Apple squelches Mac commitment critics with new ‘beast’ workstation

“Apple’s announcements this week of refreshed iMac desktops, including a new $5,000 iMac Pro workstation promised to ship before year’s end, and performance improvements to the MacBook Pro notebook line, were powerful rejoinders to critics who last year questioned the company’s commitment to the commercial segment of its customer base, analysts said,” Gregg Keizer writes for Computerworld. “‘We haven’t seen everything yet, but based on what they talked about, my guess is that this will address 99% of the needs of professionals,’ said Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research, in an interview.”

“lthough Apple updated the MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks with seventh-generation Intel processors — the architecture dubbed “Kaby Lake” by the California-based silicon designer and manufacturer — talk during the keynote was limited to the iMac, Apple’s all-in-one desktop,” Keizer writes. “The refreshed iMac line features Kaby Lake CPUs across the board, brighter displays, faster SSD (solid-state drive) storage and graphics improvement… Apple also previewed the iMac Pro, a top-of-the-line model that will go on sale in December. ‘This is the most powerful Mac we’ve ever made,’ said Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of marketing, about the iMac Pro.”

Apple's all new iMac Pro with rear case removed
Apple’s all new iMac Pro, starting at $4999, with rear case removed

Keizer writes, “Milanesi, who dubbed the iMac Pro ‘a beast’ and graded the Mac line-up as the strongest ever for this time of the year, agreed that the new systems would turn around the negative narrative that had built up since last fall.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Let’s not get crazy. Criticism will continue, rightfully, until not only the iMac Pro ships (December 2017), but until the next-gen Mac Pro is not only revealed, but lauded (no pressure, Apple).

Apple’s iMac Pro is an odd beast: Meet the ultra high-end workstation all-in-one – June 7, 2017
What does the iMac Pro tell us about the forthcoming all-new Mac Pro? – June 6, 2017
Apple’s all new iMac Pro, the most powerful Mac ever, starts at $4,999; arrives this December – June 5, 2017


  1. By the time they will release that iMac pro, there will be tons of better options. I guess the iMac will be less expensive than any other equivalent, but again, why announcing with that much anticipation?
    Also, they fail to mention upgradability, current iMacs are almost impossible to upgrade by the user, are they going to make this iMac pro easier to upgrade by the user?
    And finally, are they going to wait another 3 or 4 years to upgrade it again?
    Tim, get your nose out of politics and be a CEO of Apple, not CEO of the LBGT(*&^^*( what ever.

    1. troy, what are you smoking? Time to change your diaper bro.

      Are you into AR / VR / ML or AI development?

      Go see what are the main cause of slow development from Facebook, Google and other… Unified platform, ressoucre and gpu flopin’

      Guess what Apple just unveil a couple of days ago?…

      Ho! Sorry bro, your are not into those market. Go play with a Dell then and change the ram for Chr**t sake!!!

          1. Approximately 95% of professionals do go to Dell or other computer makers that provide superior value. You, Sean, have never been able to do anything here other than brand worship. Why don’t you give us an A-to-B comparison of what a $5000 graphics processing machine could do on Mac versus PC instead of your usual personal insults at anyone who lives in a multiplatform world?

  2. I’m torn between ordering one of the new iMacs with maxed out specs which runs $5k……or just waiting until these new iMac Pros come out later this year. I don’t need more horsepower than just the normal iMac with maxed specs…but probably makes sense to buy an entry level iMac pro at that $5k price?

    Really wish they had some spec sheets for side by side comparison to make the decision easier.

    1. It looks like the iMac Pro memory is NOT upgradeable. I wish it were, but it’s not a deal breaker for me. You just have to pay Apple’s price and max out the memory when you buy it.

      I don’t think Apple is doing this to hurt customers. Of course they know (especially) pro users will want to upgrade their memory. But it looks like the arrangement inside the iMac Pro is very different from the regular iMac. It’s very likely that the new position of the RAM just doesn’t fit where the old memory access was. 🙁

      Seems okay to me. If anyone is in the market for a $5,000 iMac Pro, they should be able to buy one with the memory maxed out.

