All-new Mac Pro with modular design, Apple-branded pro displays coming in 2018

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited April 4
Though they won't arrive this year, Apple has revealed that the Mac Pro will live on with an entirely new design that will be easier to update on a regular basis, and that Apple-branded professional displays are also in the product pipeline.




In a wildly uncharacteristic move, Apple disclosed future product plans to a group of journalists, including John Gruber of Daring Fireball, at its corporate headquarters. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller said the company is "completely rethinking the Mac Pro."

"We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so we can keep it fresh with regular improvements," he said. "And we're committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers."

Along with it, a new "pro display" will be a part of the Mac Pro's modular design. Both the new Mac Pro and Apple-branded display are said to be in the works for 2018.




Apple's unexpected announcement comes after years of concern from professional users, many of whom have believed that Apple could be abandoning the pro market In its meeting with journalists, Apple revealed that most professional users rely on the MacBook Pro or iMac, while the Mac Pro accounts for just a single digit percentage market share.

Still, Apple on Tuesday issued a minor speed bump for the Mac Pro, giving it a six-core Xeon CPU configuration, and dual AMD G500 GPUs, for the base $2,999 model. The $3,999 model gains 8 cores and dual D800 graphics cards.

And new iMacs are also in the pipeline, slated for later this year, with configurations specifically for the pro market.




As for an Apple-branded pro display, that announcement would appear to be an about-face for the company, after it suggested last year that it was permanently exiting the standalone monitor business. It instead partnered with LG Display for a pair of new ultra-high-resolution displays that connect over USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.

But the high-end UltraFine 5K display shipped with a serious hardware flaw that caused picture and connection issues when near wireless devices like a simple router. New hardware with shielding to prevent such interference is now available on models in Apple stores, but the launch debacle was potentially problematic for the already-strained relationship between Apple and pro users.

As for the current Mac Pro, Tuesday's update does not add professional-grade features such as USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 connectivity out of the box, nor will it add support for LG's 4K and 5K UltraFine displays.

Apple software chief Craig Federighi admitted that the company's current design has backed itself into a "thermal corner."




"We designed a system with the kind of GPUs that at the time we thought we needed, and that we thought we could well serve with a two GPU architecture," Federighi said. "That that was the thermal limit we needed, or the thermal capacity we needed. But workloads didnt materialize to fit that as broadly as we hoped."

For now, Apple executives have told their internal development team to take whatever time is needed to make a truly great Mac Pro with modular design that will meet the requirements of professional users.

"One of the good things, hopefully, with Apple through the years," Schiller told Gruber, "has been a willingness to say when something isnt quite what we wanted it do be, didnt live up to expectations, to not be afraid to admit it and look for the next answer."
teapot360dysamoria
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 210
    teapot360teapot360 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Finally!

    repressthiscornchip
  • Reply 2 of 210
    Wow. That's so un-Apple to announce ahead of time. Nice to hear Apple is working on it.
    calirepressthispulseimageswatto_cobradysamoria
  • Reply 3 of 210
    JanNLJanNL Posts: 124member
    Very good decision of Apple to make this announcement!
    magman1979pulseimageswatto_cobradysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 210
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 565member
    If this refresh/update comes out in 2018, then it's what, only three years late?
    DavidAlGregorytallest skilhammeroftruth
  • Reply 5 of 210
    mobiusmobius Posts: 350member
    This is unprecedented. I mean, seriously...has this ever happened before that they would announce something this far out from release?

    I'm very happy with this news. I'll take the minor speed bumps. However, I think they could have also dropped the prices of the current crop a little.
    magman1979repressthispulseimageswatto_cobradysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 6 of 210
    The fact that they announced so far ahead probably reflects the fact that Mac Pro sales are so bad that they want to assure Pro users that they know there's a problem and they are working on it. They're trying to head off losing those users to Windows PC's. 
    I wish they would breathe some life back into the mini while they're at it. 
    mobiusrare commentadm1tmayrandominternetpersonteapot360caliargonautDeelronrepressthis
  • Reply 7 of 210
    From the article referenced:
    "These next-gen Mac Pros and pro displays “will not ship this year”. (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. The $2999 model goes from 4 Xeon CPU cores to 6, and from dual AMD G300 GPUs to dual G500 GPUs. The $3999 model goes from 6 CPU cores to 8, and from dual D500 GPUs to dual D800 GPUs. Nothing else is changing"


    I can only hope that they are talking Fiscal Years, as in, will not ship this (Fiscal) year. Their Fiscal Year 2018 starts in October 2017.
    williamlondonretrogustoxiamenbillrepressthiswatto_cobradysamoria
  • Reply 8 of 210
    So Apple is incapable of walking and chewing gun at the same time? How long does it take to design a tower that serves the market- we do not give a crap about styling. Take the Pre-Trashcan form factor and update it for the current market- that should take a small team little time.

    A company as big and well heeled as Apple should be able to serve a select small market and waste gobs of money on crap like Animated Balloons on Text Messages and Facebook integration. Serving specialty markets is common in business all the time- you do not have to make a killing on every product line. The line should have been kept up to date all along and the Black Trashcan was a tragic mistake.

    In Medicine, Hospitals and Clinics commonly offer necessary services that are break even at best because it is in the best interest of the customers. Mammography is a prime example- unless you do huge volume you will never make a dime providing the service, but it is done anyhow. Apple makes truckloads on iPhones and should be able to subsidize the high end pro market.
    williamlondonargonautxiamenbillcornchip
  • Reply 9 of 210
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,711member

    As for an Apple-branded pro display, that announcement would appear to be an about-face for the company, after it suggested last year that it was permanently exiting the standalone monitor business. It instead partnered with LG Display for a pair of new ultra-high-resolution displays that connect over USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.

