I'm really disappointed this rumor isn't a headline in AI main page. At the time of writing this, all headlines from the first page are meaningless. This rumor would bring to the AI index some of the interest it used to have.
I wouldn't dare to say it will never be free. Apple has done a lot of weird things in the last years, so you can expect everything. Just take in mind that the current Apple user (ie toy users) has nothing in common with the historical Apple user (ie mac users). You can expect anything from Apple nowadays.
So a $2500 pro computer is way expensive and only a very small niche market purchases it, resulting in a product with little profits, while a $600 phone is so cheap, cheap, cheap, that it sells better than toilet paper.
It's obvious what it makes it a niche isn't the price. Otherwise the iPhone would have a niche market.
Man, I wish there was a website about _Mac_ rumors and _Mac_ news. With the time it's getting harder and harder to read stuff about the Mac. And the culprit isn't Apple, because Apple is working hard finishing the new Mac Pro and Mavericks, and other Haswell updates. The culprit is the iToy fanbase. Tough times for Mac users.
Can't we please stop these childish articles? Flyover has one purpose, StreetView other. Flyover cannot replace StreetView because it just doesn't let you zoom up to street level. If you want street level details, Flyover cannot be used. Period.
Second, the world isn't the US. Maybe you need maps for the US. Well, that's fine, but most of Apple users really need maps _outside_ the US. So, until you've most of the world covered in Flyover, please stop this child rant.
Finally, let's see if my point is understood! If your simulations take hours to complete (and I don't label FEA as "high end professionals", but normal computer users), and a new $2000 Mac cuts the simulation time down to a half, would you have interest on a new Mac? Well, probably. But if all you get is a 20% of savings, will you be interested in replacing your old Mac? Likely not. That was all what I was saying: in the past, new computers had the candy of higher...
So, people playing next gen videogames, amateur artists, individual developers, etc, are "high end professionals". Anybody who needs more than a web browser with facebook is a "high end professional". It's obvious nobody here is a computer user, but a social network user. And yes, current Intel offerings are more than enough for you, so I'm glad you're happy with Intel not increasing CPU performance. However, just consider what I was saying: the Mac is for people who needs...
The problem begins with Intel, IMHO: they're so worried on power efficiency that every new processor just adds about a 10% performance boost over the previous generation. While the (integrated) GPUs seem to be progressing, the new CPUs are a shame. How would you be interested on a new computer if it doesn't at least _double_ the performance of your older computer? (as it was usual in the past)
There's need for powerful computers. Emulators such as MAME or MESS need...