Apple to unveil ‘iMac Pro’ later this year; rethought, modular Mac Pro and Apple pro displays in the pipeline

“‘We have big plans for the iMac,’ Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing, said during a recent reporter roundtable at the company’s Machine Shop hardware prototyping lab. ‘We’re going to begin making configurations of iMac specifically with the pro customer in mind,'” John Paczkowski reports for Buzzfeed.

“Company executives… confirm a feature the pro iMac will not have: touchscreen,” Paczkowski reports. “‘No,’ Schiller said when asked if Apple would consider building such a thing. ‘Touch doesn’t even register on the list of things pro users are interested in talking about. They’re interested in things like performance and storage and expandability.'”

“For Apple, adding pro level iMacs to its desktop lineup is more of an inevitability than anything else,” Paczkowski reports. “After notebooks, the iMac is the second-most popular Mac among pro users, according to the company.”

Read more in the full article here.

“Apple is currently hard at work on a ‘completely rethought’ Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis,” John Gruber writes for Daring Fireball. “They’re also working on Apple-branded pro displays to go with them.”

“I also have not-so-great news: These next-gen Mac Pros and pro displays ‘will not ship this year,'” Gruber writes. “In the meantime, Apple is today releasing meager speed-bump updates to the existing Mac Pros. The $2999 model goes from 4 Xeon CPU cores to 6, and from dual AMD G300 GPUs to dual G500 GPUs. The $3999 model goes from 6 CPU cores to 8, and from dual D500 GPUs to dual D800 GPUs. Nothing else is changing, including the ports. No USB-C, no Thunderbolt 3 (and so no support for the LG UltraFine 5K display).”

Gruber writes, “But more good news, too: Apple has ‘great’ new iMacs in the pipeline, slated for release ‘this year,’ including configurations specifically targeted at large segments of the pro market.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, by calling a “reporter roundtable” to talk pro-level Macs, Apple brass are feeling the pressure.

Properly done, “iMac Pro” could work. Of course, we write that literally years after having been pushed by Apple to the “Just do something! Anything!” mindset and beyond.

Regarding the Mac Pro, no speed bumps are evident at Apple’s online store, yet. As for the next-gen Mac Pro and pro displays: Better they come way, way late, than never!!!

On a sobering note, here’s just one recent missive of many we’ve received lately:

Our company moved from old Mac Pros to Windows boxes a year and a half ago. Got tired of waiting and having no roadmap for the future.

Apple has their work cut out trying to woo back all of the pros they stupidly drove off over the last 2-3 years due to their own silence and inaction.

As with many things under Tim Cook, there’s too much that seems to be a bit too little and way too late. — MacDailyNews, December 23, 2016

Apple ceding the display business damages the Apple brand. Apple does not lead in an essential personal computing component and other companies logos are destined to be in Mac users’ faces all day long. Not smart. Cook & Co. should reconsider their decision and make and sell Apple-branded displays. Direct profits aren’t the issue, ancillary profits are; smart executives like Cook should be able to recognize the power of perception. — MacDailyNews, January 5, 2017

Not making Apple-branded, Apple-designed displays is an example of Compaq thinking, Tim.MacDailyNews, February 17, 2017

SEE ALSO:
Mac Pro: Why did it take Apple so long to wake up? – April 4, 2017
Apple sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro over the last 3+ years – namely, nothing – April 4, 2017
Apple’s apparent antipathy towards the Mac prompts calls for macOS licensing – March 27, 2017
Why Apple’s new Mac Pro might never arrive – March 10, 2017
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

75 Comments

  1. Will all whiners of little faith (and clue) now STFU?

    “Some of our most talented folks are working on [the Mac]. I mean, quite frankly, a lot of this company, if not most of this company, runs on Macs. This is a company full of pro Mac users.”

    “We’re committed to the Mac, we‘ve got great talent on the Mac, both hardware and software, we’ve got great products planned for the future, and as far as our horizon line can see, the Mac is a core component of the things Apple delivers, including to our pro customers.”

    “We’ll take the time it takes to do that”.

    “One of the good things, hopefully, with Apple through the years,” Schiller told Gruber, “has been a willingness to say when something isnt quite what we wanted it do be, didnt live up to expectations, to not be afraid to admit it and look for the next answer.”

    http://daringfireball.net/2017/04/the_mac_pro_lives

      1. Yes doc: To think this announcement deserves a reaction of “faith” is absurd…especially since the delivery isn’t even in ’17. Schiller’s last “admission” makes me thrown-up a little bit as he acts the part of the self-effacing wise hero. I don’t need a Mac Pro, so it’s not “personal” for me. From a business point of view, it can’t be couched in anyway, but stupid, blind & hands-off-the-wheel.

