Mac Pro: All Apologies, Signed Apple Pundits

God I hate Apple pundits. From Pravda-like arranged podcasts with Apple executives, to the endless cowering “all apologies” elocutions from this sorry band of hindsight rationalists, has there ever been a less critical group? I’m not sure what’s worse, the anti-Apple cast of disingenuous hit-whores, or the lackey Mac pundits.

The New Mac Pro Is Great, But…

Latest case in point: the pundits’ blindness to the new cheese grater Mac Pro ignoring Apple’s core enthusiast users. In most ways, the new Mac Pro is a really great machine. The car sized radiator for cooling. The case accessibility. The super quiet design. The great expandability. The new MPX slots that fix Intel’s failures/inability to get modern memory/chips/PCI 4 architectures working. After pricing things out, you’re roughly paying $2500 extra for macOS and a nice case.

But at $5999 for the base model, Apple wants to charge us a high price for its admitted failure. It (at best) ignores and/or punishes the entire enthusiast market.

Apple’s New Mac Pro Is a Great Machine, But It Leaves a Hole for Enthusiasts

It’s the Enthusiasts, Stupid

In some ways, all Mac enthusiasts are beaten, broken people. We’re so shocked Apple finally fixed the Mac Pro that many accept the dulcet “you’re not worthy of a Mac with slots” tones from pundits. There seem to be few remaining “think different” enthusiast survivors. That’s the group Apple courted with its “Think Different” campaign. Not pros. Enthusiasts that “think different” were the ones who saved Apple from its near bankruptcy in 1997. Enthusiasts are Apple’s spiritual core. And while many pros are enthusiasts, many more enthusiasts are not pros. And many pros couldn’t care less what equipment they use to get work done.

At least Apple has finally noticed pros leaving the Mac because it didn’t have a computer to serve them. But it has yet to realize that it’s the enthusiasts who saved it—and they’re also leaving. Enthusiasts are small business owners, individual developers, power users, users who like to upgrade (over time as funds become available) and push their equipment to cool edge cases.

And often today’s enthusiasts become tomorrow’s pros. Often they are de facto IT for friends and family. As such, enthusiasts are serious influencers having outsized effect on those around them. They are begrudgingly leaving, just as pros were leaving Apple. Instead of helping enthusiasts, pundits have lined up to slap them and say “it’s not for you”. Maybe this should be called the Marie-Antoinette-Let-Them-Eat-Cake Mac Pro.

Critical Thinking Is Lacking

The entirety of the Mac press’ post-WWDC rationalization distortion field is: “the computer for the rest of us”, “it’s not for you.” After receiving Apple’s PR fluffjob, these pundits make straw-man arguments that people think the Mac Pro is bad because it’s too pro, too powerful, or not cheap enough. They ignore what enthusiasts are saying: “Apple please add a lower entry level slot upgradable model that enthusiasts can also afford.”

It doesn’t dawn on the pundits to ask: “Hey, the original Mac Pro cost as little as $2200. There’s an enthusiast segment that really wants and can benefit from having slots. So why isn’t Apple at least trying to serve that market segment?” How about offering an entry model Mac Pro, e.g., with 6 cores and 8GBs of RAM for $3199 (along with its outrageously mediocre Radeon 580 graphics card, Apple could also dispense with its stupendously insufficient 256GB SSD that serious users will ignore anyway as they opt for third party SSDs (up to 15.36 TB) on PCI NVMe cards).

Similarly, pundits are making false dichotomies regarding Apple’s Pro Display XDR. Sure, it’s a great value for people that need reference monitor quality, but what about the vast majority of enthusiasts and pros who don’t? They just want the iMac’s 5k display as a stand alone monitor for $1000 without a ridiculous tone-deaf stand, alone, for $1000.

The reality today is that if you want an Apple branded monitor, your best bet might be using an 2014 iMac in target display mode. Otherwise pundits leave you to believe sound engineers, developers and Mac mini users are animals who don’t deserve an Apple display.

