Apple’s latest announcements about the modular Mac Pro really ramp up expectations

“Apple has been rather quiet about an all-new Mac Pro it first teased a year ago. We did, though, learn two new things yesterday,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac. “Last year, all that Apple said about timing was that the new machine wouldn’t be released that year.”

“That left open the possibility that the machine might be launched in 2018, or it might be later – and we now know it’s the latter,” Lovejoy reports. “”Apple yesterday told TechCrunch that the new Mac Pro won’t be released until next year.

“Apple also said something else. In the past, the company has sometimes been accused of being out of touch with the real needs of creative professionals. Many cited the existing Mac Pro design as evidence of that: pros want a modular machine with plenty of expansion capacity, and what Apple gave them was something which seemed to prioritize form over function,” Lovejoy reports. “This time, says Apple, it will be different. To ensure that the new machine really delivers what professionals need, Apple has brought-in award-winning creative professionals – including developers – to give the company the best possible understanding of how they work and what they need.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Aren’t Apple themselves professional Mac users doing everything from industrial design to film/video production to architecture and more?

Does Apple really need a “Pro Workflow Team” or is it just more bullshit meant to paper over the indefensible mismanagement of the Mac Pro?

Are your Mac Pro expectations ramped up due to the latest delay or are you simply past the point of caring?

Apple needs to stop promising new products and start delivering them – April 6, 2018
Apple: No new Mac Pro until 2019 – April 5, 2018
Apple reiterates they’re working on an all-new modular, upgradeable Mac Pro and a high-end pro display – December 14, 2017
Why Apple’s promise of a new ‘modular’ Mac Pro matters so much – April 6, 2017
Apple’s cheese grater Mac Pro was flexible, expandable, and powerful – imagine that – April 6, 2017
More about Apple’s Mac Pro – April 6, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Who has taken over at Apple? – April 5, 2017
Apple’s embarrassing Mac Pro mea culpa – April 4, 2017
Who’s going to buy a Mac Pro now? – April 4, 2017
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 to unveil ‘iMac Pro’ later this year; rethought, modular Mac Pro and Apple pro displays in the pipeline – 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


    1. This from a company that used to usually & routinely delight instead of disgust their customers.

      Any company leadership that forces customers actually onto competitors products (having allowed the situation to get THAT bad) should be unceremoniously summarily replaced. Their is no reason at a company like Apple, with every resource imaginable, not to be firing on all cylinders ALL THE TIME. Abuse and take your customers for granted and they will start to disappear. Any other even mediocre manufacturer who had the Mac line would never let this happen. I daresay even Dell would delight better – at least in a new Mac Pro. So what does that say loud & clear about Cupertino?

  1. Being a person who does tech support for high level video producers and a mid-major film festival, the iMac Pro did not whet their appetites. I’ve been tasked with finding Windows-based solutions as next year is absolutely too late, and nobody wants to spend money on iMac Pros not knowing what the future brings, or what the Mac Pro will look like (hopefully not with A series processors — a question I was asked by a producer working in Europe right now). Personally, if my strictly Mac-based clientele is serious about moving platforms, its time for me to retire.

    1. These are the sort of sobering, level headed discussions folks really need to have with themselves and the folks they do business with. It may have been rampant speculation at one point, but if the last five years have shown us ANYTHING, Apple’s plan for Pro users appear to be out of sync with a significant portion of the current pro market. Sure, part of the Pro market is at least “satisfied” with the current situation, but even so, the unsatisfied portion should at least be informed that it’s time to move on so they can make a clean break.

      There are many that are thinking “UGH! I’ll transition over to Windows, get all set up and stable and Apple will FINALLY release the Mac Pro I’ve been waiting for!!”. So, they’re hanging on because Apple hasn’t specifically said, “You aren’t our market anymore.” I think, after this announcement, most of the folks THAT WERE still sitting on the fence have JUST said to themselves, “The productivity I’m going to lose over the next year on this old Mac is greater than the pain of me transitioning now”. I think only someone wearing rose colored glasses would look at this situation and say “THIS IS AN AWESOME TIME TO BE A MAC PRO! THEY JUST ANNOUNCED THE PRODUCT I WAS WAITING FOR IS COMING OUT NEXT YEAR! I’M EXCITED ABOUT WAITING FOR IT!”

