Long-rumored Apple Silicon iMac Pro still in the works, but not coming soon

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited July 4
Apple is rumored to be working on a large-screen iMac Pro revival -- using the Apple Silicon M3 chip.

Apple is continuing to work on what could end up being a revival, with development of a larger-screened iMac reportedly still underway -- and using the Apple Silicon M3 chip.




After years of offering two iMac sizes and downsizing to just one 24-inch iMac, rumors have circulated about Apple making a big-screen counterpart. On Sunday, the rumors were revived, though with the added twist of including the next Apple Silicon chip generation.

In Sunday's "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman answers a question about an iMac with a large display. In his response, Gurman believes Apple is still working on "a larger-screened iMac aimed at the professional market."

He goes on to say that the specific iMac will "use a variation of the M3 chip, likely an M3 Pro and M3 Max," which would match the chips used in the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro.

As for the reasoning behind its creation, Gurman doesn't think "the combination of a Mac Studio or Mac mini plus an Apple Studio Display cuts it for many pro users who want more screen real estate."

This is not the first time that Gurman has brought up a return of the retired iMac Pro. In April, he insisted a new model was coming but that it "won't be anytime soon."

Given the mention of the M3 chip family, and that Apple has only just started releasing devices using M2, it looks like much longer than a year until the supposed iMac Pro surfaces.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    Well, Apple still lists the “iMac 24"” instead of just “iMac” — so that’s a sign the door is open to other sizes.

    The most challenging aspect is probably the XDR ProMotion display or displays. I doubt design is the problem, it’s the sourcing and costs that are difficult. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 33
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,067member
    The truly “Pro” all-in-one has a lot of appeal. My agency clients invested in the original iMac Pro. Since pandemic time I haven’t spent much time on-site with clients, but one of them provided me an iMac Pro with their VPN software installed to access their network remotely to streamline our remote contracting relationship. It’s a great machine, considering it’s age & intel components. A new design using Apple Silicon would likely rekindle l my agency clients’ interest. 
    edited July 4 watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 33
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,692member
    Tim Cook’s Apple listens to customers. If people want a pro iMac, there will most likely be a pro iMac. 
    Alex_VFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 33
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,843member
    blastdoor said:
    Tim Cook’s Apple listens to customers.
    You have spoken the truth.

    Clearly this is why Apple sunsetted the full-size HomePod, 12" ultrathin MacBook, and entire iPod product line.

    An executive with less vision would have kept all of those alive.
    edited July 4 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,363member
    Not sure why this needs to exist when there's the Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display. 
    uraharaemoellerdesignrAlex1N9secondkox2watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 6 of 33
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,843member
    macxpress said:
    Not sure why this needs to exist when there's the Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display. 
    The Apple Studio Display is 27" which isn't very large in today's display market.

    The assertion here is that there is some interest in the pro market for a high quality Retina display 32" or larger driven by Apple Silicon. Clearly the Mac Studio can drive such a display panel. Whether or not it makes sense to be an all-in-one system is debatable.

    The M2 Max and M2 Ultra require a substantial thermal solution and as we know, Apple likes their iMacs really thin. Putting something like an M2 Max/Ultra into an all-in-one without putting a big bulge on the back would be challenging.

    One thing we can count on: there are prototypes sitting in a lab somewhere in Cupertino of both an all-in-one iMac Pro and a standalone large screen display.  It's reasonable to assume that Apple receives sample parts of pretty much all commercially viable display panels. Naturally most will never see the light of day as a shipping Apple product. But that won't dissuade Apple from testing these components.

    There are probably iMac Pros with big back bulges in the lab, something the senior executives will shake their heads at.
    edited July 4 Alex1NFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 33
    AniMillAniMill Posts: 75member
    I got the iMac Pro right when it was released, and it was the perfect middle ground device: the Mac Pro was too expensive for its performance value, and the standard iMac didn’t offer enough.

    I’m still waiting on my Mac Studio Ultra which will run on an LG 5k2k monitor, so I don’t need a new iMac Pro right now. But when they finally release one (must have mini-LED backlight), I could see getting one as a secondary system.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,363member
    mpantone said:
    macxpress said:
    Not sure why this needs to exist when there's the Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display. 
    The Apple Studio Display is 27" which isn't very large in today's display market.