The iMac (2014) in Target Display Mode might be the cheapest way to have an Apple branded display

Apologists Hurt Apple and Its Users

Today we have the same old familiar goose-step of beaten housewife pundits telling us how much Apple really cares about the Mac, about us. How it’s doing what’s best for us. How they know what we really need. How this time, it will be different. They’ve changed. Apple won’t beat us as much anymore. It will update Macs regularly from now on, honest. Never mind the MacBook and iMac Pro still haven’t been updated in about 2 years. “Look at the silly monkey.”

It took Apple 6 years to correct its last mistake, the trashcan Mac Pro. Part of the reason for Apple taking so long to correct mistakes is so many apologists uncritically support them. The pundits don’t get how outrageously insulting it is to drown out and ignore what enthusiast/users say they want (e.g., Macs with upgradable slots) and instead decree what pundits think you need and should be happy with. That level of uncritical support helps Apple ignore problems. The pundits are sure they know best. Remember, they declared how the trashcan Mac was also for pros, rather than being critical about how it served neither pros nor enthusiasts. Despite being wrong then, they’re happy to reassert the same now. The pundits can’t seem to think beyond wanting to curry Apple favor.

Apple Carrots and Sticks

Being an Apple sycophant has its privileges after all. Maybe they’ll get to interview some Apple exec where they’ll ask banal questions and incessantly fluff Apple plastic talking points. And if they don’t play ball and choose to call Apple out on mistakes, maybe they wont get the next Apple event invite.

But maybe, if more pundits could think for themselves, and more of them would speak up for enthusiasts and users, then just maybe, Apple would be motivated to do a better job.

39 thoughts on “Mac Pro: All Apologies, Signed Apple Pundits

  • Time to review John’s article, now that the pricing is with us. Sure it follows the Cook business model… why offer this year’s technology at the same price – charge more because we can, but can’t enthusiasts just swallow their pride and buy a base model and upgrade as they see fit? Yes it’s more expensive, but everything is. Heck the base model iPhone 11 is now the same price as my previously top of the line 6Plus, except it at least had a 1920×1080 display.

  • Typing this from a Hackintosh, the machine you wanted. It’s two years old and as fast as anything apple makes.

    Enthusiasts can roll their own. It’s trivially easy these days. cost less than a mid price Mac mini

    I will only buy Apple laptops from here on out (until a reliable mackintosh method emerges).

  • I think the Macalope nailed it.

    This article is a whine. Like being angry that Apple doesn’t make a mobile phone with a swappable battery. Yes lots of people agree, but most people (aka the market) thinks Apple has what they need, and if they don’t, there’s probably a manufacturer out there that makes something that fits their needs better.

    I’ve read a lot of articles about the Mac Pro. Sure, some are puff pieces written by sycophants, but most are detailed examinations of the specs, comparing and contrasting to what is already available to what is needed by the pro user. None, are as mean spirited as this. None use domestic violence metaphors to make a point about not getting a desired machine.

    This article makes the Mac Observer less like a news and opinion site and more like a blog.

    1. The macalope is a loser coward that makes stunted ransom note writers look like Shakespeare. To call what he put together vomit writing is an insult to vomit.

      First he spelled my name wrong, TMO’s name wrong, he misattributed the forum links to TMO instead of to MacRumors, and his criticism of not providing links to sycophants conveniently ignored the second to last link that linked to, surprise surprise, Macworld. That site is soooooo great editorially, that even after the editor of TMO sent notice of these outright mistakes/falsehoods, meh, they didnt bother fixing them. The coward/loser and that sycophant apologist site has nothing to write about, so he parasites on me. Which is great, it show’s his relative worth.

      As for your thoughts, yea, ‘detailed examinations’ all include sycophancy and “it aint for you” apologies. But youre entitled to suck on all the macalope myopia you like.

    2. Oh yea, and one other teeny tiny weensy itty bitty point. The ENTIRE point of the macalope is to you know, be a sycophant.

      (To apologize and criticize anyone that dares criticize apple’s missteps. Mostly because the anonymous author(s) are coward losers with no original thoughts or worthwhile thoughts rolling between their vermin’d ears, but the rest is to just apologize. If they’d only start apologizing for their lack of talent…perhaps justice. But I digress.)

      So way to go by citing to a sycophant for support against there being too many sycophants. Applauding the audacity or sheer blindness of it. Standing ovation.

