Apple: New Mac Pro is on the way (eventually)

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Where we will see new products this year is in the iMac range, with Apple execs confirming during the meeting that the desktop would be getting a refresh "this year", while also reiterating how important the Mac line was to the company.

For the first time in three years, Apple has updated the specs and pricing for the cylindrical tower it first released in 2013. As of today, Apple has tweaked the Mac Pro to include a six-core CPU (up from four) in the $2,999 model and an eight-core CPU (up from six) in the $3,999 model. The $3,999 version offers an 8-core processor and dual D700 GPUs.

In essence, this is Apple arguing with my claims in "Understanding Apple's Marginalization of the Mac" (21 November 2016) that the iOS platform reigns supreme within the company and conceding the point Josh Centers made about the slippery slope of losing pro customers in "What Apple Can Learn from Airwalk" (6 February 2017). 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. In retrospect, it didn't well suit some of the people we wanted to reach ... The triangular design of the Mac Pro's thermal core was great for cooling roughly balanced loads, the Apple executives explained, but not so great for the single massive GPU configuration. The Mac Pro AAPL introduced in 2013 looked cool, but its compact cylinder form factor limited upgrade options. (I hope that means "next year", but all Apple said was "not this year".) In the meantime, Apple is today releasing meager speed-bump updates to the existing Mac Pros.

"We're working on [a new Mac Pro]", Schiller said.

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That's according to Phil Schiller, Apple's SVP of worldwide marketing, who detailed the companies next moves to the press this week.

While Apple purposefully avoided giving out too much detail about the upcoming desktop lineup overhaul, the execs promised the new device will appeal to a wider audience - though the company was adamant it won't shy away from eye-popping designs.

The delay over Apple's Mac Pro has led to fears that the company had given up on its professional market entirely. It also reaffirmed its commitment to the Mac line, and promised that new Pro desktops are in development with a modular design - but they won't be arriving until next year at the earliest. "The current Mac Pro, as we've said a few times, was constrained thermally and it restricted our ability to upgrade it".

"If we've had a pause in upgrades and updates, we're sorry for that - what happened with the Mac Pro - and we're going to come out with something great to replace it", Schiller said at an event attended by Buzzfeed.