Apple Is Working on Major Mac Updates

Posted April 05, 2017

That's no spurprise considering the company's last pro desktop came out over three years ago, and many in its target market flet the design was too limiting.

Why bother? After all, the iPhone is Apple's real business now, representing the majority of the company's revenue and profit.

Now, the $2,999 model will sport a six-core Intel Xeon E5 3.5GHz processor instead of a quad-core Intel Xeon E5 3.7GHz processor, and the $3,999 model will include an eight-core Intel Xeon E5 3GHz processor instead of the six-core Intel Xeon E5 3.7GHz processor from 2013.

Unfortunately, although the internals have been modified, Apple has chosen not to update the connectivity options, saving UBC and thunderbolt 3 tech for next year's "complete rethink".

At a roundtable discussion held on Apple's main campus, a surprising thing happened: Apple executives admitted their current strategy for Mac desktop hardware was flawed and promised an all-new lineup of Mac Pros and iMacs in the not-so-near future. During a round table conference with a handful of journalists at Apple's Machine Shop hardware prototyping lab, Schiller revealed in an interview to BuzzFeed that the company is now invested in rethinking the whole Mac Pro. "We wanted to do something bold and different". Schiller said, "The Mac has an important, long future at Apple, that Apple cares deeply about the Mac, we have every intention to keep going and investing in the Mac". Apple says it's nearing a $25 billion run rate on the Mac, making it near ready to be a Fortune 100 company on its own. In particular, the Mac Pro is finally being overhauled and will be relaunched next year.

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"I think we designed ourselves into a bit of a thermal corner, if you will", he said, adding that the Mac Pro's setup then became "fairly hard to adjust".

In an unprecedented move, Apple invited five prominent industry journalists to an on-the-record meeting with top executives Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and John Ternus (VP of Hardware Engineering). He didn't elaborate on exactly what will distinguish these pro models from other iMac versions, nor would he confirm what seems to be the most likely name for the new devices: "iMac Pro". As they explained, Apple is "completely rethinking the Mac Pro" with a new modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and GPUs, as well as Apple-branded pro displays to go with them.

Apple this week took the fairly unprecedented step of announcing that it was going back to the drawing board to re-envision the Mac Pro. But Schiller did say that the new iMacs won't have a touchscreen.

Anyone holding out for Apple to innovate on the desktop will have to wait a little longer, but they can buy a faster Mac Pro in the short term. 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.