, I have never been able to do that on my classic Mac Pro!

    2. I don’t care what Apple calls it, an all-in-one iMac “Pro” sounds like a disaster. The current iMacs are already thermally throttled. If Ive puts his paws on it, it will be worse, and you’ll have zero internal expansion, shitty ergonomics, and no legacy connectivity. With a black and white display because that is more pure and clean in Ive’s world.

      Apple: if you haven’t lost the Pro computer market already, there is a pent up demand for Mac Mini, small Mac tower (or cheap cylinder), a proper large workstation, a user upgradeable thicker 32GB MacBook Pro in 15 & 17 inch screen sizes, and also a server of some kind. Every one of those PERSONAL computers would be profitable if designed properly. Do you have enough money and talent to get off your fat asses and get it done?

  5. Tim Cook started saying things like “pipeline”, or attention to “pro line” etc etc, which all sound like excuses. He started uttering thee empty words only recently, realizing that the market is not happy about too much attention to iOS everything. Finally, shareholders started voicing their concerns lately. There is absolutely no excuse that Cook’s Apple became a phone company with people like Angela Ahrendts keep pushing “fashion” theme. The hell with watch bands etc. Much as they might be important to watch sales, it is still a sideline biz.

  6. I look forward to the book to be published in the 2030’s entitled, “Apple Masterpieces That Never Shipped.” You’ll find the in-screen Apple TV, the 2016 Mac Pro, the finger-worn iRing, the early concepts for the Apple Car.

  7. How hard can it be to design a pro computer? I’m talking about the guts and not some fancy outer casing. Aren’t good motherboards relatively simple to design. There seems to be no shortage of new motherboards for Windows PCs. Of course, all those motherboards use industry standard components unlike Apple trying to always change the form factors for computers. Why can’t Apple build at least one computer that can utilize standard PC components to make upgrading a lot easier.

    Apple should have stuck with that older cheese-grater design and simply upgraded all the older components with newer ones. That was such a functional design compared to the newer trashcan-shaped model which seems unusually restricted in terms of upgrading components. The trashcan model MacPro might be a very good Final Cut Pro computer but that’s too much of a single purpose computer and probably has hurt sales all this time.

    Charging high-end prices for some non-upgradeable computer design makes little sense. Building a “pro” computer around some design that’s just meant to look different from other computers is a waste of time.

  8. They could be waiting for Intel Thunderbolt 3 to become more available. Yes I know it’s here, in the MacBook Pro. However they seem to have a new Mac a year strategy for some time now. The MBP was the logical choice for it to come out first. It is the Mac they make the most money on. I can see why they have not done a hardware update until TB3. They will also need a new keyboard too. Of course I wish Apple would update Macs a lot more. Something like a book and desktop a year would be great. I have given up hope on a complete desktop update, that would be an orgasm.

  9. Apple is only interested in content CONSUMPTION, not content CREATION. And the newer iMacs are powerful enough to pay lip service to content creators…

    While I disagree with this, nevertheless, and regardless of what Tim Cook says, this has been Apple’s stance for several years, now, and I don’t see anything on the horizon that would change it.

    1. It is better to have the content creators run Windows or maybe Linux right? Then Apple doesn’t have to mess that that icky stuff any longer. They can concentrate on wristbands & watches, headphones and streaming music. They took ‘Computer’ out of the company name for a reason.

      I am trying to be funny, but there isn’t anything funny about the near abandonment of the Pro’s. PLEASE PLEASE Apple, make a Pro device worthy of the name!

  10. Apple has effectively abandoned the pro market. There is little they can say at this point to restore credibility. The current Mac Pro is pretty to look at, but is completely tone deaf regarding the needs of pro users. I’m hoping Apple has been using the last 3+ years rethinking what a pro machine is. Really, it should be hard. Many of us would beg Apple to bring back the cheese grater style Mac pro with PCI expansion slots, drive bays and ECC memory slots.

  11. I’m stuck on Mac. My workflow is around FCP X, and I have absolutely no desire to move to Premiere. Over the past four years (since moving to FCP X), I have tried premiere on several occasions and for my type of work, there is no way I can be even half as fast in Premiere as I can be in FCP X. In other words, I can produce twice as much video in FCP X in the same timeframe.

    Perhaps a hackintosh would work, If I can convince the management that it can be legal… although there is still no legal way to procure proper support for such a system.

  12. Tim Cook was speaking at the shareholder meeting in his official capacity as CEO. His words are open to interpretation but that is not a situation where he cannot make idle comments.

