Why is it taking Apple so long to update the Mac Pro?

“A year ago Apple responded to cries from pros using Mac hardware and held a damage limitation press conference to reassure them that an updated Mac Pro was in the pipeline. Now Apple says that the new hardware won’t land until 2019,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes for ZDNet. “So what’s going on over at Cupertino? Why the delay?”

“Apple is a company that can push out new iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches on a yearly schedule, and yet seems to need years to put together what is essentially a computer,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “After all, how hard is it to throw some high-end components into a box and ship it? PC OEMs do this all the time.”

“What I got from reading TechCrunch‘s Matthew Panzarino’s coverage of Apple’s second on-the-record briefing is that Apple spent a lot of time but said very little,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “It’s weird, but the feeling I get from reading Panzarino’s piece is that Apple has forgotten how to build pro hardware.”

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last Friday:

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?

“I can’t help but feel that there are other factors at play here,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “Maybe Apple thought that the iMac Pro would be enough, and professionals would stop hassling about a new Mac Pro…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Or it’s simply mismanagement. People in decision-making positions who are unfocused, confused, out of their depth, and who clearly have misplaced priorities (“exhibit A” being the 5 years they’ll have been peddling the trashcan Mac Pro as their top of the line Macintosh by the time they get a new one out).

If he retired today, Tim Cook’s Apple would be known for coasting along on Steve Jobs’ innovations, rolling up tremendous profits that any halfway competent CEO would have accrued (or more), and devolving into being lazy, sloppy and routinely late.

That’s a great legacy, Tim.

Here’s another Misplaced Priorities trophy for your large and growing collection:

The Misplaced Priorities Trophy.
The Misplaced Priorities Trophy.

Apple’s latest announcements about the modular Mac Pro really ramp up expectations – April 6, 2018
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. the mac pro hasn’t been updated since 2013
      it’s 2018 now.
      It won’t be updated this year and the date is still up in the air.
      your comment makes sense if it was 2014.

      (note: they’ve made robotic Christmas trees, Coffee table books with specially milled ‘silver edged’ paper, spent inordinate efforts on the Campus like one and half years on door handles, designer ceiling tiles, transplanted from Apple’s special orchards thousands of full grown fruit trees and as Wikipedia states ” All interior wood used for furniture was harvested from a certain species of maple, ” etc while the Mac Pro rotted.

      Shoot it took them LESS time to Start Construction (2014) of the whole freaking Campus and finish it than the Mac Pro. )

      GET THAT? they spent all that time and effort for toys for the staff and to make them comfy while neglecting products for pro Customers WHO WERE SOLD A BILL OF GOODS THAT APPLE WAS SERIOUS ABOUT THEM . Apple had photoshop shootouts, bought companies that made Aperture , FinalCut etc all to attract pros and then abandoned them, some who have spent thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in the eco system. They didn’t care about the pro users staff or families. That’s why pros are pissed off.

      1. some pros who had their businesses ruined — there were a few years until the iMac Pro where there was NO power GPU linked to a power CPU solution available at all. Thunderbolt 2 was simply too slow for eGPUs. (changing equipment or retraining staff to use Windows is not cheap or easy)

        imagined one of these business people getting screwed over and then LISTENING TO TIM COOK’S speeches about “caring, honour, justice etc” …

      2. Dave is so right. Plus the pipeline foolishness Apple CEO keeps talking about is none existent. Add to that the an iPad, that when you charge the pencil/pen looks awkward, silly, and unusable while the pen is charging connected to the pad. How in the hell did that ever make it out to market? Steve Jobs is really missed. Tim Cook should go, GO, ahead and work for the trump administration.

        Now we get it, Intel charged a ridiculous price for their CPUs and Apple was stuck having to use them, but it seems that the Macs should have received new processors along the way, not to mention the premium prices, all Macs should have SSDs, 16 gigs, when memory was cheap, user upgrade ability.

