Apple may show modular Mac Pro, new external 6K Pro display at WWDC 2019

“Beyond new software, Apple may reportedly use this June’s WWDC 2019 to showcase a promised modular Mac Pro and a new standalone monitor,” Roger Fingas reports for AppleInsider.

“The monitor is codenamed “J290,” and will support high dynamic range (HDR), Bloomberg said on Monday,” Fingas reports. “Connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed that the display could measure 31.6 inches, and incorporate mini LED backlighting.”

“Apple has only been ‘considering’ premiering the new Mac Pro, said the report,” Fingas reports. “The computer itself may only ship in 2020, and use a stacking system based on proprietary connectors.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple two biggest mistakes of recent years (half a decade plus, no less): Not updating the Mac Pro and not having state-of-the-art Apple-badged displays on the market. They left a lot of money on the table and squandered a ton of goodwill in the process.

It’s going to take a lot – including a meaningful apology and years of regular updates – for Apple brass to rebuild trust in the products and the trust of professional users that they inexplicably and foolishly abandoned.

Apple had better do something Mac Pro-related at WWDC, lest the pitchforks that have been out for approximately three years threaten to get used! — MacDailyNews, February 20, 2019

Apple considering preview of new modular Mac Pro at WWDC in June – February 20, 2019
Lusting for Apple’s professional 6K display – February 19, 2019
Are Hackintosh users more passionate about the Mac than Apple? – February 19, 2019
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple to unveil all-new Mac Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro, 31-inch 6K monitor, and more this year – February 18, 2019


  1. Where are all of the negative comments? You know the ones… slamming Cook for this and that. The ones complaining how far Apples has gone down the drain since whenever.

    1. MDN summed it up already:

      Apple had better do something Mac Pro-related at WWDC, lest the pitchforks that have been out for approximately three years threaten to get used!

      If Apple lets the WWDC go by with nary a mention of MacPros, then the pro market will crater.

      1. That’s about the size of it. For Apple not to know at this point that “Promeggedon” is about to hit them hard by no mention at WWDC would be the height of cluelessness & folly.

      2. I hope, we wish and it’d be best if Tim sincerely/truly tended to the Pro sector at WWDC, but as he mentioned this week, “Apple isn’t a tech company anymore”. It’s now focused on “innovation” via services. I suspect and hope this will be a stockholder benefit, but not so great for the Apple story with depth/breath.

    2. Oh, I’m here. I hate you all, because I’m a whacktoid Android sucker-upperer.

      Yep, crazy like the Joker and Penguin wrapped up into one.

      I’m the CyniCitizenX, Pipeline licker-haterer. That’s me!

  2. Difficult to believe they could have been so stupid let alone short sighted and crass. Nothing shows better how out of his depth Cook is for no matter how others more technically proficient misled and failed in their duties to properly advice he is the guy ultimately in charge and responsible therefore for clearly failing in asking the right questions, control the process and making sure he knew enough to make the right decisions over a period of years not simply months which would have been bad enough

    1. I’d agree, if Apple were still Apple Computer, Inc. But now Apple Inc is a consumer tech company. Computers make up about 10% of Apple’s revenues, and less of its profits. I’m glad they haven’t let the Mac die but let’s face it, letting Mac innovation slide has not really hurt Apple’s success. And conversely, hypothetically, absolutely killing it on the Mac with regular updates and amazing new features wouldn’t really move the needle on AAPL’s share price.

      All that said, as a happy Mac user for the past 35 years, I really hope they turn it around and come out with amazing improvements to the Mac. But if they don’t, it doesn’t mean they’re shooting themselves in the foot or that their executive team is inept.

  3. I hope the new Mac Pro doesn’t consist of sealed modules that are stuck together, like tinker toys.

    I’m probably just stuck too much in the past, but I’ve always wanted an open box design. If all they do is seal up each module and require you to buy extra modules to increase RAM or storage, well, I don’t think that is going to go over well with the oldsters, like me. Geez, you could buy a bunch of mac minis and daisy chain them to get something comparable. Not really, but you get the idea. And we waited how long? I’m just overreacting because of my initial high hopes.

  4. I wonder what is worse, no “modular” MacPro or a “modular” computer and the sudden realization of what that means in Apple speak.

    Some extraordinarily attractive design enclosure with module slots for CPU, RAM, SSD, AMD GPU, that can only be filled by Apple branded and manufactured modules. Meaning you won’t be able to simply order a GPU from anywhere, like on a PC, updates can only come from Apple, as such they will come when they come, and they will cost a king’s ransom.

