Ars Technica imagines a new Mac Pro, the ‘iMac Pro,’ and the future of Apple’s desktops

“Last week, Apple did something it never does — it spoke to journalists and pundits on the record about a product that was so far from being released that the company didn’t even have prototypes to show off,” Andrew Cunningham writes for Ars Technica. “That’s the state of the Mac desktop right now. After the October 2016 product came and went with no mention of the rumored desktops, complaints and anxiety about the state of Apple’s high-end computers reached a fever pitch… Apple appeared to be pulling out of the external display business, and its new pro laptops offered less RAM and had worse battery life than some people were happy with. It had been a year since the iMac got an update, two years since the Mac Mini was updated, and more than three years since we heard a single peep about the Mac Pro.”

“So, the unusual amount of uncertainty about desktops prompted an unusual response: a sit-down conversation about products that won’t be announced or released until later this year or next (or possibly even later than that),” Cunningham writes. “Apple declined to get very specific about its plans, but let’s sift through some tea leaves and suss out some possible directions that Apple’s desktops could take from here.”

“We won’t see this new Mac Pro until at least next year, and computing still moves quickly enough that it’s hard to predict exactly what Apple is going to settle on,” Cunningham writes. “But looking at what Apple acknowledged about the old Mac Pro design alongside its goals for the new one allows you to make some educated guesses.”

Read more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Make the next-gen Mac Pro expandable, extensible, and flexible, Apple, and the Mac professionals will beat a path to your door – but, for Jobs’ sake, do it sooner than later!

14 Comments

    1. More like…

      1. Ship late 2018/early 2019
      2. Return to something like the MacPro Tower config (cheese grater) most likely a bit smaller
      3. All solid state PCI drives, no optical drives, both Thunderbolt 3 & USB 3.1 (with USB-C connectors), minimum two slots for graphics cards, hopefully two REAL 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports, mic and HEADPHONE jack.

    2. Unfortunately, this “2018…hopefully” is utterly bogus.

      The G4 “Yikes!” went from zero to on sale in 9 months.

      That means a new Mac Pro by Christmas. Yes, THIS Christmas.

      It doesn’t need to be some elegant, fancy gleaming icon … It simply needs to be better than the Trash Can.

      -hh

  1. New MacBook Pro reduced battery life? My top spec 13″ with Touchbar has exactly as spec’d battery life…actually slightly better, so that meme rings false.

  2. Nope. These guys obviously don’t work with lots of gear. The single biggest issue with the Mac Pro as it stands is that all the peripherals end up all over your desk. They should be in a box UNDER the desk – I have better things to do with my deskspace than clutter it up with all the things that Apple or Ars Technica, or anyone else don’t want to accommodate in the box.

    I want MORE drive bays. I currently run 4 6TB disks in a RAID array on my desk – I would like space for 5 inside the box. I want a CD/DVD reader/burner IN THE BOX – film-making requires burning DVD’s in lots of formats, including Blu-Ray. I want lots of slots for camera cards – I have a card reader dangling off the side of the Mac Pro half the time – there being nowhere flat to mount it and the cord isn’t long enough to reach the desk.

    Anything which is outdated quickly needs to be removable and industry-standard. Processors and GPUs should be easily swapped out – why replace the box just because Intel released a faster processor or nVidia released a new GPU?

    I’d like a proper keyboard – I type a lot. Apple make crap keyboards – clearly nobody senior at Apple types anything.

    And lots of ports, of all kinds. NO DONGLES! – My Macbook only works with dongles – I like to charge my iPad or iPhone from the Macbook – especially the phone since its usually with me when I am using the Macbook.

    Under the desk please. I don’t care what the box looks like – as long as my desktop is empty except for a monitor, keyboard and trackpad.

    But, saying all this, I am pretty sure that I am done with Apple. The last straw for me was the latest update of Pages which STILL doesn’t have features they ripped out of Pages 9 so that the kiddies could write to granny on their iPads.

    And the Apple tax has become enormous – especially since they have of team of 2 people working in Mac apps. Not mail though – that hasn’t seen any work in a decade. You still can’t format an email properly without using another app and copying the text in.