        Well, the next Macs will need to use light, the be innovative. Fiber optic runs, from processors to memory, graphic subsystem, i/o. Of course that will require new optical memory chips, and since their is a rumor of switching processors, may as well create optical computer processors and subsystems.

        A headset for VR will not cut it. Too little too late.

        1. Doesn’t matter – and that’s more the reason why Tim shouldn’t have let the Apple Park be such a huge distraction.

          Every day that Ive spent there, arguing about how the door thresholds can’t be more than 1mm thick – – was a WRONG allocation of Apple resources.

          And that failure falls 100% on Cook’s neck for allowing it to happen. No one else.

          And at a cost of $1800/square foot for a workspace which lacks a mass transit rail link, no good way to expand the campus *if* Apple grows (and already inadequate for their current staff) .. it is an Albatross.

    2. Correct…because hat else have they released that wasn’t quite ready…besides iPhones, iMacs, MacBooks….

      Oh, yeah, that high-dollar ‘Home’ speaker they spent three years on but couldn’t get the OS right without repeated update delays….

      The current Apple company’s hardware releases are so incremental it’s embarrassing.

      OS systems even more so (Safari still can’t work on many highly trafficked websites) and go beyond embarrassing to simply inept.

      Maybe if they had a CEO more focused on the company instead of politics and ‘social change’ to promote his personal views and proclivities…..

  1. I can’t believe they still sell the years old Pro for the same freaking price. 5 year old computer! That’s at least 1 upgrade cycle for a PC. For the same price..5 years.

    1. They dropped the price 33%, and no longer sell the quad core configuration, or the dual D300 graphics. 6 core, 8 core, 12 core, D500 & D700. But yes it should be another couple hundred less.

  2. Harsh take MDN. No company gets everything right all of the time. I would say that under Tim Cooks stewardship, Apple have developed into the tech powerhouse we all know and love. Pro users are important, but there are too many of them on this site rubbishing the entire company when many of them are probably also shareholders who are doing very nicely thank you.

    1. “If he retired today, Tim Cook’s Apple would be known for coasting along on Steve Jobs’ innovations, rolling up tremendous profits that any halfway competent CEO would have accrued (or more), and devolving into being lazy, sloppy and routinely late.”

      Truer words hath never be typed.

    2. “I would say that under Tim Cooks stewardship, Apple have developed into the tech powerhouse we all know and love.”

      You are seriously confusing Jobs with Cook. Jobs was the visionary and driving force. Cook is nothing more than a manager.

  3. I know the classic Cheese grater PRO mac have been used extensively by developers and professional users, who upgraded their Cheesegraters with additional items. Any idea how popular the dustbin / trashcan Pro Mac is with such professionals? My speculation is the dustbin MacPro is used by rich folks for show off and decoration purposes, and not too much development work

    1. Many pros moved to HP and Dell workstations years ago. Apple’s missteps with FCP, their FUBAR handling of Aperture customers, and the lack of any upgrade path for the Mac Pro GPU sealed the deal. Windows still sucks, but the hardware kicks ass.

    2. We had a lot of them, and I took one home now. They’ve been replaced with iMac Pro’s, and they are very popular for creating “clusters” or thunderbolt connected mini render farms. The performance of them is still very good, the new Xeon W chips are really the first Intel offering that substantially beats the E5 1697 v2 , and I think that’s why Apple didn’t update it as much on the processor front. Now the graphics there was a misstep, they thought thunderbolt 2 would be fast enough for external graphics needs and that dual GPU’s would become the norm, they were wrong about that. But, if they were to update it with Xeon W, Dual Radeon Vega, and thunderbolt 3 (along with more standard RAM, I think people would be ok with it for now until a redesign. To recap, dual Xeon W, Dual Vega, Thunderbolt 3.

