Too long, didn't read
  • Apple delays the Mac Pro into 2019
    • It was previously promised the refresh would land in 2018
    • Apple cites the need to do research before shipping it
    • News coincidentally lands the same week it emerged Apple plans processor architecture shift 

The Mac is not back

Last year, apparently feeling pressure from pro users, Apple did a bizarre press tour in which it promised it did give a crap about professional use cases for the Mac, and even went as far as almost admitting the trash-can Mac Pro was a mistake:

“I think we designed ourselves into a bit of a thermal corner, if you will,” one of Apple’s top executives reportedly said.

While Apple's rounded Mac Pro was beautiful it was indeed impractical. It quickly became dated because the components were custom engineered and increasingly difficult to update, even in entire hardware iterations.

Instead, Apple did nothing with the Mac Pro. "Can't innovate anymore, my ass" is starting to look pretty stupid now.

Weeks later the existing Mac Pro was bumped to get a small update — but Apple instead promised a "completely redesigned, modular and upgradeable" Mac Pro and a "new high-end" display in 2018.

A modular and upgradable Mac Pro sounds exactly like the old one, and honestly all anyone even wanted in the first place (I still remember how badass those computers were). 

Today, Apple has delayed its ode to professional users again to 2019, citing the need to understand "pro workflows" before it could build one: 

“We said in the meeting last year that the pro community isn’t one thing,” says Ternus. “It’s very diverse. There’s many different types of pros and obviously they go really deep into the hardware and software and are pushing everything to its limit."

I appreciate the need to do this, but I don't know if it's that hard? Unless Apple's rebooting the notion of computer as we know it, throw us a bone and just offer beefier specifications across the board — don't reinvent the wheel.

Reading the article, it's fairly clear that Apple's "we love professionals" PR move last year was nothing more than hot air. There was no pro project, and it likely did not start in earnest until that apology tour.

With the real Mac Pro delayed until 2019, where does that leave people who legitimately need it? I've asked around with people in the film industry that I know, and they're left in the lurch. The iMac Pro (read: beefy computer glued to a screen) is a non-starter for meaningful workloads, unless there's piles of cash lying around and you happen to like black keyboards.

It's frustrating for people who actually need these types of machines and don't want to switch — I never wanted to switch to Windows, but did so out of a simple need for performance. 

It makes me wonder if six years of waiting on this thing will be enough to drive even the most eager holdouts away. Paul Stamatiou, a friend of mine that works at Twitter, basically built his own great solution begrudgingly, and I don't think he'll be the only one.

Maybe the new Mac Pro is the Jesus moment the Mac needs, hence why Apple is dragging its feet. The only explanation I can think of is that rumor from literally this week that Apple is planning a switch to its own processors.

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