What Is Dead May Never Die: The Mac Pro’s Future

To say Apple can be cagey with announcements is a bit of an understatement. They’re usually a stonewall of “no comment” until a product announcements, even as leaks seep out to inform the press of new products. So I was surprised to see such a frank discussion about the future of the Mac Pro with a group of journalists, including John Gruber.

Apple calling in the press to give a preview of what they’re working on is basically unheard of. I’ve been skeptical of Apple’s commitment to the pro market for a while, and that might be the best sign I’ve seen. Apple doesn’t break their silence lightly to announce that they don’t have a product for sale next month.

Apple is calling the new Mac Pro (which barely has a release window of “after 2017”) a complete rethought. It’s as close as we’ll get to them admitting that the garbage can design was a mistake. They admit they designed themselves into a very tight thermal window. The design focused on having two lower power GPUs, but professionals increasingly just want a single powerful beast.

Rich’s Take

I still think Apple really isn’t committed to the professional market. But I think this reveal of some of their plans will reassure enough Mac diehards to keep the market largely intact. One thing not mentioned in the piece that the new Mac Pro might line up well for, Virtual Reality.

It’s no secret Apple is working on some kind of VR/AR project, they’ve been making acquisitions around the space for years. In typical Apple fashion, they’re letting Facebook and HTC take the awkward first steps, and I think they’ll only come into the market when it’s polished. A new Mac Pro in 2018 or early 2019 would probably be ready to launch along side their VR product.

Daring Fireball comments:

Let’s not beat around the bush. I have great news to share:

Apple is currently hard at work on a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis. They’re also working on Apple-branded pro displays to go with them.

Read more at: ? The Mac Pro Lives

About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.

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