A new Mac Pro is coming, confirms Apple exec

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited March 2023
Apple hinting around the release of a Mac Pro continues, with marketing chief Bob Borchers saying that bringing Apple Silicon to the whole Mac product line is "a clear goal."




Rumors continue to come about a New Mac Pro, but it's now eight months since the end of Apple's self-imposed schedule to move all Macs to Apple Silicon.

While the rest of the range has moved to Apple Silicon, and the company launched an entirely new model with the Mac Studio, we've otherwise only had hints about the new Mac Pro.

Now the hinting continues in a new interview with Apple Vice President Worldwide Product Marketing, Bob Borchers, who is continuing to speak about the benefits of Apple Silicon. Talking to India Today, he reaffirmed the company's ambitions.

"We have a clear goal to transition fully to Apple Silicon," he said. "We believe strongly that Apple silicon can power and transform experiences from the MacBook Air to all the way up to the Mac Studio."

It's curious that here he appears to place the Mac Studio at the top of the lineup, but for the rest of the interview, he repeats that every Mac will be on the new processors.

"We've been very clear from the beginning that our goal is to take our entire product line to Apple Silicon," he continued. "And that's something we intend to do."

Apple's ambition

Borchers says that Apple is focused on the whole Mac, rather than the processor -- and yet also that making its own processors is a huge advantage.

"It's important to reiterate that customers buy products, not chips," he said. "One of the core advantages we have in developing Apple Silicon is that we're not thinking about anybody, but our customers... and we don't have to think about who else we're going to sell that chip to."

"So we don't dedicate silicon real estate to things that we might not need to use," he continued. "Instead, we make our decisions based on what we can meaningfully deliver to a customer."

As for specific benefits of Apple Silicon compared to the rest of the processor industry, Borchers says he believes Apple's move into chip design came alongside a drive to be more efficient in every sense.

"I think for the longest time, the broader industry was focused on performance," he said. "And we've introduced this idea that you need to think about how you can do that efficiently."

"And part of that focus on performance per watt has allowed us and kind of pushed us to integrate some core technologies into silicon," he continued, "so we can deliver them as efficiently as possible."

While Borchers did not discuss this directly, integrating certain core technologies right into the Apple Silicon processors also had a downside. It ultimately meant that Apple abandoned the ability to address GPUs that aren't in the Apple Silicon die -- though it's possible that may change in the new Mac Pro.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    mfrydmfryd Posts: 216member
    I think the author of this article is reading too much into Bob Borchers' statement. While Apple may very well be working on an Apple Silicon based Mac Pro.  I don't think Bob Borchers' statement speaks to that issue.

    "Taking the entire product line to Apple Silicon" might mean that any Mac model with an Intel processor will be discontinued.  This doesn't seem to be a statement that every Mac model will survive the transition.

    Consider that taking the iMac to Apple Silicon involved dropping the 27" model.   


    aderutterheadfull0wineblastdoormikethemartianavon b7wozwozStrangeDayswatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 2 of 60
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,858member
    It’s not that apple can’t address GPUs not in the due, it’s that performance is lost when doing a pci-e type of setup. So they choose not to. 

    Be interesting to see how they solve that with either a multiple m series SOC connection network or a new SOC. 
    h2pwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 3 of 60
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,476member
    JP234 said:
    Like all hardware/software/phantomware announcements/hints/rumors, I'll believe it when I see it. Never been wrong yet!
    Except for the AirPad  :D
    JP234headfull0winewatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 60
    mfryd said:
    I think the author of this article is reading too much into Bob Borchers' statement. While Apple may very well be working on an Apple Silicon based Mac Pro.  I don't think Bob Borchers' statement speaks to that issue.

    "Taking the entire product line to Apple Silicon" might mean that any Mac model with an Intel processor will be discontinued.  This doesn't seem to be a statement that every Mac model will survive the transition.

    Consider that taking the iMac to Apple Silicon involved dropping the 27" model.   


    Except isn't the Mac Pro the only remaining Mac that isn't fully on Apple Silicon? He clearly refers to this as a goal that has yet to be accomplished.
    9secondkox2tenthousandthingsmdwDooofusstompywatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 5 of 60
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,858member
    I guess the good news from this mention of the Mac Pro still forthcoming is thst it likely means apple is taking more time to get it right. 

    A pci-e machine would reduce it to being a regular pc. 

    A regular m2 ultra wouldn’t be enough. 

