Breaking the silence — bright future for Apple Pro segment

In an unprecedented move, Apple announced to a small group of journalists that they are hard at work on a completely rethought generation of Mac Pro which as Phil Shiller noted will be accompanied by Apple Pro Display.

The fact that they’ve broken their decade’s long tradition to release actual products instead of promises tells us a couple of things — Apple doesn’t want to give up on their Mac Pro customers, they admit mistakes in a more straightforward manner than during Steve Jobs era.

Apple is not the company that usually pre-announces its products that don’t exist yet. In fact, I can’t recall when they’ve done it for the last 15 years. Now, as is evident from the event the decision to design a Mac Pro from scratch has been made recently, few month ago, so the development timeline won’t be less than a year and a half or longer.

By the time Apple would be ready to announce a new product (think mid or late 2018), many pro users would jump ship to whatever is available on the market right now and supports the fastest Intel CPU. Not willing to do it too little too late, Cupertino reassured us that they are not giving up.

What does it mean for pro users, pro software and generally macOS?

  1. Apple is committed to Mac. They will be hard at work on the software releases and focus more on pro apps. This is critical because we just might get more stable, less bug prone releases than the ones Apple’s been at fault, lately. Tim Cook can talk a lot about how awesome iPad is, that its good for 99% of tasks, however when real work needs to get done there is no substitute to full-scale macOS and won’t be for a long time.
  2. Apple is inadvertently admitting that paying attention mostly to iOS devices is not the way forward. As much as they wanted to shift the focus on mobile which accounts for over 70% of their profits, Mac is an incredibly important, strategic product for Cupertino. Dropping the pro segment and offering “compromised” MacBook Pro’s and iMac’s will not meet the needs of pros on the market.
  3. The pinnacle of Mac power returns. Mac Pro was always an extremely fast and highly reliable machine. Apple needs it to showcase their hardware and software prowess. Maybe we’ll get a “server edition” of their OS, we shall see. They can develop and implement more extreme approaches to all flash storage and better RAM management in a Mac Pro and then trickle it down to consumer iMac’s and Macbook’s. It bolsters innovation at scale.
  4. Apple branded Pro displays return. Apple will likely pull out 8k screen at the time of Mac Pro announcement. Great news for photographers and videographers out there.

Now let’s see what kind of direction next generation of macOS 10.13 brings at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference in June.

Sergey Ross

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