Apple introduced the current generation of Mac Pro in 2013 with a lot of pomp, including Phil Schiller – senior vice president of worldwide marketing – playing with those who thought the company would no longer be able to innovate.
Innovated, in fact. Nobody can say that the Mac Pro is not beautiful and different for a professional desktop, but since that time many have criticized the fact that it has almost no capacity for expansion. And the worst: if neither users could tamper with the machine, what to say when Apple itself left it unchanged for more than three years?…
Yesterday, Schiller met with some international bloggers / journalists (including BuzzFeed, Daring Fireball and TechCrunch) in a Mac development lab within Apple’s headquarters. In addition, Craig Federighi – senior vice president of software engineering – and John Ternus – vice president of hardware engineering were present. The reason for the meeting was very unusual for the company: talking about the future of the Mac Pro.
Starting with the bad news, we will not see the big news discussed there being launched later this year. This may have been the reason why Apple decided to speak in advance, considering the avalanche of criticism they have received for the “abandonment” of their professional line.
But yes, Apple got real and realized that the current design of the Mac Pro is flawed and that the nature of such a machine requires that it has upgrades capabilities. In addition, the very direction that the industry has taken with regard to certain components embedded in the computer has made it difficult for Apple – which opted for two GPUs working in parallel instead of a single powerful one.
Schiller confirmed that Apple is working on a brand new Mac Pro and, along with it, a new professional monitor (dispelling rumors that it would have abandoned that market entirely). Meanwhile, the company is giving this week a slight update of specs on the current line, increasing the number of Xeon CPU cores and the model of embedded AMD GPUs. Prices remain the same.
For 2017, Federighi also commented that we should see the arrival of iMacs updated including settings designed to pros – but without giving details, of course. THE Mac mini it was not a topic of discussion, but when questioned Schiller restricted himself to saying that he remains part of the Macs line. Still according to him, the current sales division between laptops and desktops is 80/20.
It is very, very strange to see Apple making this kind of “early announcement”, but it needed to. Sad that we will still have to wait a long time until we see these new projects becoming reality, but nice that, once again in its history, the company had the courage to recognize that it was wrong.
Update, for Eduardo Marques · Apr 04, 2017 at 14:11
As we speak, the slight update to the specifications of Macs Pro is now available.
The entry model went from four to six cores and comes with two AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of VRAM GDDR5 each; the top-of-the-line has gone from six to eight cores and is equipped with two AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of VRAM GDDR5 – it is worth noting that the busier model, at least for now, is unavailable for purchase.
Everything else, including prices, remains exactly the same.