      2. Absolutely none of us should “STFU”!

        And we’re NOT whiners. We’re just stating facts.
        1) No level of “iMac Pro” is going to be an acceptable machine to a very large percentage of us. The thermal envelope of an iMac will absolutely *NOT* support the kinds of chips (both CPU and Graphics) that we need — and have been shipping for some time.
        2) The next generation of chips that can go into a new, true Mac Pro will be shipping in quantity by June of this year. Those chips have been sampling for a while. Apple could, and should, be testing them in prototype, real Mac Pros right now. Why will it take Apple until 2018 to ship a new, true Mac Pro? This is truly asinine!
        3) Bumping the current trash can Mac Pro to a couple more cores on the low end, when a very large fraction of us aren’t interested in the lowest end anyway is another thing that is just asinine. So what if they bump the number of CPU cores of a four year old processor? It’s still a four year old processor and architecture. So what if they bump the graphics card of a four year old graphics chip? It still is four years behind the current technology.
        4) For the top end machines (true, real Mac Pros) we’re stuck with I/O connections that are 4 years behind the times for the next nine months or more? How is that any help to true Pros?
        The list goes on and on and on.

        Saying you’re committed to the Mac and to professionals comes across as a bold lie if you ignore the true professional segment for four or more years and further say it could be nine months or more before those professionals see any relief.

        Apple could sell a true state-of-the-art professional machine in July or August of this year. By all accounts — even the statements by Schiller quoted in this article — Apple won’t do that. There is no excuse they can give to get around the simple fact: They could. They just won’t.

      3. And the shocker to me is that Apple claims that a “single digit percent” (somewhere between 1.0% and 9.9%) of their Mac sales are Mac Pros!

        Even if it is just 1.0% that’s over 53,000 Mac Pros in the fourth calendar quarter of last year for a machine that’s internals were 3 1/4 years old (or older) by that point!

        I am shocked that they sold so many of truly obsolete hardware! Are there really that many people that absolutely *had* to buy a new Mac Pro? Some of the internal technologies were more than four years old by the end of 2016. None of the technologies were less than 3 1/4 years old. Yet, they sold over 53,000 of them?

        What would the sales numbers have been if Apple had been shipping state-of-the-art Mac Pros? Double that? Quadruple that? Ten times that? There is no way to know, but only a fool would believe that the number of Mac Pros sold in the fourth calendar quarter of 2016 would not have been well above that 53,000 units!

    1. Simply put, I’ll believe it when I see it.

      An iMac Pro would have to have upgradeable industry standard RAM, upgradeable industry standard storage, and video card options. It would need to link to at least one more external monitor, preferably two.

      Funny thing is, my 2008 iMac can already do some of those things.

        1. By “standard” I mean “non-proprietary”. I come from the time when owning a Mac meant you had to buy Mac-specific peripherals. Want a new mouse? Get the Mac ADB version, if the company even makes one. Need a memory upgrade? Get the Mac version if you can find it. Need a new printer? Don’t get the PC version, you can’t even hook it up. Get the Mac version, if the company even makes one.

    2. If it’s another smaller, thinner, lighter that requires the newest bus (which is why next year) so that other boxes can be added, it would be a disaster in my eyes. I’m willing to wait and see, but not holding my breath.

      If it’s modular as in the sense boxes containing subsystems that snap together physically and electronically, I would be intrigued. Calling victory is way premature.

      1. From Daring Fireball…”Apple is currently hard at work on a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis.
        Seems clear enough.

        1. The 2012 Mac Pro WAS a modular design! Virtually everything other than the motherboard itself could be swapped out for either higher density or faster components. Even the CPUs were on a large daughter card that was relatively easy to swap out.

          Even the old 2009 Mac Pro was quite modular. You can flash the EFI on that machine to make it think it’s a 2010 Mac Pro then you can upgrade the components (even the CPUs) to make it faster than the 2013 Mac Pros.

          If those are not modular machines, I don’t know what is! If those are not easy to update to new components, I don’t know what is!