  5. The coolest thing would be is if by “modular” Apple would actually MORE THAN LISTEN to the pros out there by making expandable computers that make all the things people clamor for — upgradeability — incredible easy and remove all the “scary” for the average user. Picture an enclosure that has the computer separated into its basic parts (CPU, GPU, RAM, Storage) and you can simply plug and play all four that are housed within enclosures that slide out and pop into place. Changing them out would be as simple as ordering a newer updated version via the Apple Store. Assuming Apple would price those items at competitive prices concurrent with the rest of the industry (the biggest problem I’d see right there with the haters) after a couple of years a person could simply purchase that part which they feel needs improvement. It’d take the idea of expandability to the next level because a Mac Pro could change a lot over time (and a whole market of second hand modules would also build up over time) . . . . maybe Apple could license the IP of the enclosure to third parties . . . . but you’d always be guaranteed a slick and fast upgrade with virtually no downtime on well-tested configs — all of which is worth a “tax” if it just works.

    1. I believe they intentionally avoided using the word “upgradable”. According to Apple, the majority of their professionals (those that use pro apps multiple times a month) purchase mobile systems. Since the volume of any Mac Pro is going to be very very low, (in the single digit percents) so the cost is going to be quite high, possibly starting in the middle of the iMac Pro range and going way up from there.

      1. Apple is 100% wrong that the majority of professionals (REAL Professionals for which the so called “iMac Pro” just won’t cut it) use mobile systems. For my truly high end work the requirement is for CPUs and GPUs that don’t exist in mobile platforms. Because the Mac Pro is so damn far behind and the so called “iMac Pro” just does not cut it, I’ve had to move some work over to Windows machines! Some of that work won’t even start (application won’t load) unless the unless there are at least 16 physical cores (up to 32 threads) and at least a pair of Nvidia 1080 cards (haven’t tried the 2080s yet). Where is anyone going to get that in a mobile platform? Even so called “gamer laptops” won’t do that.

        It’s not about volume. Hell, Apple has always charged such a huge premium on their highest end machines that volume really does not matter. If Apple only sells 10,000 of the very high machines they will have covered all their sunk R&D costs and turned a healthy profit.

        Assuming the next Mac Pro ever actually ships — it could be like the mythical wireless charging pad or, even worse, it could be like Duke Nukem Forever which took 12 years to come out and was extremely disappointing when it finally shipped — we can probably safely assume the price will range from more than 5,000 (USD) for the bare bones system to as high as 20,000 (USD) or more for one with all the bells and whistles included directly from Apple.

    2. “MORE THAN LISTEN to the pros”
      “remove all the “scary” for the average user.”
      Are you talking about pros, or average users? Average users bought iMacs and MacBooks awhile back and haven’t used anything like a Mac Pro in a LOONG time. Average users hardly ever upgrade anything either, even when provided the option. And an iMac is already extremely “not scary”

      I think you may be describing what I refer to as the “enthusiast” or “gamer” market. Most real pros tend to stick with a configuration that works over a period of years. While it might be “fun” for an enthusiast to figure out some issue caused by their particular combination of firmware, hardware, software, and apps, a Pro just wants to continue their stable configuration. While certain professionals will be fine paying the prices for these Mod Pro’s, I believe the price is going to be well over what an enthusiast will want to pay.

      1. Exactly. I have a 2009 Mac mini and a 2005 PowerBook G4 that I have kept because they are stable and functional machines whose ins and outs I know like the back of my hand. They may not be the cutting edge, but they are solidly built and do what I need them to do. My G4 laptop’s keyboard works so much better than any MacBook Pro released in the past two years.

  6. Apple has only been ‘considering’ premiering the new Mac Pro? They !@$@$ better. Bad enough it prolly won’t be available until next year. Argh! I’m just dumbfounded at what they’ve done (or not done) with this.

    So the only computers you can buy from Apple to write Apple software is a bunch of laptops with crappy keyboards, a $5000 iMac, or finally…the newer iMacs? Think the new 27″ iMac with a Vega will have to do it. No way I’m waiting any longer only to be upset with what Apple’s idea of “modular” is next year.

    1. I think you’re right about next year. You know what aligns well with next year? The USB4 higher speed interconnect. If you’re going to depend on module, you’ll want to have those modules connected using the easiest to use and fastest interconnect available 🙂

    2. Well. The “consideration” is this: WWDC is a hard decision point here, so if Appl doesn’t show the next Mac Pro, then it is 100% off the table and out of consideration.

      At that point, the workstation switch over to Windows … forever … and legacy Mac needs are handled by some old refurb minis. And we stop buying new iPhones too.

  7. I’m not that bothered about the form factor it takes, I just want to have a flexible computer that allows me to build a machine with any combination of CPU Cores, GPUs, RAM and storage.
    If that’s in the form of stackable sealed modules I’m fine with that, as long as I can build the stack that I want.
    I can almost do that with eGPUs but I need macOS to support more configurations including supporting nVidia cards.
    I think just as important as a flexible machine is Apple needs to keep it update to date with the latest CPU and GPU offerings.
    The monitor sounds very promising, I just hope it has a VESA adapter.