      For people who truly need/want a user/upgradable Mac, they’ll have to wait for the Mac Pro. Hopefully it comes out next year. This iMac Pro seems like a great option for most the pro market until then. 🙂

      “At the same time, it comes in the form of an all-in-one PC, and one that doesn’t appear to have any user-accessible parts to boot (the RAM hatch present on regular 27-inch iMacs isn’t apparent here, and Apple’s spec sheet doesn’t mention user-accessible memory).”

      1. If the memory is not upgradable then why is Apple posting interior photos of the iMacPro where the RAM slots are clearly the type that can be upgraded?

        1. This would appear to be like the 21inch 2012 and later models. There are normal slots, but to get to them you must first cut through the adhesive holding the screen, remove it, then disassemble almost everything to get the motherboard out because the RAM faces the back with no door to access it.

        2. Perhaps the design is still being settled on too. It would make sense if the whiole back panel could lift out revealing the components, but in reality I think they’ll just ask you to take the machine to Apple or an authorised repair place to get these done.

          How many times in the life of the machine would you need to upgrade the memory?

  3. Let me try my hand at this prediction game, based on what I’ve seen happen the past few years: — The negative narrative, and the criticism of upcoming products, will continue, even after release, until overwhelmed by positive reviews and impressive sales. After which, the narrative will reload and the criticism diverted to the next product cycle.

  4. If this were a ‘regular’ iMac, then getting to the RAM would be a humungous nightmare and might very likely damage your screen. But, this pic says ‘… with rear case removed.” This could well be rather new- the rear case is not removable in the present iMac- indeed, everything is mounted to it. A removable rear case would be a dream on an iMac- full access to all hardware, except the screen, which would be behind all the boards. ? We’ll see….

  5. What Apple should do with the forthcoming Mac Pro, is not announce it and then ship 6-9 months later. It should be shipping with 1 month of announcement. Anything else is just torture.

    With the iMac Pro, now we all have to wait 6 more months, if that. Ridiculous.

    1. Apple is walking a fine line of vapourware here. Historically, vapourware was a tactic Microsoft and other big dogs used to keep users from defecting to a smaller upstart by saying they have something coming Real Soon Now™. It lasted only long enough to push the upstart into bankruptcy, and then MS dropped the act.

      Vapourware has since changed connotation to imply *any* product that hasn’t actually shipped yet, but that’s about as false a description as saying a device is “bricked” when it can in fact be fixed or recovered by anyone with basic to moderate tech skills.

      Apple obviously isn’t going to push any small company out of business with this, and they will of course ship it (hopefully on time). But there’s no question in my mind: with both the 2013 cylindrical Mac Pro and this iMac Pro, announcing it a half year in advance is 100% intended to stem what was a growing tide of professional defections away from the Mac platform.

    1. Maybe I’m missing something. The iMac Pro is a desktop computer, so there should be no problem expanding it via Thunderbolt. If the built-in video is inadequate, you can replace it with a more powerful card in an external box—High Sierra will support that. If the storage is inadequate, use an external SSD—Thunderbolt 3 is about as fast as the internal bus. The only issue will be RAM, and any real pro knows to max that out at the time of purchase. Time saved by avoiding swaps between physical and virtual memory represents money saved. You can’t judge a Mac by the hardware specs alone; the integration with MacOS is the key value for Apple customers.

      1. Why would I want to buy an external Thunderbolt Box ($$$) and cable ($$) and another power supply (another wall wart) instead of a workstation with an internal slot? It costs a hell of a lot more to hang a bag on a closed box than to build in the ability to use industry standard cards.

  6. Wow, I totally agree with DavGreg here. This is no ‘beast,’ no ‘workstation,’ no “pro,” if it’s not upgradeable. This is designed obsolescence, a giant iPad that is it’s own completely sealed, non-upgradeable, expensive consumer toy. Well, it’s more than a “toy,” but I get what he’s saying.

    Apple is still completely unclear as to what professionals need and want and is floundering around without vision.