          The only constraint on those machines is some of the I/O and the PCIe level. I doubt, in the extreme, Apple will make a machine that allows you to update those with ease without swapping out the motherboard itself.

    3. “Will all whiners of little faith (and clue) now STFU?”
      I doubt that. In fact, I’ll confidently not bother reading any further comments.
      Moaners gotta moan. Even though not part of the target market, they will be too late/ too expensive/ not shipping quickly enough/ doesn’t use the latest esoteric exotic know-how announced the day before/ no touch screen…ad nauseum…”Let me count the ways…”
      So pleased Schiller emphatically ruled out touchscreen technology for the Mac OS.

      1. By Phil Schiller’s own team and admission indicate faith and trust are not in play. The fact is they finally awoke very late to the problem for what will essentially take a tech lifetime of 4 years to fix? Really? Faith & trust? Don’t think so.

        The insensitive doofus people who say “STFU to whiners” or “Moaners gotta moan” morons (talking about people with legitimate beefs actually acknowledged as accurate by Apple as it turns out) are the ones who desperately need to hide and STFU in abject moaning shame and cluelessness.

        We still don’t know for another whole year if our “faith” will be rewarded to our satisfaction or not

        1. Personally, I’m not going to hammer Phil too much. He’s a marketing guy and I suspect that he’s been uncomfortable for some time about the state of the Mac. I’m guessing that it’s only been a few days since he got Tim’s and/or Jony’s approval to dedicate resources to the pro machines, which explains why they won’t be ready this year. His press briefing is an attempt to stop the bleeding of market share and begin to dig Apple out of the very deep hole it’s dug for itself out of pure negligence. Nevertheless, I’m very pleased to hear that the leadership team has finally taken notice.

    4. Yeah, right, after 90% of Mac Power users already moved on.

      I have to give it to Cook, however incompetent, he’s always consistent: Announce first then ship later. Over promise, over price, under deliver, and screw up the launch.

    5. No, we won’t “STFU,” you supercilious asshole. Apple needlessly damaged themselves. Obviously, they’ve finally figured that out, at least.

      Our company moved from old Mac Pros to Windows boxes a year and a half ago. Got tired of waiting and having no roadmap for the future.

      Apple has their work cut out trying to woo back all of the pros they stupidly drove off over the last 2-3 years due to their own silence and inaction.

      Ditto.

      1. Apple fucked over customers with the no roadmap launch of FCPX, the same with dropping Aperture, the same with Logic, the same with the fiasco that is the Trashcan.
        Businesses keep computers for years and do not like surprises. Apple wants to sell you throwaways that last about two years with no upgrade path.

        I am an Apple customer from before the Mac and a shareholder for over 15 years, but were I buying computers for a business it would not be from Apple and that is strictly because of lame brained decisions made by Cook & Company. Microsoft wants your business, Apple wants to sell you an iPhone and services.

    6. No these are the same morons that were trying to push everyone onto iPads. There is a photo of Tim Cook at his desk typing on a stupid iPad with an iMac on the desktop right next to it. That is like cleaning clothes on a rub-board in a sink with a working Miele Washing Machine right next to it.
      The same morons trying to sell a sealed up iMac with Vampire idea as a Pro Machine.
      The same morons that tried to sell you the Trashcan as something other than a very expensive Home a Theater PC.
      The same morons who paid about $3 Billion for a me too Music rental service/ shitty headphone marketer.
      And Ping, and Mobile Me and iTools.
      Who also want you to rent music you already own into eternity.

      Apple has over 100,000 employees these days and does less than when it had under 10,000.
      Fish rot from the head.

      1. “There is a photo of Tim Cook at his desk typing on a stupid iPad with an iMac on the desktop right next to it. That is like cleaning clothes on a rub-board in a sink with a working Miele Washing Machine right next to it”

        CLASSIC.

    7. “Will all whiners of little faith…..now STFU?..

      No, of course not until we actually see something we can take out of the box and start up.

      Now THERE is your “clue”

    8. not until I see specs, and prices.
      If I can still build a more powerful HP workstation for less then windows it is.. all the actual pro software run on both OS’s. at least the industry standard ones.. the computer is just a box to crunch numbers, artists don’t care about emojis.

      if they don’t support ddr5 and nvidia sli out of the gates then they will lose again.

    9. They are ONLY saying they are finally going to do the right thing because people yelled at them for literally _years_.

      Your response? “Now, stop whining!”
      You’re the kind of person who throughout history would have blocked anything ever being improved.