    2. Exactly. I support Macs and with the way Apple has been dragging their feet makes me really ponder retiring from this.
      If a large amount of Mac customers switch to Windows, I’m done.

    3. The Mac Pro was not some experiment Apple could play with when pros are needing to make a living with real tools & such “features” on a pro machine as unhampered upgrading & versatility.

      The 2013 Mac Pro was stillborn and a poor direction and it took them 4 years to figure that out when most of us knew it Day One. Why weren’t they listening?? They should have always offered a version of the Mac Pro cheese grater for pros who didn’t have the time for their “can’t innovate my ass” nonsense.

      Count me as “past caring.”

      1. It wasn’t stillborn. Please don’t pile on. The story is a little different than what you make out. Every error doesn’t need to become a wholesale indictment. The world is shrill enough as it is.

        1. It was Stillborn to me.

          I was initially excited when the 2013 Mac Pro was shown. Wow!

          What, stuck at Thunderbolt 2? No slots? No PCIe except through TB2? Can’t use Nvidia cards without buying an external GPU box? External wired peripherals all over the place?

          There’s no sugarcoating the monumental failure this represented to the “upgrade-essential & versatility-is-paramount pro.” After all we had already had that in the Cheese Grater and this represented not a step forward but a giant step backward and higher expense/shorter shelf life by a substantial margin.

          I take no prisoners with this because it’s obvious Apple did not talk to more pros about what a new Mac Pro would be. Oh they get it NOW after screwing up royally making too many assumptions (not only in it’s look and function but in it’s technical dead-end design – uh, this is APPLE! with theoretically great engineers who should know better) but at our expense going on 6 years in waiting – an eternity in tech years.

          An equivalent in expense with a iMac/Pro & PC Workstation (I have just got a bid on) is a world of different excitement and versatility. And future upgrading. (Man that PC Workstation case with all those slots, hard drive/PCIe makes me mouth water.) From the PC of course, though missing that 5K iMac screen. The most basic understanding of pros, if Apple had any real idea, is precisely this kind of “box” as the ideal – for now. You can get too far ahead of yourself which Apple did.

          So why did they start to think otherwise in a misguided attempt to miniaturize and complicate that which did not require it? In fact was an anathema to it? I hope Apple takes away the lessons of this debacle and realize they must put REAL effort into talking to their target market to determine what shape – especially if it’s a radical one – a new Mac workstation should take. Not one dictated by purely aesthetic reasons. Instead of designing in a vacuum with no real understanding and only a mandate of shrinking it down and making it look cute. Pro’s could care less about that. That feeling of opening an older Mac Pro side panel up to change something (or a new PC Workstation) is a reassuring assurance to anything you might want to do now or in the future.

          BTW I like your posts and often agree with you. (Well except this time.) 😉

        2. Refreshing to read your passionate defense to which there is no offense. Yeah, I was a little surprised by her post. You nailed it BOTH times! Keep the faith …

  2. While Apple does have graphic designers on staff, high end production for cinema, architecture and other pro level fields have very specific needs and differing workflows. I applaud that Apple is taking this step and working extra hard to get things right.

    If they do, they will come up with something that hopefully will demonstrate a very open future that will attract people to the platform.

    1. When Apple realized that they had screwed up on prior “Pro Mac” towers – – they got a new product to the street in only six (6) months.

      That was the codeword “Yikes!” PowerMac, and back in a day where they weren’t making $1M profit per minute.

      Its April 2018, a full year after their “oops” meeting, which also means that they’ve now had TWICE AS LONG as it took them to get the “Yikes!” into the marketplace.

      … “working hard”, my ass.

      1. There’s such an element of outright criminal cruelty in how Apple is treating their pro market. Do they really think we are able to look past this kind of neglect?

        I guess they’re able to sleep well at night thanks to the cushioning power of cashing in multi-millions of dollars worth of Apple shares they haven’t completely earned.

  3. The architecture for this new modular system should have taken maybe six months to design and begin initial testing. Really the only difference is splitting the physical hardware into upgradeable units.

    But if “modular” ends up meaning “standard video cards won’t fit” then they might as well stop now and just give it up.