  4. Drop the price of the trash can, put an i7 in it instead of a Xeon, and put a different graphics processor in there. Use nVidia again. Sell it to people who want a desktop replacement. Mac it the new Mac mini, or whatever. That “thing” is not a pro computer. Upgrading components beyond RAM is what pros need.

    1. Whenever I go to the refurbished section on the Apple site, I have to wince at a mid-range Mac Pro from 2013 costing $4000. I’m guessing the tech must really be quite out of date at this point. Probably not up to iMac Pro standards. I like to keep a computer for around five years so at the end of that period we’re talking at least a decade old and past the end of life. I’m not going to pay for one of Apple’s mistakes. I don’t think I’d want one even if they were cheaper. At this point it’s really the age of those trash-can Mac Pros more than anything else. There’s nothing I really ever liked about the trash-can Mac Pro.

        1. and the raped women walking 1000 miles that require the US military to protect us from them, too.

          chicken hawk doing stunts again costing tax payers millions so he can look tough. why does this guy only do things against women and children to look tough.

  5. ‘If he retired today, Tim Cook’s Apple would be known for coasting along on Steve Jobs’ innovations, rolling up tremendous profits that any halfway competent CEO would have accrued (or more), and devolving into being lazy, sloppy and routinely late.’

    Hammer, meet nail. Throw in making the company into a political platform (though I think that’s a general Silicon Valley disease, ‘out of their depth’ barely scratches the surface), and the profits feel pretty damn shallow.

  6. Why? Because Apple doesnt give a rat’s ass about the Mac. Hasn’t that been clear for at least 4 years? Has the Mac platform EVER been this neglected before? It’s truly embarrassing to be a Mac user these days.

  7. It’s hard to say how much damage Apple will do to themselves in the pro market because of these delays and the feeling Apple is just going to miss it again in 2019 by their grotesque overthink (remember how excited they were about their 2013 Mac Pro cleverness before it imploded in on them?). Or how many tired-of-being-disappointed ex-Mac creatives will become Windows creatives instead but my guess is they will take a substantial hit when all is said and done.

    They need to splinter off the Mac unit or its time for some poorly knowlegeable, executing or delegating executives to step down. The Apple apologies, which seem to be ramping up for numbers under Cook’s regime, just aren’t cutting it anymore. Not when livelihoods are at stake.

    Not a concern for me anymore as I also have no choice but to move on to the Dark Side. If nothing else it’s a whole lot calmer, stable, upgradeable and versatile over there without all of the Apple unknowns to worry about. Mac pros needing high end gear haven’t been able to breathe a sigh of relief since 2012.

  8. The problem was that the old Mac Pro 1,1-5,1s were too good and people used them for too long. This goes against Apple’s current M.O. which is to try and get everyone to upgrade to new hardware every few years.

    Something has to give… Many users don’t want disposable hardware and they are proving it with their credit cards. Either Apple gives in and starts selling upgradeable Mac Pros again or they run the risk of losing those users forever.

  9. Clearly Tim Cook has been the biggest disaster to befall the Mac since the Performa line was launched. Tim Cook has not spent 5 minutes of his time thinking about how the future of the Mac should look. He just does not care and it shows. In every possible way.

  10. It’s more than the Mac Pro delay. It’s the slow deterioration of the entire Apple Ecosystem. Many of us bought into Apple products, and gladly pay the Apple Tax, because we had a well integrated package of products – Mac desktop computers, MacBooks, iPhone, iPad, Airport routers, etc. etc. etc.

    That is slowly dissolving into the iPhone and iPad and Apple Watch. Maybe that is the future of computing, but for those of us who still want and need an actual computer of size and power, the Ecosystem is broken.

    Windoze, Google Chromebooks, Android phones and tablets? They are starting to look better and better on a cost/benefit basis. The Ecosystem made Apple’s higher prices worth paying. Wake Up, Apple!

  11. I won’t be in the market for any new Mac Pro. The 10-core iMac Pro is the most I’d ever need and it has a display. I’m even willing to give up user-upgradeability and pre-order Apple’s expensive memory upgrade.