    The assertion here is that there is some interest in the pro market for a high quality Retina display 32" or larger driven by Apple Silicon. Clearly the Mac Studio can drive such a display panel. Whether or not it makes sense to be an all-in-one system is debatable.

    The M2 Max and M2 Ultra require a substantial thermal solution and as we know, Apple likes their iMacs really thin. Putting something like an M2 Max/Ultra into an all-in-one without putting a big bulge on the back would be challenging.

    One thing we can count on: there are prototypes sitting in a lab somewhere in Cupertino of both an all-in-one iMac Pro and a standalone large screen display.  It's reasonable to assume that Apple receives sample parts of pretty much all commercially viable display panels. Naturally most will never see the light of day as a shipping Apple product. But that won't dissuade Apple from testing these components.

    There are probably iMac Pros with big back bulges in the lab, something the senior executives will shake their heads at.
    Yeah as I posted about the Studio Display I was thinking maybe Apple would just release a 32" Pro display that is a middle ground between the Studio Display and the XDR Display. 

    Also, about the thermals, exactly on point. I think Apple would have to make an iMac Pro thicker than they'd like to keep it cool without throttling. From what I've seen with testing, Mac Studio can run pretty much indefinitely at max CPU/GPU power without overheating have have to start throttling. Even if Apple goes to 2nm for their next gen M2 Pro/Max/Ultra or whatever they want to call it it'll still need a really good cooling system for max performance. This is another reason why I just don't see where the iMac Pro fits into the line up. 
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 33
    uraharaurahara Posts: 641member
    "the combination of a Mac Studio or Mac mini plus an Apple Studio Display cuts it for many pro users who want more screen real estate."

    Couldn’t the professionals in need go with Pro Display XDR 32” for mor screen real estate than 27” in Apple Studio Display?
    tenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 33
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,042member
    mpantone said:
    macxpress said:
    Not sure why this needs to exist when there's the Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display. 
    The Apple Studio Display is 27" which isn't very large in today's display market.

    The assertion here is that there is some interest in the pro market for a high quality Retina display 32" or larger driven by Apple Silicon. Clearly the Mac Studio can drive such a display panel. Whether or not it makes sense to be an all-in-one system is debatable.

    The M2 Max and M2 Ultra require a substantial thermal solution and as we know, Apple likes their iMacs really thin. Putting something like an M2 Max/Ultra into an all-in-one without putting a big bulge on the back would be challenging.

    One thing we can count on: there are prototypes sitting in a lab somewhere in Cupertino of both an all-in-one iMac Pro and a standalone large screen display.  It's reasonable to assume that Apple receives sample parts of pretty much all commercially viable display panels. Naturally most will never see the light of day as a shipping Apple product. But that won't dissuade Apple from testing these components.

    There are probably iMac Pros with big back bulges in the lab, something the senior executives will shake their heads at.

    And yet if Apple were to make a 32” or larger iMac Apple would sell out of all they could make.
    9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 33
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,327member

    I’ve said it before. The Mac studio is in no way a replacement for a large screen iMac. 

    Customers want a 30+ inch screen and m ultra performance in a sleek, minimalist all in one package. It’s the quintessential Mac. 

    Mac studio is just a more powerful Mac mini. Mac Pro is great for those who need even more than the iMac Pro could ever provide (and have the pockets to foot the bill). The iMac is the best of all worlds. 

    The m1 chips couldn’t do it justice without making it very thick. The m2 chips even with a die shrink may not be able to hit the right balance (though I suspect they will), but the m3 is where we see apple take the gloves off. M1 caught the industry by surprise. They’ve had time to respond. The m2 run basically will keep the competitors in check before the m3 pounds them into the ground. Perfect time to launch an incredible new top tier iMac and upgraded Mac Pro. 

    However, I suspect the Mac Pro ship date will slip from the original two year prediction. 

    The Mac studio is a stopgap to buy time for a proper iMac Pro. But the iMac Pro may no longer be a stopgap for the Mac Pro. I think there will be the two coexisting for some time yet, though the iMac Pro will basically be the iMac 5k of the future - only 6k instead. 
    meterestnzwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 33
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,327member
    danox said:
    mpantone said:
    macxpress said:
    Not sure why this needs to exist when there's the Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display. 
    The Apple Studio Display is 27" which isn't very large in today's display market.

    The assertion here is that there is some interest in the pro market for a high quality Retina display 32" or larger driven by Apple Silicon. Clearly the Mac Studio can drive such a display panel. Whether or not it makes sense to be an all-in-one system is debatable.