  4. Given that it would take an incredibly incompetent group of third-rate engineers to take until 2019 to release an Intel-based desktop computer, Apple must be pursuing some artist-designed form-over-function turd that rivals the trashcan Mac Pro.

    Tim Cook is drawing his leg back and preparing to kick us Mac Pro users in the nads as hard as he can.

  5. I often agree with MDNs take on stories but not this time – the “Pro Workflow Team” is a fantastic idea – sure the team at Apple are professionals working in various areas but Apple doesn’t just make computers for people who run a Computer/Phone company. Bringing in Professionals from outside, who may very well have completely different workflows and needs is exactly what Apple needs. If they’re out of touch with the needs of their Professionals, which it’s painfully clear they are, this is the best way to get back in touch with them.

    1. Steve, you would be correct if this was 2012. But it is now 2018 and the Cooked Apple has spent 6 years fiddling while the Mac platform burns. Think about it – would they need to create a new bureaucracy if the Mac was being properly managed with a dedicated group of developers ALWAYS improving the Mac??? The fact that Apple treats desktop Macs as intermittent art projects doesn’t instill hope.

      This week’s announcement is just another lame excuse from the overpaid executives that took their eyes off the ball for over half a decade. Timmy and company didn’t even understand that the 2013 trashcan was a poor non-versatile product from the beginning. Apple repeated the poor value proposition with the 2017 dark sealed iMac. It may have nice Xeon processors, but it’s upgradeability sucks. It is horrible for users who have multiple display work environments and need internal expansion for a gazillion reasons unique to them. Does nobody at Apple get it?

      Apple’s leadership team needs to be replaced ASAP. The Mac needs to be treated as a core company technology platform that deserves constant attention. A 5 year product cycle for the Mac Pro, with declining versatility in each generation, is a slap in the face and a clear sign this company is the new Microsoft, but with inferior software support compared to the Redmond crew.

    2. It’s a fantastic idea, but you can bet that there are no Intel Mac highly expandable Tower folks in that group because there ARE no Intel Mac highly expandable Towers. They’re focusing on scenarios like, “I’ve got this file in this format on this USB drive and 4 times a day I need to run this process on my MacBook Pro, then take the converted file over to my iMac Pro for editing”. They’re working on how to improve that workflow with technologies that already exist. They’re not out of touch with THESE professionals, these ones have already settled on an existing product and just want the workflow tweaked. They’re out of touch with all the professionals that they’re not inviting to their little shindig. And they’re not inviting them because they don’t have a solution for them.

    3. It certainly is a good idea, from the standpoint of a giant in the industry wanting to make the right call for the next generation of computing. From the standpoint of grunts shivering in the trenches, it sucks. But just as in every war, the concerns of the grunts are, unfortunately, secondary to the need to win the war.

  6. MDN’s take is about as wrong as it could be. Apple most definitely does need real power users to closely collaborate during the design stages.

    I’ve worked on some cutting edge projects with major manufacturers and feedback from actual users under real conditions often comes as quite a ( usually welcome ) shock to the software and hardware developers.

    Engineers, designers and developers have an excellent understanding of the technicalities, but when it comes to music, video and graphics, the way that it’s actually used by operators is critically important.

    I was very closely involved with the early stages of a digital audio editing system. They had great ways to make edits and manipulate segments, but I pointed out to them that they needed a filing system for the segments so that they can be found again long after they had been originally cut. This came as something of a surprise to them as they never considered the possibility that re-edits are routinely required and they simply assumed that once you do an edit, it stays that way. They rapidly rectified that omission once they understood why it was so important.

    Several years later when professional digital video editing systems were starting to appear, I heard of exactly the same conversation with an experienced editor saying that they needed an intelligent filing system for all the video clips. Filing systems for clips are a standard feature on digital editing software these days.

    It’s one thing to design a system which does particular job, but it’s quite another to design a system which works optimally in highly stressful conditions.

    Engineers and developers put tremendous effort into developing racing cars, but we all understand that the feedback from the driver is one of the most important aspects for getting it perfect. The developers know everything there is to know about the technicalities, but the driver is the one who knows how to really handle it and where to make trade-offs.

    Close liaison between the designers and the Pro Workflow Team might well make the difference between a solution which works and a solution which works brilliantly.