    They got burned bad by LG with a crappy design and defective product. Hopefully they learned their lesson.
    Mikeymiketmayteapot360tallest skilcaliargonautrepressthiszroger73pscooter63dysamoria
  • Reply 10 of 210
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,711member
    mobius said:
    This is unprecedented. I mean, seriously...has this ever happened before that they would announce something this far out from release?

    I'm very happy with this news. I'll take the minor speed bumps. However, I think they could have also dropped the prices of the current crop a little.
    Remember, these are assembled in the U.S. so prices will probably remain higher.
    andrewj5790repressthis
  • Reply 11 of 210
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 513member
    Brilliant news at last, on the updates to the current trash can and even better that they're redesigning it to be a proper computer once more. Along with the promised new displays, this has restored my faith in Apple. 

    Why Apple didn't announce this a year ago when questions about its future first arose I have no idea. It would have saved so much frustration and angst among pro users. 

    Now we just have to wait and see whether Apple stands by their promise, and that it's not 3x the price of the competition. 
    cali
  • Reply 12 of 210
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,387member
    So Apple is incapable of walking and chewing gun at the same time? How long does it take to design a tower that serves the market- we do not give a crap about styling. Take the Pre-Trashcan form factor and update it for the current market- that should take a small team little time.

    A company as big and well heeled as Apple should be able to serve a select small market and waste gobs of money on crap like Animated Balloons on Text Messages and Facebook integration. Serving specialty markets is common in business all the time- you do not have to make a killing on every product line. The line should have been kept up to date all along and the Black Trashcan was a tragic mistake.

    In Medicine, Hospitals and Clinics commonly offer necessary services that are break even at best because it is in the best interest of the customers. Mammography is a prime example- unless you do huge volume you will never make a dime providing the service, but it is done anyhow. Apple makes truckloads on iPhones and should be able to subsidize the high end pro market.
    Comparing Apple to a Hospital....................LOLOLOOLLOLOLOLOOLOLOLOLOLOOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!
    andrewj5790djkfishercaliStrangeDaysrepressthispscooter63cityguide
  • Reply 13 of 210
    lkrupp said:

    As for an Apple-branded pro display, that announcement would appear to be an about-face for the company, after it suggested last year that it was permanently exiting the standalone monitor business. It instead partnered with LG Display for a pair of new ultra-high-resolution displays that connect over USB-C and Thunderbolt 3.

    They got burned bad by LG with a crappy design and defective product. Hopefully they learned their lesson.
    OTOH, expect the Apple branded one to cost an awful lot more.... But oh! shiny, shiny, kiss, kiss.

    Unless?????

    It has finally dawned on Cupertino that Windows 10 is a total POS and that there has to be somewhere for the top end windows (i.e. non laptop) PC Market users to go. Could this be the start of a real effort to get those to move? Yes, I know that I'm dreaming but the ease of use made me move from Windows for my personal use almost 10 years ago.
    xiamenbillrepressthiswatto_cobrapscooter63dysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 14 of 210
    I am glad Apple is not dropping the high end pro customer range of its product line.  While it is good to hear this news it is unacceptable to me that Apple would treat a segment of its customers like this.  There is no excuses.  It will be interesting to see if they listen to the feedback from the last Mac Pro.
    williamlondondysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 15 of 210
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,387member
    The current Mac Pro is another example of horrible design by Ive and Co.  I'm glad many of the senior designers are leaving. Its obvious Apple needs new blood.

    The Mac Pro is another example of design going to far and destroying the practicality of the product. And the design itself kinda sucks. A trash can? ugly.


    calirepressthis
  • Reply 16 of 210
    linkman said:
    If this refresh/update comes out in 2018, then it's what, only three years late?
    Never good enough for some people. How miserable.
    brucemccaliStrangeDaysrepressthisration alwatto_cobrapscooter63
  • Reply 17 of 210
    I am glad Apple is not dropping the high end pro customer range of its product line.  While it is good to hear this news it is unacceptable to me that Apple would treat a segment of its customers like this.  There is no excuses.  It will be interesting to see if they listen to the feedback from the last Mac Pro.
    Go read the daring fireball piece. Your comment is simply off base.
    StrangeDaysrepressthisration alwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 210
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 1,594member
    So Schiller is basically saying Apple made a mistake without using that word. I'm a little surprised it took them this long but saying you screwed up is not easy. I'm curious if someone specific was fired over this or if it was a general direction everyone in leadership thought was the right way to go. Interesting that Craig Federighi was in this interview but not Dan Riccio, the SVP of Hardware engineering.
    randominternetpersonelijahghmurchisonargonautdysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 19 of 210
    Everyone should read the original piece from daring fireball. It answers many questions and nullifies some comments.
    macxpressSolicalirepressthiswatto_cobradysamoria
  • Reply 20 of 210
    I hope it's not back to the cheese-grater size again. That was a hefty machine that really didn't offer much upgradability for its size. The transition from that design to the compact cylindrical Mac Pro made sense as it was only a small reduction in upgradability.

    I also hope they do better with the displays, usb-c provides the opportunity to run a great deal of ports over to the display. It would be nice to have the audio jacks closer to the user, as well as a bit more freedom in how far the display is from the tower. Dual displays on the cheese-grater and cylinder are annoying cluttered.

    One last thing, since Siri, facetime and dictation are now frequently used technologies on the mac, it'd be nice if apple put some serious effort into the display's microphone system. (Multiple-mics with noise cancellation, etc.) Following this theme it would also be useful if the display included the fingerprint sensor and any 3d-depth capabilities that  the iPhone will utilise for authentication etc.
    caliwatto_cobra
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