      1. I guess not everyone likes bile and invective in their editorials. I prefer the Macalope’s attempts at humor to this. I will note however that Mr. Kheit and the Macalope are similar in that every one of their articles are essentially the same.

      2. First off, macalope is nothing but bile covered in a heaping dose of failure-sourced passive aggression posing as “humor” with a healthy dose of rancid ransom letter quality writing, so bzzzzt. What you’re really prefer is the “more cowbell” version of all apologies, in which case, macalope is the right choice for you. Enjoy.

  • The lone voice in the world of “journalists” looking for that Apple exclusive interview. Where would we be without you John? This is not your cheese grater of old, this is the cylinder of cheese graters, as John rightly points out. Designed for rarified clients, it won’t have the thermal corner, but it won’t service the arguably bigger and more influential enthusiast market either. If only enthusiasts had deeper pockets, Apple might have listened to them. Maybe Apple has designed in a Price-corner. We shall see how it plays out.

    I’m hoping another year of failed LG 5k displays will see the end of that experiment and Apple finally making a display with its engineering sensibilities and with its logo on it, so we don’t have to look at LG’s logo and feel like taking a shower when we leave the desk.

    Keep ’em coming, John!

  • I’ve listened to a lot of pundits and not one of them has said that Apple should not make the Mac you seem to want. What they all have said is that what Apple released is exactly what they needed to get the Pro users back on board. That’s who this system is for, Pro users, not “enthusiasts”. Without this system, all those developers of higher end software that Apple splashed across the keynote screen would have NEVER ported their software to the Mac. APPLE NEEDED THIS SYSTEM – and so did all Mac users, whether you like it or not.

    I think it would be great if Apple took the specs of the iMac Pro and made a mini-tower w/ a standalone display. The tower could have a few PCIe slots (no need for MPX), limit RAM, limit CPU options. Sell it for $2,999 and the display for $1,999.

    But why stop there? Why should lower-end users pay $799 for a Mac mini and be stuck paying $1999 for a display? Apple NEEDS to make a $500 display as well.

    The biggest issue I have with your article is that you seem to think that it was only those enthusiast users that saved Apple… I’d argue it was ALL MAC USERS that did. All of us who stuck by Apple when we didn’t even know if they had a future or not. All of us who labored through that first release of Mac OS X. All of us who tolerated being treated like second-class citizens on the web for years.

    A real Mac enthusiast, doesn’t need slots or even “prosumer” systems, what we need is to know that Apple is trying and willing to keep the Mac alive and moving forward. The new Mac Pro proves that by expanding the Mac into a lost, but new again, market.

    Just because you didn’t get what you wanted, doesn’t mean Apple has lost its way, it just means they’re on a different path from you. Maybe in the future, those paths will merge again?

    1. Most pundits said and argue pundit said “it’s not for you”. Only Andy Ihnatko has pushed back asking for a lower entry. Many of those same pundits argued that the trash can was great for pros. The 2nd to last link at the end of the article goes to a Macworld article saying just that. They were all wrong then, and are smug %$#@ now pushing the same smug “it’s not for you” line of apple all apologies.

      As for your assumption of what I want, you’re wrong. I personally will likely get a maxed out Mac Pro. It ain’t about me. It’s not about the pundits.

      And you’re wrong about all Mac users. All Mac users that were left back then, the ones that were targeted with “think different” were enthusiasts. That is no longer the case. They aren’t even a round off figure now. Partly because their new users are so many, and partly because enthusiasts are going elsewhere.

  • And what makes you think that kind of machine might not make the cut in the future? What Apple most lacked in their lineup is the new Mac Pro. That was a massive hole they had to fill as fast as they could. They were losing the professionals who were not happy with the current Mac Pro (I’ve had two, now I’m rocking the new MacBook Pro, wish I could have waited for the updated model, but hey, it’s a killer machine).

    Nothing stopping you from buying a MacBook pro and building a system from there. Or a Mac Mini and building that out with an eGPU. You’re still money ahead from the $3,199 machine you imagine.

