According to a post from Daring Fireball, Apple is working on a “totally revised” version of the Mac Pro, with a newer design that can house hot-running and high-end GPUs, which would make it easy for Apple to update with new constituents regularly. Apple-branded pro displays are also being developed to go along them.
According to Daring Fireball there are a lot of great things that Apple has in store for Mac Users:
This new generation of Mac Pros and pro displays are not up for shipping this year. Meanwhile, Apple is launching speed-bump upgrades to the existing Mac Pros. The model which costs $2999 goes from 4 Xeon CPU cores to 6 and from AMD G300 to G500 GPUs. Whereas the model which costs $3999 goes from 6 GPU cores to 8 and from dual D500 to dual D800 and D700 GPUs. Everything except this is going to stay the same way, including the ports! There’ll be no USB-C, no Thunderbolt 3 and nothing else that’s notable.
Along with some not so great news:
Apple has ‘awesome’ new iMacs in development, lined up for release “this year”.
Let’s suppose you are Apple and you are facing these problems stated: About three years back you released a new lineup of Mac Pros, for a number of reasons you haven’t shipped a single update to those machines since then. Then a time came and you realized that the 2013 Mac Pro concept was somehow flawed fundamentally. Although it’s tight and sleek design gave it some appealing features: it was small and smart plus it made no noise while working, but this small and tightly arranged design made it impossible to allow rooms for it to be updated regularly.
Because of all this you made a decision to renew the design of the Mac Pro entirely. But due to some internal reasons this new line of Mac Pros isn’t going to be shipped this year. Even though you care a lot about your users but a notable proportion of those users of yours are growing restless day by day. They might even start thinking that you don’t really care about them anymore. They may think that this paused Mac pro lineup may be an indication that you just no longer care about them and some might even presume that this pause may be not for a major update but instead to be decommissioned.
What should you do?
Well, there are only two ways to go at this point. The first way is to be patient and wait till the next generation of Mac Pros are announced and keep suffering in silence while the number of people talk about how Apple is abandoning the Mac Pro market.
The second way would be to tell the people what you’re really planning to do, even though it’s been your long tradition, a culture of your company to actually ship products, not just make promises for the future. Tell the world your story.
Apple chose the second way.
We are in an undistinguished single story office on Apple’s extended old campus, across De Anza Boulevard from One Infinite loop. This is Apple’s Product Realization Lab for Mac Hardware widely known as “the machine lab”. This is where they develop and finalize template designs for the new Mac hardware. There’s not much coolness to see here. We don’t usually have a moment where they unveil and show us a new prototype of the future hardware.
In this office there are only nine people at the table; Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and John Ternus (vice president, hardware engineering — in charge of Mac hardware) are there to speak on behalf of Apple. Bill Evans from Apple PR sets the basic rules here and manages the timings. The other five are writers who were invited for what was billed as “a small roundtable discussion about the Mac”: Matthew Panzarino, Lance Ulanoff, Ina Fried, John Paczkowski, and yours truly.
According to a quote from Phil Schiller, “With regards to the Mac Pro, we are in the process of what we call “completely rethinking the Mac Pro”. We’re working on it. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.
As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.
In the interim, we know there are a number of customers who continue to buy our [current Mac Pros]. To be clear, our current Mac Pro has met the needs of some of our customers, and we know clearly not all of our customers. None of this is black and white, it’s a wide variety of customers. Some… it’s the kind of system they wanted; others, it was not.
In the meantime, we’re going to update the configs to make it faster and better for their dollar. This is not a new model, not a new design, we’re just going to update the configs. We’re doing that this week. We can give you the specifics on that.
The CPUs, we’re moving them down the line. The GPUs, down the line, to get more performance per dollar for customers who DO need to continue to buy them on the interim until we get to a newly architected system.”
In the ideal scenario these great new-gen of Mac Pros (plus the displays) would be shipping soon, wait…if we’re talking about the ideal scenario, they’d already be in the process of shipping. But one thing is to be not mistaken, this is good news for the ones who really care about the Mac Pro. Some among us who had their ears up knew that there were no major changes for the Mac Pro to start shipping soon.
As stated, it is some good news for the serious Mac users, even for those serious users who don’t buy Mac Pro hardware, that it’s a sign of Apple’s sincere commitments to Mac Pro software.
Following are some of the statistics and facts shared during the discussion session:
A research conducted by Apple shows that merely 15% of all Mac users use at least one ‘pro’ app regularly. These apps are used for music creation, video editing, graphic designing and software development. Plus 15% of more Mac users use pro apps less regularly but a few times a month. This 30% of overall Mac users who use pro apps are considered as the “pro” market by Apple.
All together, the comparison percentage of notebooks and desktops in Mac sales is about 80/20
Even among the groups of pro users notebooks are considered to be the most popular, whereas iMacs stand in the 2nd place. This all isn’t a surprise at all- like not even a little surprising.
So, well only 30 percent of Mac users are considered as the ‘pro market’ by Apple. Almost all of them use Mac Pros and those who are desktop users, prefer iMacs. All this isn’t a bit surprising honestly and this is exactly why people are so concerned about Mac Pro’s future. Let’s hope that Mac Pro has a future and for all the users, a good one.
There were a few more Q&A held between Phil Schiller, Apple PR, a few press members, and John Gruber the author of the blog which you can check out here.
Featured image concept rendering by: Curved.de