    The M2 Max and M2 Ultra require a substantial thermal solution and as we know, Apple likes their iMacs really thin. Putting something like an M2 Max/Ultra into an all-in-one without putting a big bulge on the back would be challenging.

    One thing we can count on: there are prototypes sitting in a lab somewhere in Cupertino of both an all-in-one iMac Pro and a standalone large screen display.  It's reasonable to assume that Apple receives sample parts of pretty much all commercially viable display panels. Naturally most will never see the light of day as a shipping Apple product. But that won't dissuade Apple from testing these components.

    There are probably iMac Pros with big back bulges in the lab, something the senior executives will shake their heads at.

    And yet if Apple were to make a 32” or larger iMac Apple would sell out of all they could make.
    Exactly. They would sell like the iPhones of computers. 

    But I think apple is waiting to launch a very special chip that lets it perform like a Mac Pro without sounding like a turbine. Either way, when it comes out, it will likely cannibalize the sales of other computers.  So they are getting everything else sorted first. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 33
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,843member
    danox said:

    And yet if Apple were to make a 32” or larger iMac Apple would sell out of all they could make.

    Actually, they make what they can sell. For decades Apple has sold more notebook computers than desktops. Today, their Mac unit sales are >85% MacBooks.

    Remember that Apple uses JIT manufacturing, they will only make what they can sell in 60 or so days. Pre-pandemic at launch there was often a supply-demand imbalance but after a few months, this balanced out and it was easy to find the products on store shelves for immediate sale. 

    They only make what they can sell. That's why they have no deep discounts to clear out old inventory. Apple's sales forecasting is superb; some of their channel partners aren't as skilled at this hence deeper discount at retail partners when a product launch is imminent.

    Moreover, of each product family, the biggest sellers are always the entry level models not the high end models. Of the iMacs, it's always the smallest/least expensive iMac that sells the most units. Something like the iMac Pro is a niche product for the already small desktop market. I doubt if Apple sells more than 3-4 percentage points of iMac Pros.

    That's probably why they discontinued the product. They know exactly how many iMac Pros sold and how that product line's sales trend was comparing to other Mac product lines.

    It wasn't some middle level marketing manager who made the decision to stop producing the iMac Pro. The executive team pulled the plug. Remember that the iMac Pro was released as a stopgap measure while their engineering team designed a new Mac Pro after the ill-conceived Trashcan.

    We know they have Apple Silicon iMac Pro prototypes sitting in their labs and likely in some scrap heaps. Hell, there's probably one with the 32" Pro Display XDR panel.

    Whether it's "good enough" is one thing. Whether it's a large enough market for them to continue pursuing is something else.

    Apple has a long history of killing off product lines even while profits are still good and consumers still have an interest in them.
    edited July 4 tenthousandthingsFileMakerFellerStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 33
    Something Apple has done lately, twice now, is reusing older, established hardware that was once state-of-the-art — I’m thinking of the M1/M2 MacBook Pro 13" and the Studio Display 27" — both are cost-effective for Apple, with no surprises with regard to production, quality, and so on. Apple knows exactly what to expect from both.

    This may simply be a response to global constraints in the pandemic era, but it is still good business. 

    A new iMac, however, even if just Pro/Max (not Ultra) built into a 32" Pro Display, is a major undertaking with a lot of unknowns and possible surprises. Thus, I think we’ll see its component parts first — the M3 MacBook Pro 16" and the next-generation Pro Display 32" … Once those are established, then Apple could maybe put together an iMac Pro/Max. It wouldn’t compete with dedicated Ultra+ desktop hardware, but it could give someone thinking of buying the entry-level Mac Studio with a (non-Apple) 4K display reason to pause?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 33
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,497member
    macxpress said:
    Not sure why this needs to exist when there's the Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display. 
    Becuase they are more expensive. The value proposition of the old iMac 27 inch was pretty good.
    edited July 4 Alex1N9secondkox2FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 33
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 1,067member
    entropys said:
    macxpress said:
    Not sure why this needs to exist when there's the Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display. 
    Becuase they are more expensive. The value proposition of the old iMac 27 inch was pretty good.
    The old 27” iMac is how I pay the bills in my business. If a pro version were available I’d certainly consider it. The prev iMac Pro came out after I bought my current machine. But it is it is nearing replacement age…
    edited July 4 9secondkox2FileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 33
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,327member
    macxpress said:
    Not sure why this needs to exist when there's the Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display. 
    Not sure that combo needs to exist instead of an all in one that does the same job, but with less fuss. 