  13. Why even have the old Mac Pro on the website? Apple hasn’t had a Mac Pro in years. Who the hell would by that old equipment now and at that disgusting price. It’s sad that Apple just walked out on the pro market.

  14. I’ll try not to go over all the good points raised by the other commenters here about Apple’s Mac neglect but just add:

    1) at least Apple should drop the price of the Mac Pro so that users can take the savings and buy external GPU boxes. Thunderbolt 2 for the boxes isn’t ideal but at least it’s something (a 980T card would have something like 3+ times the performance of the highest end Cylinder D700)

    This will tide users over until the new MPs come up or if they don’t make new MPs allow users time to figure out an escape path for the future (like Mackintosh or…. urgggh.. Windows)

    2) Tim Cook always said his priority was making Apple into an ETHICAL company, that’s why he spends so much time on social activities and into reforming Apple.

    But is abandoning Pro users whom Apple enticed into the fold with marketing ethical? Apple over the years marketed hard to Pros from Photoshop shootouts to buying and putting out pro software like Aperture, FCP etc. Some Pro users have now invested tens of thousands into the Apple eco system — abandoning them (no updates, no drop in price, no news of future pipeline etc) leaves a bad taste in the mouth and blows TCs claims of being ‘honourable and ethical’ out of the water.

    A couple of years ago Tim Cook got into a fight with a shareholder who questioned the ROI (return on investment) on some of Cook’s social activities in the annual shareholder meeting. TC basically said “Apple does things for ethics and not always the bottom line. If the shareholder didn’t like that — Apple’s social commitments — he should sell all his shares and get out of Apple. ”

    so after pronouncements like THAT, why the abandoning of Pro users (4 years with no updates or news)?

    Are OUTSIDE minorities whom TC keeps worrying about more important than minority CUSTOMERS who have invested in DUE TO APPLE’S PROMISES AND MARKETING ? When PRODUCTS are concerned they only care about profits in marketshare etc and not keeping faith with their customers? Many Pro users LIVELIHOODS (to feed their staff, themselves , their families ) are dependent on their equipment…

    that’s why sometimes I question TC’s so called ‘social concerns’ — in spite of people flaming me for doing so– because i see so much hypocrisy). He’s seems to be only socially concerned when he gets pats on the backs from various social groups like AIDs charities, the Kennedy Foundation, for profit and customers he can be TOTALLY RUTHLESS.

    1. smart readers would realize my ‘ethics’ plea is actually a last ditch desperate attempt to make TC and Apple SVPs listen to Pro users needs. No plea seems to have worked after years of trying so I’m thinking the last attempt is to guilt them with ‘ethics’.

    1. Yes, but Steve probably wanted someone with steady hand to keep what he seeded and built, perhaps for 3 to 5 years. But I do not think he was expecting Cook to be forward looking to anything technological. Cook did admirable job but it’s time to hand over to a real Apple sort of guy, but if he nurtured someone…

  15. The current problem with Apple is that they’ve completely removed the geek or cutting-edge mentality in favour of family-values and accessibility. Apple these days is all about “good-enough” as opposed to amazing or unique – a result of leadership that is great at evaluating risks but doesn’t understand the importance of a flourishing power-user-culture.

    1. Bingo. You go to the head of the class.

      “Good enough” was when the iPod team gave Jobs a prototype to look at. “Amazing and unique” was what happened after they redesigned it to eliminate all of the unused space he demonstrated by sinking it in water. (Look up the story if you are unfamiliar)
      We need that mentality again. “Is isn’t done, until it is done right”. Currently we not have the “it isn’t done, but it is good-enough” mentality.

      “Good-enough” is for Microsoft. We need to be better than that.

  16. Apple CEO Tim Cook: “You Will See Us Do More in the Pro Area”. “Expect us to do more and more where people will view it as a laptop replacement, but not a Mac replacement – the Mac does so much more”, he said. “To merge these worlds, you would lose the simplicity of one, and the power of the other”. https://www.macrumors.com/2017/02/28/apple-ceo-tim-cook-pro-creative-area-important

    Apple: Mac users don’t believe Tim Cook’s hype about pro products
    Apple has become a phone company, and everything else is a second or third level priority for them. That will continue to work great in terms of profits until enough people dump their Macs and then realize that perhaps they can live without an iPhone too. http://www.cio.com/article/3175697/hardware/apple-mac-users-dont-believe-tim-cooks-hype-about-pro-products.html

    On the other hand, headless Macs like Mac mini and Mac Pro are ecological, whereas all-in-one like iMac are anti-ecological, since a CPU may last seven years, but a display lasts more more than 20 years. Apple should make brand new headless Macs and brand new displays.

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