    1. You will need to switch to win/lin. Apple is not going to get back in bed with nvidia. And frankly I doubt that nvidia cares. Apple would be such a tiny teeny insignificant portion of their customer base why bother pushing for it. Apples pro workstation dreams sailed away long ago. And as cool as the iMac pro is on paper in real world applications it’s no where near a HP Z or a Boxx. Which is probably where most of all the real pros (the ones making a living creating amazing things not the slobs at home with too much disposable income) have already moved on to.

      1. Sadly I agree, it’s unlikely nVidia will be supported although I think your wrong about nVidia not wanting too. Until recently they did support eGPUs until Apple stopped allowing their drivers. It’s not actually a lot of work for nVidia to support Apple, it’s all down to whether Apple wants them and here I completely agree with you, I doubt for whatever reason Apple are going to get back into bed with them.

        At the studio I last worked at we used a combination of iMac Pros and HP Z workstations. There is no doubt Apple have lost a lot of Pros but many of the Pro’s I’ve worked with still use Mac’s personally and they would love to switch back if Apple offered a capable machine.

        Even if users are willing to switch back Apple still needs to win back the trust of businesses and developers and that will take time but to say its workstation dreams have sailed is just not true. They always have the opportunity to win people back they just need to deliver the right product for the job and provide the right level of support.

        1. Just did a quick search, yeah, Nvidia has screwed Apple over several times. And, for example, Nvidia may have been convinced that the ‘failure rate was acceptable’ on their MacBook GPU’s. 🙂 And we also have to consider that Apple’s been doing impressive work with their GPU. It’s likely more heavily optimized to execute Metal workloads than anything else out there, meaning there could be a pretty good sized performance boost.

          1. Your correct Apple probably dumped nVidia over the MacBook failures but that was sometime ago.
            More recently however nVidia offered drivers that allowed some nVidia GPUs to be used in eGPUs before Apple put an end to that. In this regard I’m not wrong and you’ll find plenty on the internet about this, here’s a post from MacRumors,
            Your point about Apple’s own GPU’s has me the most excited about the future, as you say they will be heavily optimised just for Metal which will be great for those apps that take advantage of Metal. I could definitely see an Apple GPU as one of the options for a Mac Pro.

  8. who cares – I bailed – curious to see if they win me back

    clearly they have no intention of doing so

    that’s a lot of money to edit your grand daughter’s wedding pics – but if you “pros” think it’s worth it, good on ya

    1. Nah, the crazy ones just want to sphincter with Hackintoshes like real pro hackers.

      That’s why I’m an AppleCyniCitizenX – too dumb to use a real Mac, too smart for Windows, too lame for Linux – Hackintosphincter Squeezes for me!

      1. too dumb to use a real mac? that must be really really dumb. macs are the dumbest terminals of the bunch designed to be used by the simplest of intellects. I’m not saying thats a bad thing. Now your audience as they say. But you really shouldn’t put yourself down like that. Its bad for your mental health.

  9. I will believe it when I see it. Not only this has to be their best product that they ever made since the iPhone that revolutionary and change the desktop way in every single way. And without the Apple Tax.

  10. “Here is the real deal: its a box meant to do a job. the differences between operating systems come down to a choice. I prefer the MAC OS but I get much more bang for the buck with a PC, AT THIS CURRENT TIME. I am a professional film and video editor. I need a fast, powerful machine that I can upgrade as video technology continues to evolve. RIGHT NOW, Apple is not in that space. They may very well be again, once this mythical new MacPro comes out. But right now, I am getting more speed, more processing power, better network operability across multiple workstations with a PC. Also, my machines pay for themselves within a few months. Do I like Windows 10? Not really, but as I stated before, I have a business to run, one that changes almost daily and I need a system that can change with it. I just upgraded my Resolve Color Correction system with two NVidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards. That machine flies. You can’t upgrade your graphics cards on any currently available Apple product. As long as Apple keeps putting out closed architecture boxes that are not readily upgradable, they are going to be behind the curve. And yes I know FCPX is optimized to run on Apple hardware and does so extremely well. That’s all well and good if you are only editing. We do so much more than just editing and those things require powerful computers that can keep up with changing technological demands of our clients. I wish Apple was still the leader in that space but they are not. That may change and if so, we will too. But right now…….. ”

    The ball has been in your court for 6 long years, Timmy. If you can’t support businesses that kept the lights on at Apple through the dark years, then those small businesses won’t be there for you when Other Wearables sales and subscription music rental fizzle out. Which they will.

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