    The Mac studio exists because the components for a proper large iMac successor are tricky at the moment. 

    As far as the apple studio display, it should never have stopped existing. So apple is righting a wrong there. The studio display provides a larger canvas for notebooks and a great monitor for Mac mini, Mac studio, and even Mac Pro - if you don’t want to spend the equivalent of another Mac Pro on the pro display. 

    Now hopefully they show the router people how it’s done once again. 

    The iMac needs to exist because it’s the quintessential Mac. Clean, concise, powerful, and as sleek as a computer can be. 

    The Mac studio is basically a Mac mini with better internals. Nothing new and certainly nothing worthy of cancelling an iMac over. 
    edited July 4 entropystenthousandthingswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,363member
    danox said:
    mpantone said:
    macxpress said:
    Not sure why this needs to exist when there's the Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display. 
    The Apple Studio Display is 27" which isn't very large in today's display market.

    The assertion here is that there is some interest in the pro market for a high quality Retina display 32" or larger driven by Apple Silicon. Clearly the Mac Studio can drive such a display panel. Whether or not it makes sense to be an all-in-one system is debatable.

    The M2 Max and M2 Ultra require a substantial thermal solution and as we know, Apple likes their iMacs really thin. Putting something like an M2 Max/Ultra into an all-in-one without putting a big bulge on the back would be challenging.

    One thing we can count on: there are prototypes sitting in a lab somewhere in Cupertino of both an all-in-one iMac Pro and a standalone large screen display.  It's reasonable to assume that Apple receives sample parts of pretty much all commercially viable display panels. Naturally most will never see the light of day as a shipping Apple product. But that won't dissuade Apple from testing these components.

    There are probably iMac Pros with big back bulges in the lab, something the senior executives will shake their heads at.

    And yet if Apple were to make a 32” or larger iMac Apple would sell out of all they could make.
    I doubt that....it would be too limited in the end when you could get a Mac Studio for either the same price or right around that.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,363member
    macxpress said:
    Not sure why this needs to exist when there's the Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display. 
    Not sure that combo needs to exist instead of an all in one that does the same job, but with less fuss. 

    The Mac studio exists because the components for a proper large iMac successor are tricky at the moment. 

    As far as the apple studio display, it should never have stopped existing. So apple is righting a wrong there. The studio display provides a larger canvas for notebooks and a great monitor for Mac mini, Mac studio, and even Mac Pro - if you don’t want to spend the equivalent of another Mac Pro on the pro display. 

    Now hopefully they show the router people how it’s done once again. 

    The iMac needs to exist because it’s the quintessential Mac. Clean, concise, powerful, and as sleek as a computer can be. 

    The Mac studio is basically a Mac mini with better internals. Nothing new and certainly nothing worthy of cancelling an iMac over. 
    And an iMac Pro is just an iMac with better internals. Kind of a silly comparison. Do you think Mac Studio is a limited time offering? An iMac Pro will be very limited in the end versus what someone could do with a Mac Studio. It's gonna have to have its CPU/GPU performance scaled back or else it'll just throttle like crazy. I just don't see any reason to have yet another "Pro" desktop to shove into the line up. This is getting back to the days of the Performa models where there were 10,000 different models with tiny little differences when you only needed 1 or 2 in the end. There's really no reason to shove another Pro desktop in between the Mac Studio and the Mac Pro. I don't see where an iMac Pro will do anything a Mac Studio can't. 
    edited July 4 watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 33
    thttht Posts: 4,436member
    Gurman’s speculation of the Studio Display with Mac Studio or Mac mini is really odd. It doesn’t make sense. 

    Mac Studio buyers can get the Pro Display XDR or multiple Studio Displays if they want more Apple branded screen space. There are a gazillion 4K monitor options.

    An iMac Pro would seem to be for a niche of buyers who are minimalist and like the simplicity of an AIO. A niche of Mac buyers like it and would buy an AIO over a Mac Studio with an external displays.

    It would be nice if they offered a high end AIO. Hope they go big with it. Say, an 8K 36” model, 10k zone miniLED (40k LEDs). An MBA15 would be higher in my priority list though. 
    watto_cobra
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