    The iPhone has a few years to run yet – but Apple is becoming a one-product company. That’s always a mistake. But for Apple it means losing their core customers – people like me who switched from Windows 15 years ago and will now likely switch back. The watch is a silly toy – who was the idiot at Apple who thought people would prefer a piece of cheap metal with a black glass face and a plastic strap and worthless after a year or two instead of something out of Switzerland which they could leave to their grandchildren?

    Hubris is always a danger…

    I don’t believe Apple can win back the professional crowd. They might slow down the departure a little but their heart is not in the Mac and no-one in senior management cares about it. Tim Cook reckons he can run Apple on his iPad – clearly he doesn’t create financial documents or complex spreadsheets – the hordes of underlings are all busy in the back offices using Microsoft Word and Excel – because they have the functionality required for professional work, and Apple’s products are just toys.

    My Mac Pro is very fast and the 12″ monitor is nice – but I would like a second and there isn’t anything from Apple and not much from anyone else. I havent had any problems with reliability except that the thunderbolt cables don’t seat well in the silly curved slots and I have to be careful not to bump them when I am trying to move any of the paraphernalia which I hide behind the monitor.

    But when it goes, it will be replaced with a Windows box under the desk or a remote machine that someone else can look after. And when my Macbook goes it will be replaced by something from HP probably – with a decent keyboard and a sensible array of slots so I can get rid of the dongles.

    My iPad Air will last a few years yet – I only use it for reading the news. Im not a gamer.

    And my iPhone 6, which I like, will last another few years also. But since Apple pays scant attention to the rest of the world and my phone now has unpteen Google apps on it because the Apple versions don’t work in Europe (Maps is a joke), it will probably be replaced by an Android phone.

    I have been patient. But I’m done with Apple I reckon. I sold my shares a while back and I have stopped recommending Apple to others.

    Good luck to them. They have a nice palace to live in now.

    1. A few thoughts…

      I agree with a lot of your desires regarding the design of a new Mac Pro.

      I am not quite as concerned about the ports issue, and it is unclear how a bunch of different ports located under your desk will solve all of your problems. For pros, however, I agree that Apple needs to maintain legacy ports for a longer period given your investment in expensive peripherals. Adding a number of USB-C ports is great, but retain a couple of FireWire and USB2 ports and such.

      I ceased to be impacted by an “I’m leaving Apple” statement a long, long time ago. I appreciate your inputs to this thread, but I have gotten to the point where I almost don’t care who leaves anymore. Either do it or don’t. But you may be surprised regarding what the majority of others will do, assuming that Apple comes through with the next generation devices.

  3. I can understand Apple damaged a lot of professional’s credibility over the last years. The next Mac Pro is basically a new start and also an option for those who could wait or care to wait, well they better get what they want.

    I can wait for another MP, but some serious damage occurred to me too. I now have a PC on my desk and it is not going away, maybe never, so I have to invest in 2 machines having a lot of redundancy and duplicate systems just for myself.

    From what I can read from ArsTechnica they incline towards a compact design with at least one top PCI GPU option. My particular choice too.

    Any way Apple needs to come out with a solid industrial design that could work with a core module and some other modules integrated like a unit, and maybe in several configurations. Stacked on top and side by side? Rack mountable maybe with an additional kit or integrated on the design.

    And this machines need to be easy to service, expand and update.

  4. All I would like to see is a rack mountable main unit with enough hard drive space to hold the OS and applications and some room for system hard drive needs. The rest can be slots for cards and port expansion. I don’t want internal RAID space, that can be accomplished with rack units as I am constantly changing drives for each job.

  5. Phil “can’t-innovate-my-ass” Schiller, Jony “anorexia” Ive and Eddie “Clueless” Cue need to be shown the door for starters. Apple is top heavy with Vice-Presidents and apparently lacking anybody with a fucking clue about what people use Workstation Grade Desktops for.

    This should not be a difficult thing to do. A proper workstation grade box that runs Mac OS X/macOS or whatever the marketing guys call it this week. Hire H-P to do it, at least they are trying stuff now that Hardware has been split away from services.

    When was the last time most Mac users took a look at what the hardware from competitors is like. Apple is selling the same old lame, underpowered shit for excessively high prices and others are rapidly eating their lunch.

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