    If apple was launching this thing soon, they’d likely not talk about it until launch. 
    watto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 6 of 60
    mfryd said:
    I think the author of this article is reading too much into Bob Borchers' statement. While Apple may very well be working on an Apple Silicon based Mac Pro.  I don't think Bob Borchers' statement speaks to that issue.

    "Taking the entire product line to Apple Silicon" might mean that any Mac model with an Intel processor will be discontinued.  This doesn't seem to be a statement that every Mac model will survive the transition.

    Consider that taking the iMac to Apple Silicon involved dropping the 27" model.   


    Except isn't the Mac Pro the only remaining Mac that isn't fully on Apple Silicon? He clearly refers to this as a goal that has yet to be accomplished.
    I think that's what India Today concluded: "Apple is committed to complete its Apple Silicon transition, says Bob Borchers. This means Mac Pro powered by Apple Silicon will be a reality soon."

    Borchers emphasized the point, "We have a clear goal to transition fully to Apple Silicon. ... And that's something we intend to do." If the Mac Pro were dead, I don't think he would be talking that way. It's been less than a year (March 8) since John Ternus explicitly mentioned the Mac Pro: "... making our transition nearly complete with just one more product to go, Mac Pro, but that is for another day."

    Borcher's remit was to talk about Apple Silicon, to reinforce the message about how Apple isn't a chip company, they are a device company. This is the same message Anand Shimpi was talking about a few weeks ago. He probably wasn't allowed to say "Mac Pro." Shimpi didn't say it either. Because that opens up questions about what they are doing with the M2 Ultra+, questions Apple obviously doesn't want to answer. 
    edited March 2023 techconcwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 7 of 60
    I have my doubts, when an Apple Executive has clearly taken some pains to explicitly not mention the Mac Pro – I am inclined to take him at his word. Same with the wild-eyed projections about “ComputeModule.” There is dead zero evidence other than tech writers breathless wish fulfillment that this undefined technology has anything to do with a new Mac Pro - fer blip’s sake, they run iOS, not Mac OS. 

    Don’t mind me, I’m not a tech pundit, just a workin’ class Creative Pro here… 
    aderutterwilliamlondonentropysStrangeDayswatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 8 of 60
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,382member
    mfryd said:
    I think the author of this article is reading too much into Bob Borchers' statement. While Apple may very well be working on an Apple Silicon based Mac Pro.  I don't think Bob Borchers' statement speaks to that issue.

    "Taking the entire product line to Apple Silicon" might mean that any Mac model with an Intel processor will be discontinued.  This doesn't seem to be a statement that every Mac model will survive the transition.

    Consider that taking the iMac to Apple Silicon involved dropping the 27" model.   


    I think it's true that what he said is consistent with multiple interpretations, including yours. 

    BUT -- it's also true that at the introduction of the Mac Studio last year they specifically said the Mac Pro would come later. Of course they can change their mind and cancel it, but I think the cumulation of statements suggests an Apple Silicon Mac Pro is more likely than not. 

    Rather than the Mac Pro, the thing that I find interesting is his reference to the Mac Studio. I've been wondering if the Mac Studio might be a one-and-done model that would disappear when the Mac Pro arrives (kind of like the iMac Pro was). But his name-checking the Mac Studio makes me think it might survive. 
    williamlondontechconcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 60
    keithwkeithw Posts: 145member
    It’s not that apple can’t address GPUs not in the due, it’s that performance is lost when doing a pci-e type of setup. So they choose not to. 

    Be interesting to see how they solve that with either a multiple m series SOC connection network or a new SOC. 

    This simply isn't true. I'm getting very high GB6 Metal numbers (194703) with my eGPU on a 6 year-old iMac Pro, connected through a Thunderbolt 3 connection. The M2 Ultra MAY be faster than this with the on chip GPUs, but so far, the M1 Ultra is not.
    tenthousandthings9secondkox2watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 60
    y2any2an Posts: 196member
    He didn’t say anything is coming, only that there was a goal. Marketing speak for no news. They could be 100% Apple Silicon just by discontinuing the Pro :-O
    williamlondonentropyswozwozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 60
    I think there are a number of factors here that explain the lack of action on the Mac Pro:

    1. It's perhaps Apple's smallest slice of the pie... it's almost a rounding error in their financials. So it's not a high fiscal priority.

    2. Continuing supply chain issues, and perhaps trouble finding a fab partner who could put together a difficult, very large chip package in limited volume.