    Once the new Mac Pro is out and in the pipeline and doing what no other computer can do for anywhere near the price, maybe there’s a chance Apple will build off that frame and come up with a less expensive Mac Pro. And then drop the new Monitor to 5K and $2,000.

    Keep in mind, the original 30″ Cinema Display was $5,000 in 1999. This new monitor is a bargain in comparison.

    1. I’ve posted elsewhere that I hope that apple does come out with a lower priced Mac Pro and it might be possible next year. Please spare me the egpu bunk. If that’s great for you, happy days. Many enthusiasts need real slots, not more excuses and apologies.

      Also, the 30” display originally listed for $3299 in 2004. About $4475 in today’s dollars. So not far off, agreed.

  • Kheit, you nailed it. Tim Cook has utterly upended everything that Apple spent decades cultivating, lead mainly by Steve Jobs. The amount of goodwill that Apple generated during this period grew fierce passion among a loyal swath of the market, enthusiasts and prosumers that drank the Kool-Aid supported the company through thick and thin even when it was not popular to do so. Why? Because they got it. I was among that camp. The passion only grew when Jobs’ returned because his leadership brought a renewed focus to Apple that simplified its product line and strove for nothing short of excellence. Apple’s execution was nearly flawless, and the Mac platform grew stronger over time. But tragedy struck, and then came Tim Apple. The passion for (nearly) everything Apple has been destroyed, but it’s like market pundits cannot see it; or, at the very least, they choose to ignore it. While it’s true that Apple’s market share and profits have grown under Cook, experts should also recognize that they did under John Sculley. And we all know how that turned out. Today, Cook has destroyed nearly all the goodwill that Jobs created, leaving enthusiasts and prosumers without a single Mac to purchase today. I demand excellence. I demand a Mac that can be readily repaired, upgraded, and expanded; but I refuse to be extorted. It’s not about affordability; it’s just that the value proposition just in not there with the new Mac Pro, and no other Mac fits my needs. Steve Jobs got it. He understood that delivering the very best user experience possible for a modest premium would increase customer satisfaction. In turn, this would grow the company and increase shareholder returns as a natural side effect. Tim Cook does not have faith in Apple, the power of excellence. Rather, he follows a conservative corporate stance of delivering planned obsolescence and mediocrity to increase profits and greater the greatest shareholder returns. Cook never drank the Kool-Aid. Even the software, that which makes the hardware useful, has declined under Cook. The usability, flexibility and discoverability of its power continually erodes over time with each successive generation. But I digress. In short, Apple 3.0 utterly fails me, more so than any point in its history. It has become the very embodiment of what it once railed against, 1984. How I pine for those days when Apple dared to fly a pirate flag over its campus. I realize those days are but a footnote in tech history, but that does not mean I have to give up on what generated my passion for (nearly) everything Apple to begin with. Apple was not a brand. Not a lifestyle. Apple represented excellence, value, and satisfaction. It brought me joy.

  • What kind of computer do you think Apple should make, and who would buy it? The Mac mini is a more affordable non-all-in-one desktop, with upgradable RAM, and which can be used with thunderbolt GPUs. It satisfies the actual needs of the small percentage of Mac customers who don’t need or want a laptop, iMac, iMac Pro, or Mac Pro.

    I understand that some segment of Mac nerds have always wanted the xMac: a mid-tower Mac with PCIe slots, easily upgradable RAM and storage. But on the PC side, such computers are only used in market segments that make little sense for the Mac.

    The market for desktops is basically super cheap office PCs (but Apple will never make a $300 crapbox), gaming PCs (but there’s zero point in a Mac gaming PC, since the game, driver, and GPU support just isn’t there), and workstations (and that’s what the Mac Pro is).

    Look, I’d love a Mac that was low spec, but had plenty of expansion, that I could use as a file/media server with loads of cheap internal hard drives. Or a Mac that I could spec out like a gaming PC for boot camp. But there are very few people like me and in each case a Mac is not really needed for the use case. The hobbyist market is very well served by PCs and Raspberry Pis.

    All in all I think the strategy of the Mac Pro and iMac Pro is right: Make super high-end computers for pros, get the ecosystem and halo effects from that, and target the rest of your computers to the mass market. Hobbyists and enthusiasts don’t add all that much to this. Apple just needs to get its act together on a truly high-end laptop and more reliable keyboards–the current MacBook Pros, if they had non-sucky keyboards, are great mainstream machines, but there is nothing for pros who need lots of power and more exotic peripherals.