  7. I upgraded to the new Mac Pro last year! It runs Windows and Linux really well, and I can hook up whatever monitors I want to it. Upgraded the video card in February.

    Best Mac Pro I ever had.

    So long, Apple.

      1. Don’t forget Riccio. Cook brought him in from Compaq and it doesn’t look like he’s done anything for the Mac in over a decade. The only hardware Cook and Riccio can find time to work on is iPhone and iPad rehashes.

  8. I can’t believe that Apple made public its need to resort to a committee. This raises suspicion that it’s flailing inernally and that its comment is meant to emeliorate criticism, on the one hand, and show to the public that it understands the problem of the Trash Can MacPro which can be likened to the behavior of a wayward child to a parent.

    1. There’s a reason why racing cars are tested on the track by championship racing drivers and not by the guys who build the engines or design the suspension.

      The fact that Apple is actively seeking input from such highly qualified people demonstrates just how high Apple are aiming and how well they understand the complexity of the challenge.

      1. Something they should have been doing for more than a decade already. To have this epiphany so late in the game shows a company asleep at the wheel. This is why they get no kudos from me for something that’s just so terribly obvious and a major “DUH!” They should only feel unbridled shame being so late to the game.

    2. Agreed.

      It’s not tough. Power users want a screaming monster. And they want to be able to make the monster as larger as their budget permits. They want to crunch enormous data sets. They want to run unbelievably complex simulations.

      To the extent possible, they don’t want any limits. Storage, speed, statistical analysis, expansion. A box sitting under their desk or down the hall works. They want to feel confident that just about whatever number crunching problem they throw at it the box won’t choke.

      It doesn’t have to be pretty. Pretty is fine, but it’s not required. The second I saw the trash can I knew we had problems. I lost my interest in buying that Mac Pro about a day following it’s release. The guys that designed it didn’t know shit about what I believe most power users are looking for. The power user wants an extensible super computer…MAC.

        1. Indeed, for a Pro, the “aesthetically pleasing” part is performance, performance, performance:

          In the words of Agatha Heterodyne:

          “Disassemble these boilers! When I rebuild them, they’ll go from COLD to BOIL in EIGHT SECONDS!”.

          (Girl Genius Comic; 5/28/2007)

        2. But you can’t mean zero aesthetics, right? Otherwise Apple might as wall hire designers from the Bolshevik Soviet Collective Farm where conformity, functionality and production was all the rage.

  9. My expectations of Apple’s management, already low, have not ramped up at all. The only expectation I have is for activist investors to start increasing their calls for dismissal of the dead wood in the executive suite. All of the dead wood.

  10. Too Late.
    I’ll find something else.
    If an iMac cost 10k for the top of the line, I don’t want to take out a loan, four or five years to buy a Mac Pro .
    It’s ok, Microsoft has not been sitting too still.
    Linux is really nice as an OS. So another year, even higher price,naw I’m gone.
    It’s been great fun.

  11. The #iMacPro was released in mid-December. If #Apple is committed to the pro market, I expect this iMac to be refreshed at least twice with new GPUs, before we see this legendary Modular MacPro ‘in 2019′. If this isn’t the case, then it’s the same old Apple pipeline promises.

    1. I still have faith in Apple, even though their supposedly biggest fans have turned on them. Having spent the majority of my adult life suffering a cascade of Windows debacles, and being paid to sort them out as a Crime Scene Investigator, I’d have gladly traded all that for a peachier job supporting a more robust platform like macOS.

      1. I totally agree with you that Mac “brings good things to life.” I am Mac user since 1992 when I bought a Powerbook 170 (around $3870!) and took it with me to work on a film in London. I have many friends though who use PC’s (in fact I helped a relatively famous friend upgrade an old one of his with a new video card and internal RAID to his total delight to edit 4K video) in demanding situations and NEVER complains about any problems or downtime. Believe me, I quiz them about it a lot. PC’s are most primarily used for feature visual effects (sometimes under Linux) along with the occasional Mac (I also know many in the vfx biz who love their Macs too). VFX is my area of expertise too, along with cinematography.

        We had a teacher at our grandchildren’s school who was Microsoft Certified trained and insisted on implementing Macs instead at the school! I guess under the heading “Life Is Too Short.” Heh.

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