    3. Indecision about keeping or abandoning the tower PC form factor, especially whether or not to allow third-party GPUs to play nice with Apple Silicon. Apple is heading in a more vertically integrated direction, and the current Mac Pro form factor muddies the waters of that ambition.

    4. Indecision about whether or not there is a need for a Mac Pro at all... especially with the Mac Studio outperforming any current Mac Pro configuration in every regard except for expanded GPU compute performance. It's a very niche market that needs the highest local compute performance possible, and Apple may be judging that they don't need a "halo" product at the top of their product line to keep the staple products moving. 

    With all of that, I believe that Apple is going to kill the Mac Pro. It may replace it in a 2-3 years with something else, maybe a totally modular system for those who have massively parallel applications. 

    But honestly... I have no real idea. And since this is a product with a small footprint in the supply chain, there's less opportunity to for leaks. Apple could surprise us.
    watto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 12 of 60
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,496member
    I do believe at a gut-feel level that Apple will be coming out with a Mac Pro with Apple Silicon support. But the "hint" being extrapolated into "assurance" from the source of this article isn't a guarantee by any means. Bob Borchers does not say anything with the precision of "We are most definitely going to ship a Mac Pro with Apple Silicon." Of course Apple very rarely provides anything that revealing, especially at an individual product level. Until the Mac Pro with Apple Silicon is announced, or dropped from the portfolio, we really don't know. As many others have mentioned, the Mac Pro is a niche product but it still has a very important place as an aspirational product in Apple's portfolio for most Apple fans, even those whose would never buy one. For me it's the Dodge Viper of Apple's Mac lineup. 
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 60
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,212member
    I suggest reading this thoughtful article by Michael Simon posted at Macworld today.
    https://www.macworld.com/article/1528303/mac-pro-apple-silicon-transition-release.html
    dewmewatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 14 of 60
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,066member
    If no Mac Pro tower is forthcoming, just put a new M2 or M3 SOC into the current XDR monitor enclosure, and call it the bigger 32” inch iMac and call it a day. Too many years have gone by, something beyond a 2011 27” inch iMac is needed using Apple Silicon.

    A larger screen TV isn’t in the cards but a larger screen iMac 32 inches or above would definitely be in the picture if Apple would get off of the marketing department influencing product releases? The hold up isn’t technical.
    edited March 2023 williamlondonwatto_cobramacikeAlex1N
  • Reply 15 of 60
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,496member
    cpsro said:
    I suggest reading this thoughtful article by Michael Simon posted at Macworld today.
    https://www.macworld.com/article/1528303/mac-pro-apple-silicon-transition-release.html
    I guess I’m not the only one who didn’t see anything in Bob Borcher’s statements that qualifies as a “Confirmation” that this article boldly proclaims. Thanks for the link. 
    watto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 16 of 60
    I think there are a number of factors here that explain the lack of action on the Mac Pro:

    1. It's perhaps Apple's smallest slice of the pie... it's almost a rounding error in their financials. So it's not a high fiscal priority.

    And that there is exactly the problem with Apple today. 
    They stopped innovating and designing great computers to make customer's lives better first - and instead innovate and design with the first priority being on financials. Needlessly locking down their products with firmware, glue, solder and proprietary screws. 
    Without the handheld side feeding the company - the Mac side of the business would not even exist.

    So 'rounding error' sales of their flagship computer can easily be viewed as a failure. 

    I personally don't have high hopes for the Mac Pro. There will be some completely ridiculous catch that alienates 99% of the professional market. That's pretty much a guarantee at this point. It won't change until Tim is gone. Similar to how the dongle disaster didn't end until Ives left. 

    It's been 10 years since Apple had a true Mac Pro tower. Where users could upgrade and customize ram, video cards, HDD's, PCI cards, and even chipsets. Those were Apple's highest selling Mac's. The flood of 'Professionals' out of the Mac environment since has been constant. I don't know any studio's who still use Mac's for production - except ours and a few youtube'ers only doing it for reviews - and we are most likely going to jump out after 28 years ourselves. 

    The typical response to 'most users never upgraded that stuff' is laughably not true - most if not all did. However, the statement may ring true today, as most of the users who would have upgraded their computers, jumped ship log ago. 

    A few weeks from now - Apple will introduce their 'brain-module' plug and play Mac Pro... which will essentially be the same as how components work on the PC side now - except those 'modules' will be proprietary and absurdly expensive. Book it. 





    williamlondonmikethemartianentropysdanoxmacikeAlex1Ns.metcalf
  • Reply 17 of 60
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,213member
    You could read those comments as a veiled hint at the discontinuation of the Mac Pro too.