    We all know this. They just want to sell to the (and I don’t like this term, but can’t think of another right now) “Prosumer.” They want the hungry, wealthy, disposable income guys to buy these off the shelf and then replace them every 3 years rather than every 7-10, as they could be capable of being relevant. The MacOS will continue obsoleting middle aged machines just to force people to buy new for a few bells and whistles and security updates.

    As for the people here who claim that you can rip these apart and upgrade them, please take a powder. The glue and the screen are never the same after you do that and they’re not designed to be ripped apart by Apple or any other qualified person. They’re designed to stay SEALED. Design is everything. If they wanted them opened, they would return to magnets.

    This iMac is a joke. I’m curious if they have truly dealt with heat issues and I guess we’ll just have to see.

    If Elon Musk wasn’t so busy, I’d wish him (or anyone with VISION) to takeover the Mac division and let Timo keep playing with iOS as much as he wants. [sigh]

    1. After reading this blog for the past 2 for 3 years, one would think that the Mac Pro was an enormous marketing the only one that matters. It is actually a vociferous group that is so negative towards Apple, makes me wonder just how many of these people actually use a pro computer or Apple anything. Some of the language used suggests there are a number of very young people opining in this blog.No offense meant to those who toil in the fields that require huge amounts of power.

      1. The Mac Pro market was fucked over by Apple with the Trashcan, the cancellation of Aperture, the mishandling of Final Cut, etc.

        The Old Final Cut Studio cost $999 a seat and Apple trashed it with no upgrade discount for the current product. The new product also broke compatibility with all manner of tools. About 1.4 Million (Final Cut Studio base) of us were ripped off. Logic was similarly mishandled. Aperture was just abandoned.

        Then they killed the Workstation and shipped the Trashcan – something nobody was asking for. And if you went along and bought a Trashcan you have a very overpriced and outdated styling exercise on a cluttered desktop of cables and boxes.

    2. Definitely agree on the designed obsolescence part, but I don’t think Apple is unclear or foundering as to professional’s needs. This new iMac is their answer, like you said, they want something expensive that isn’t going to last you ten years with parts you can upgrade, 3-5 years max and then a new machine. If they’ve been foundering its to find a way to squeeze more money out of the legitimate Pro market segment, now it looks like they have it. I’m actually surprised they don’t push their leasing program more:

      They’ll release this iMac Pro thing many months, or maybe a year ahead of the new Mac Pro to get as many people on board who “just can’t wait any longer”. Who says the new Mac Pro is going to be anything to write home about either? If it really was going to be an upgraded “cheese grater” design it’d already have been made and ready. I’m imagning something closer to the current “trash can” Pro with marginally better upgradeability. It’s not in their interest to make it too good, otherwise it will take away from the more profitable iMac Pro that they want to steer suckers… I mean customers! towards.

      1. The iMac Pro logically should not even exist. A proper expandable (“modular”) Mac Pro should’ve been announced, but it’s obvious they changed gears way too late and too recently, so when the real MP is announced next year (one hopes, anyway), initial sales will be slower because pros that couldn’t wait already got the iMac Pro.

        Worse, because iMac Pro will be released December, they can’t really announce a Mac Pro until this time NEXT YEAR, or they risk cutting the iMac Pro off at the knees just after it gets out of the gate.

  7. WEEI, a Boston sports talk radio station, has a phone number you can call to voice your complaints about anything sports related. They call it the “Whiner Line”. After each program segment, they reply all the complaints, some of which are fairly entertaining.

    I guess MDN has become that for all things Apple – like the Whiner Line, only without the humor.

    1. Maybe, but there is an interesting twist to it: once, the forum was infested with Apple-hating trolls; now, the trolls are gone, seemingly outdone by vociferous dyed-in-the-wool Mac users.

  8. Zoom into the photo – it appears that the memory chips are in slots with clips, not soldered to the board.

    Part of the reason why Apple went with soldered chips was to avoid the support calls from cheap memory chips that caused error conditions. I’m not justifying it but that’s what I recall from discussions in the past.

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