    1. Like I said in the article, the machine they should make is the Mac Pro with lower specs. A lower GHz 4 or 6 core CPU, 8GB of RAM (users will upgrade their own ram anyway), delete the useless, slow, and proprietary 256GB SSD (users will add their own storage). And you could get a Mac Pro like that out for $3199, still with plenty of margin for Apple. It would still be pricey, but it would be at least in the world of “possible” for a good portion of the enthusiast market.

      The $5999 lame spec entry point is a non-starter for the vast majority of enthusiasts.

  • I mostly agree with this article. I’ve owned the PowerMac G5, 2008 Mac Pro and the 2013 Mac Pro (and I like the latter). Solid machines, if pricey, but they last 5 years so the cost is amortized over a longer lifetime, even if they are superseded by other models in the MacBook Pro or iMac line after about 2 years.

    Part of the issue is that Intel is price-gouging on its CPUs, which is curious because a resurgent AMD offers twice the value for money and with the new Ryzen 9 3500X is poised to grab the performance crown away on all fronts, not just multithreaded performance. Apple can only pass on Intel’s eye-watering prices, although I would have expected them to offer AMD options if only to keep Intel in line.

    The real issue is that the iPhone money pump has slowed down or even gone in decline, with saturation of the smartphone market. Apple is now trying desperately to get growth by all means, such as pushing app developers towards user-hostile software subscriptions that bring more recurring revenues, or gouging Mac customers. If they came out with an an uncompromised machine in enthusiast budget range ($2000-3000), they would not be able to extract their pound of flesh from Pro (enterprise, really) customers who need the new Mac Pro’s features and are willing to pay for it.

    As for me, Apple’s disturbing trends are pushing me towards Linux. I doubt I will get the new Mac Pro, even if I can afford it.

  • Finally! You couldn’t be more right. I have a graveyard back home which Im kinda proud off. Its like history, you know. Going back to old powerbook 5300.
    I really think that at that time, laptops and desktops were cheaper than they are now ! I cant find justification for these ‘inflation like’ steps, like we had here in the old Yugoslavia. You wake up in the morning , and there is another zero on your currency bill.
    They are just probing the field to see how far they can go. And these religious Apple believers are just helping them.
    I do buy apple stuff. But smaller and smaller things. Its not fun anymore. Bought myself surface book 2, which is also unjustifiable expensive, just to have (I think) that minute with myself where Im alone and thinking ‘here you go Apple. You lost’.
    Its undeniable that Im an idiot. But I fit the category you’ve described 100%. When you look outside our ‘enthusiastic’ bubble, there is so many nice things you can do with 6K. Like fix your apartment, and still have enough to go to Amsterdam and have night that you will remember :-), seriously different from ‘unboxing my mac pro’ one.

  • Excellent Article. I think the problem is ( I hope not ) Apple has data where their Mac user base is growing. While many of those very old enthusiast that saved Apple in the first place are leaving.

    The world is moving to iPadOS and iOS, the Mac is only left with Pros and Enthusiast. There is no need to make the Mac like an Appliance for everyone like they used to. And majority of the world are buying Notebook, which isn’t upgradable anyway.

    Why not just ship a $1999 Mac Pro for enthusiast, with no Xeon and no ECC Ram and call it a day.

  • This is an excellent article and I agree with many points. However I disagree with the differentiations between “enthusiasts” and “pros,” and this is where the disconnect occurs. The Trashcan Mac Pro was purchased/used by many pros I know in the film/vide post industry, and yes they were pissed that it wasn’t upgradeable – hell, it wasn’t even sidegradeable. But it worked, and the pros made money using it. So now in the 2019 Mac Pro we have a perfect foundation to build what each specialty pro needs: Apple is doing us a favor of NOT outfitting it with too much overpriced Apple RAM, nor SSD. The users get to decide, and we can upgrade/option with 3rd party hardware. So you’re thinking I’m an  Apologist, maybe I am, but I won’t be getting the new Mac Pro if I have to pay, I’m more than happy with my iMac Pro, yet I know many pros who will jump on the Mac Pro…mostly because they are tired of fighting Microsoft Windows 10. Now, as for that XDR monitor, yeah…nope. It should have been $2500 and include the stand. 🙄 I agree on that, and that they should had offered a 27” 5k based on the iMac Pro. But there are so many monitor alternatives, again they’re actually giving us users an option that is not a proprietary solution.