    I long ago concluded that the Apple leadership team isn’t really interested in high end PCs, or at least treat it as a priority. That has been pretty clear since 2013. Too small a market, software is more limited. Take CAD for example. You would be silly to buy a Mac for that purpose. apple would have to address the software front for that too.

    I think it’s the wrong perspective, as even if the Mac Pro doesn’t have a lot of sales, it is certainly an important halo device with the bragging rights driving sales of the rest of the line up. The only conclusion I can reach is it is all too hard to actually build a high end workstation with Apple Silicon that will function as potential buyers want.
    williamlondondewmewatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 18 of 60
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,213member
    And that there is exactly the problem with Apple today. 
    They stopped innovating and designing great computers to make customer's lives better first - and instead innovate and design with the first priority being on financials. Needlessly locking down their products with firmware, glue, solder and proprietary screws. 
    Without the handheld side feeding the company - the Mac side of the business would not even exist.
    So 'rounding error' sales of their flagship computer can easily be viewed as a failure. 
    I personally don't have high hopes for the Mac Pro. There will be some completely ridiculous catch that alienates 99% of the professional market. That's pretty much a guarantee at this point. It won't change until Tim is gone. Similar to how the dongle disaster didn't end until Ives left. 

    Quite so. Totally the case.
    WWSJD? This is what he said in 1998:

    What happened at Apple, to be honest, over the years was the goal used to be to make the best computers in the world. And that was goal one. Goal two, we got from Hewlett-Packard actually which was "we have to make a profit". Because if we don't make a profit we can't do goal one. So, yeah, I mean we enjoyed making a profit, but the purpose of making a profit was so we can make the best computers in the world. Along the way somewhere those two got reversed. The goal is to make a lot of money and well, if we have to make some good computers well ok we'll do that... 'cause we can make a lot of money doing that. And, it's very subtle. It's very subtle at first, but it turns out it's everything. That one little subtle flip... takes 5 years to see it, but that one little subtle flip in 5 years means everything.

    …..

    Lastly, we're really big on making computers our friends can afford, and not all our friends are Larry Ellison. So, we've got to make computers that are really affordable and I think that's another place that Apple got really off-track and we are just driving that really hard.


    What happens when a supply chain guru is put in charge. Probably why Forstall was shafted too. He no doubt fought against the move back to this priority.

    edited March 2023 williamlondondewmedanoxwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 60
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 907member
    Appletron said:
    I think there are a number of factors here that explain the lack of action on the Mac Pro:

    1. It's perhaps Apple's smallest slice of the pie... it's almost a rounding error in their financials. So it's not a high fiscal priority.

    And that there is exactly the problem with Apple today. 
    They stopped innovating and designing great computers to make customer's lives better first -
    Blah, blah, blah... excuse me, but the entire tech buying WORLD, which has made Apple the most successful tech company in the history of tech companies, begs to disagree. Apple is, by orders of magnitude, the tech company that has weathered the tech downturn best, owing no doubt, to halting innovation and making computers that help make the lives of its customers worse. Those are always great selling points! But hey, you can join the Apple Cassandra support group that has been saying this same tired thing for 30-odd years. 
    williamlondonroundaboutnowprogrammertechconcStrangeDayswatto_cobrachadbag
  • Reply 20 of 60
    charlesn said:
    Appletron said:
    I think there are a number of factors here that explain the lack of action on the Mac Pro:

    1. It's perhaps Apple's smallest slice of the pie... it's almost a rounding error in their financials. So it's not a high fiscal priority.

    And that there is exactly the problem with Apple today. 
    They stopped innovating and designing great computers to make customer's lives better first -
    Blah, blah, blah... excuse me, but the entire tech buying WORLD, which has made Apple the most successful tech company in the history of tech companies, begs to disagree. Apple is, by orders of magnitude, the tech company that has weathered the tech downturn best, owing no doubt, to halting innovation and making computers that help make the lives of its customers worse. Those are always great selling points! But hey, you can join the Apple Cassandra support group that has been saying this same tired thing for 30-odd years. 
    Apple is a consumer tech company. They are not the most innovative engineering company of all time. Their engineers aren’t winning Nobel prizes in Physics as other American engineering companies have in the past. Anyone who thinks that consumer products are the cutting edge of technology is ignorant of the subject.
    entropysdewmemacikes.metcalf
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