What Does “PRO” Really Mean To Apple?

And does it even matter? Let’s have that conversation, shall we?

Attila Vágó
Bricks n’ Brackets
5 min readJun 26, 2022

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A MacBook Pro and an iPhone 13 pro on a desk.
Photo by Anthony Choren on Unsplash

We can all agree that Apple’s marketing is pretty enviable. Anyone who spent any amount of time in marketing will at least be familiar with some of the material they put out there. Having said that, there is one aspect that I never felt Apple truly got right — naming their products, especially those that are meant for professional use.

And this is where, right from the get-go, opinions tend to split into two main camps. The one camp that claims Pro has nothing to do with the word “professional” and just calls it a shady Apple marketing tactic. The other camp, while still not overly convinced of the moniker’s meaning, prefers to argue for it by stating that Apple’s Pro devices are simply more advanced models. That however doesn’t necessarily mean, it’s meant for professional use.

Traditionally speaking…

Whenever I think of pro devices, I always like to bring up as a baseline an incredibly common device that many, even my parents and grandparents, have used in the past — the camera. It’s a magnificent piece of technology that impacted everyone’s life alive today.

Traditionally speaking, cameras always fell into three main categories: amateur, semi-professional and professional. It was fairly easy to detect which category they were part of not just by their price but also by their capabilities and sensor-sizes (when they became digital). The more the camera was able to offer the photographer, the likelier the pro moniker was.

To this day, this is still mostly true. A point-and-shoot camera will not be considered professional, nor will a $400 micro-four-thirds, even if it comes with a couple of lenses. The reality is most professionals start their cameras at around the $1000 mark, add lenses and all the other bits and bobs, and you’re looking at much more than that. However, professionals will also do odd things like shoot with a Holga lens or a Holga camera, which is practically a pinhole in a piece of plastic, and believe it or not, that can be considered professional photography too. Turns out, being a professional is more than just the tools you use. Who would have thought that, aye? 😉

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Attila Vágó
Bricks n’ Brackets

Staff software engineer, tech writer, author and opinionated human. LEGO and Apple fan. Accessibility advocate. Life enthusiast. Living in Dublin, Ireland. ☘️