    I just happen to find it disappointing that Apple is not able to or unwilling to compete in the pro computer market. I know the company is no longer called Apple Computer but why just give up on a market when Apple is sitting on over a $100B and should be able to use their expertise to create an additional revenue stream. Is the pro computer market simply not lucrative enough for Apple to bother with? Same with the Mac Mini market? As an Apple shareholder, I only want some explanation. I don’t see how selling pro computers would hurt Apple’s iPhone business.

    Apple’s business is really an enigma to me. Maybe they don’t want to have a lot of products in their entire sales lineup because good customer support would be too difficult for Apple to manage.

  12. This is what I don’t understand, they have people who work for them who will be needing machines like this. If nothing else they should have a team on it constantly making the best tools for themselves. People who want the absolute best spec are not bothered about it being tiny, wafer thin, or the most aesthetically pleasing device on the planet. People wanting a machine like this essentially want an enclosure where they can swap out and upgrade bits as and when they need. Put it in a pretty metal cube with loads of slots and connections and essentially people will be happy. Of all the products they make its the one that could need the least design.

  13. It has to be…

    an ARM-based cluster supercomputer, otherwise they have been either too lazy or too indecisive because they could have solved the Mac Pro problem five years ago.

  14. Not to defend Apple for this BS move but to me it is obvious they are waiting to release the Mac Pro highlighting the new Apple chip and an OS written for that chip with no backwards bloat.

    If that’s the case then at least they are doing the wrong thing the right way….. 🙂

  15. iMac is doing very good at a already high price. How much would cost a Mac Pro, beside competing to almost the same market? Got be very innovative to get an effective sale. Apple waits for the “momentum”.

  16. What was a safe pair of hands for the 5 years or so post Jobs is becoming a serious liability now and more worryingly there doesn’t seem to be an obvious replacement certainly not from within the company. Its almost like now that the Head Master has gone the kids can let their hair down a bit knowing that the new head boy gives you plenty of warning when he is about to just pop his head round the door, listens intently hand on chin as he is told ‘alls fine Timmy but might take a bit longer than we thought’, he simply replies ‘Ok Well done I have total confidence in you, carry on the good work’ waves and as he closes the door the fun starts again to knowing sniggers as they think work can wait yet again till tomorrow. Its becoming more and more like a sureal scene from Airplane… totally pilotless.

  17. I’m going to call it: I think Apple is in the middle long term testing stages of a new Mac Pro using A series processors that exceed anything Intel currently has and anything the current iOS crop uses. The delay is to ensure that when they say it beats the best Intel has to offer, they have the empirical and historical data to back it up. So as we all expect a new Intel based Mac Pro, Apple may very well be on the verge of another disruption. And putting the A-series on a pro first instead of the expected low-end first approach would be quite disruptive.

  18. MDN your rant about Cook surfing on Steve « do no wrong » Jobs was hilarious. Especially the new Mac Pro as proof of Cook’s incompetence. Remember the Mac Cube Jobs had Ive design as the future of computing. Ya I thought so. It barely last a year and did far worst than the new Mac Pro. It is exactly the same then and now. Both times they applied a basic Apple recipe: « we know better than our clients what they will want in the future ». When Apple is right, we call them genius, when they are wrong we call them arrogant. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Cook is perfect. He certainly did not invest enough in the Mac product line and is responsible for plenty of shaky deliveries on the software side. However he is one of the most competent tech CEO in the world. Apple is far bigger now than it was under Jobs, so growth problems are to be expected: you have to change the way you are doing things, adapt. Rewriting history and painting Jobs as a divinity and Cook as an incompetent idiot is silly and doesn’t help anyone but the stock shorters. Jobs was great but he did plenty of mistakes too. Then and now I rather have an Apple making mistakes than a company that do not evolve.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.