    10. think about it…

      If there weren’t LOTS of complaints about Macs and Pro Macs in particular why did Schiller bother to make any kind of announcement?

      Seldom does Apple hint of new products ONE YEAR or more ahead ! Can’t remember them saying anything without a prototype to unveil either (i.e like “here it is , shipping in a month… ” )
      they are desperately trying to contain the flaming ball of anger of high end (especially GPU ) Pro users.

      1. There is a big distiction between a whiner and a complainer, I meant whiner.

        I can list plenty complaints over the years over many Apple fuckups , from the non glare screen elimination for the 17″ to the power computing licensing fiasco etc.. The list could take up all the feedback space like so,e here do for spite. Many times Apple responds and many more they don’t. There was never doubt in my mind and many others that there would be another Mac pro and that Apple was not “deserting” the platform ( remember how long the trash can took in coming?). The complaints are sometimes legit and other times just whining. It’s easy to distinguish whining, just wait for the next storm in a teacup…

        1. I didn’t down vote your post (as it was a polite reply) but I’ll like to add:

          here (supporting my view) Ulanoff one of the reporters at the meeting :

          “Apple had just done the unthinkable, something it almost never does, at least not without a physical product to show off: It revealed product plans, not hours, days or weeks, but months in advance.”

          (so why are they doing this (talking about future a product) this time ? only reason as there is a lot of anger out there. Note this is different from answering issues like Antennagate, Wifi problems etc. ).

          and as for your “how long trash can took in coming’ I have to note the Cheese Grater could AFFORD a long time in the market as it was USER UPGRADABLE (especially in respects to the GPU) — and it had several speed bumps along the way — and even Federighi admits error with the Cylinder (from article by Ulanoff )

          “Apple realized it wasn’t properly addressing the Pro market, Federighi said that the realization came “later than we liked.”

          ‘Later than we liked’ shows that it wasn’t smooth sailing planned pipeline as you are suggesting.

          —–
          at the end of the day I find on this issue how much anger you have on the topic depends whether you own needs were met or hurt by Apple’s fumbling of the Mac Pro. I guess people who didn’t need the power (especially GPU) couldn’t care less.

          1. I totally agree. Apple did something unprecedented by convening this press forum only because it had embarrassed itself beyond recognition. They had to come clean, because you and I and many others were increasing the hysteria, bathing them in a lurid spotlight of pathological indifference to their own interests. It’s a damned good thing they finally paid some fscking attention. Tim Cook, I once told you that your company and your operational corps of users and developers were a symbiotic life form. I’m glad that Phil Schiller was able to convince you of that reality, before it was too late.

          2. “at the end of the day I find on this issue how much anger you have on the topic depends whether you own needs were met or hurt by Apple’s fumbling of the Mac Pro. I guess people who didn’t need the power (especially GPU) couldn’t care less”

            “My own needs” have not been met many times by Apple, despite many persistent, contentious and legitimate professional complaints, letters, emails, phone calls, and public contentions, over the years…I could even rag on about some arrogant Apple executive division representatives, that didn’t have a clue when fielding related issues. I try to relate to the entire big picture too, which these days is huge and growing at a rapid pace … that does not excuse, or dismiss any complaints or Mac Pro deficiencies or needs, nor justify Apple’s deafening silence, but certainly dictates its development priorities and abilities…There was never a doubt that the MacPro would live on or evolve, but there’s a vast sea of rapid advances in technology which are sometimes dictating too. There have been (few, but other) Apple products that too in retrospect had shortcomings.

            There are some articulated and civilized complaints that deserve debate and attention and Apple should not have let these go unanswered or fielded by deaf dumb and blind PR bots, for so long, but many pro users, despite the need for upgrades and evolution, were still able to continue their work (Nasa, US military, Pixar etc…) and didn’t whine the way some here on devolving MDN (a non technical ‘news aggregate’ unlike Ric Ford’s technical MacInTouch forum) do…

            When multimedia was still an emerging concept, rather than a reality, I remember long conversations with the technical support guys at SuperMac, a company that made video cards that fit in the slots of Mac IIs, which can best be summarized by the mutual conclusion that: the cutting edge is really ‘the bleeding edge’ and as such – “You can’t always get what you want…” (when you want it). Peace.

          3. Meant to post feedback the here initially…:

            “at the end of the day I find on this issue how much anger you have on the topic depends whether you own needs were met or hurt by Apple’s fumbling of the Mac Pro. I guess people who didn’t need the power (especially GPU) couldn’t care less”

            “My own needs” have not been met many times by Apple, despite many persistent, contentious and legitimate professional complaints, letters, emails, phone calls, and public contentions, over the years…I could even rag on about some arrogant Apple executive division representatives, that didn’t have a clue when fielding related issues. I try to relate to the entire big picture too, which these days is huge and growing at a rapid pace … that does not excuse, or dismiss any complaints or Mac Pro deficiencies or needs, nor justify Apple’s deafening silence, but certainly dictates its development priorities and abilities…There was never a doubt that the MacPro would live on or evolve, but there’s a vast sea of rapid advances in technology which are sometimes dictating too. There have been (few, but other) Apple products that too in retrospect had shortcomings.

            There are some articulated and civilized complaints that deserve debate and attention and Apple should not have let these go unanswered or fielded by deaf dumb and blind PR bots, for so long, but many pro users, despite the need for upgrades and evolution, were still able to continue their work (Nasa, US military, Pixar etc…) and didn’t whine the way some here on devolving MDN (a non technical ‘news aggregate’ unlike Ric Ford’s technical MacInTouch forum) do…

            When multimedia was still an emerging concept, rather than a reality, I remember long conversations with the technical support guys at SuperMac, a company that made video cards that fit in the slots of Mac IIs, which can best be summarized by the mutual conclusion that: the cutting edge is really ‘the bleeding edge’ and as such – “You can’t always get what you want…” (when you want it). Peace.

        2. And you are ?

          Ill repeat again:

          U r off sync (as always )…….. cluless And confused. .. … epitome of unconditional fan-boyishness.

          Do u even have a Clue why Apple held that meeting yesterday ?

          Not becouse of the likes of you.. who go on cheering mediocracy and complacency… ..and tell the critiques to STFU.

          Its becouse of the likes of those who would NOT STFU .( exactly opposite of what u preach )
          And would not accept Apple to be anything less than the best.

          Now maybe u should open your eyes, look in the mirror once in a while and grow up!

    11. U r off sync (as always )…….. cluless And confused. .. … epitome of unconditional fan-boyishness.

      Do u even have a Clue why Apple held that meeting today?

      Not becouse of the likes of you.. who go on cheering mediocracy and complacency… ..and tell the critiques to STFU.

      Its becouse of the likes of those who would NOT STFU .( exactly opposite of what u preach )
      And would not accept Apple to be anything less than the best.

      Now maybe u should open your eyes, look in the mirror once in a while and grow up!

    12. So it wasn’t dead dead… you whiners

      Amazing Apple on a very rare event finally admitted their mistakes with the Mac Pro and you come here to punish the people who already have been suffering the consequences for years and who where spot on. “The whiners”.

  2. I know of one large public college system who simply stopped buying Mac Pros after the trash can came out. One or two depts. did experiment with the new models but for the most part this college simply kept those older Mac Pros longer – waiting.

    I’m sure this the same for many if not all colleges & universities as well as pros. I’m sure Apple has noticed a large drop off in Mac Pro sales at least from schools. A lot of damage has been done over the last 3 years. There’s a lot of pent of money waiting for a new real Mac Pro.

  3. If you read the full content of this meeting new Apple (standalone) Displays are also being planned to launch alongside the brand new, modular redesign of the Mac Pro next year. Sounds like an about face to me, a very welcome one!

  4. Still have my old 2008 Cheesegrater MacPro and Cinema display lying unused next to my desk. Would love to see an updated version, maybe a bit smaller, but with the same easy internal access and ability to upgrade display cards and RAM.

  5. Yeah. So many promises, yet still nothing on the horizon. You would think, a company as huge as Apple wouldn’t take a millennium to release this. I’ll believe it when I see it. And it better not have soldered on RAM or non expandable drives. Otherwise, another FAIL.

  6. Don’t know what pro users he’s talking to but I know many, myself included, who would cut their right arm off for a touch screen iMac or MacBook/iPad type device. Looks like we’ll be disappointed or have to go out and buy one of those windows things and hack them to run MacOS. Wake up Apple!

  7. Really should read the link Breeze posted if you’re interested in a new expandable Mac Pro. That they’re aware of the shortcomings of the current Mac Pro and that it doesn’t serve a lot of Pro customers.

    Basically one is coming, just not in 2017.

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