    Disclosure: I’ve been designing/animating 2D motion graphics & 3D animation (non-photorealistic) using PC, Macs, homebrews, all mixed in a rendering and production environment. Currently I have a $7500 iMac Pro with 2x Ryzen7, 2x Dell i7s, and Mac Pro tower as rendernodes…among other Apple laptops, minis, and Windows machines. I think Windows 10 is a vast improvement over previous build (except NT 4.1), but still trust/rely upon macOS for my professional duties/income.

  • I have owned Mac Pros since the old G3 days. I switched to an iMac 27″ in 2015. at the time I purchased it with a 256GB SSD and used external Thunderbolt case to house my hard drives. It was speedy and worked fine but no upgrade path as SSDs got cheaper. I waited for a revamped Mac Pro and then the trashcan arrived. Not worth the jump for me and being an IT consultant my graphic design clients were moving to iMacs. I yearned for the day when I could buy my Display and not be stuck with Apple’s and have a vesa mounted Display like I did with my last Mac Pro. Apple decided to leave us users behind and only offer up the Mac mini which I own and is fast but no way to upgrade hard drives and if you want more power you will be buying Thunder 3 boxes. I don’t see why the there can’t be option in pricing between the Mac mini and Mac Pro.. Apple at this point is too expensive for Pros and the only interest in the Mac Pros I’m seeing from my cleats is in video production and the 1% where this unit will fit but not for the rest of us.

    1. Yeah, this. But I think there is a viable enthusiast/pro in between – the new Mac Mini is a great alternative to the iMac Pro/Mac Pro. I calculated building one out (versus a high-line iMac 5k), using an external GPU, SSDs, and 2x LG 4K monitors, and it’s quite competitive and powerful…and portable. To your point, I’m one of the video/film industry users of all this $$$ crap, so I can justify the $$$.

      1. The Mac Mini, iMac and MacBook lines all overheat and thermal throttle. Even if you can “afford” it, why would you give up 20%+ in performance to bad thermals? Why should the minimum cost for an Apple PC that doesn’t combust be set at $6000??

  • What an excellent write up!! At last, a journalist with balls! You’ve said exactly what all of us enthusiasts were thinking, in such a perfect and succinct way. Well done!

    I wish this article could be printed out, laminated and hung in every office inside Apple and that every hour the staff would have to stop and read it, starting with Tim Cook and Phil Schiller!

    The Apple pundits are infuriating. Weak, cowardly, mindless, imbecile yellow bellies. And when you confront them on their asinine opinions they gang up and belittle. What a bunch of yellow bellies! Makes me sick to my stomach. And on top of it you can’t find a decent podcast to listen to because they seem to dominate everything.

    Apple is only interested in the bottom line now. The “Think Different” soul of Apple which attracted me to the company as a 6/7 year old boy after only seeing the coloured Apple logo sticker (I knew nothing else about it apart from that and wouldn’t see, read, hear or touch anything about the Company until I was 32 – I grew up in South Africa and we never had Apple; Perhaps only a handful of super rich had them because they travelled) is dead.

    I saw that Apple logo and was so amazed by it that I asked a friend what Apple was. He said, “a computer company”. My immediate thought was “one day I will own an Apple computer” because clearly they thought different. They got it. The IBM box my friends mom had was a grey box with a black and green screen – soulless. But this Apple logo was colourful and had a beautiful font. That alone conveyed the soul of the company without words.

    Finally at age 32, having moved to the UK, I was able to get my first MacBook, the white plastic one in 2008. And it was even better that I had expected it would be. Wow!! So fast; so beautiful; so cool looking; awesome keyboard; vivid screen and glorious OS X. My wife’s Vista laptop would boot at the same time I booted my MacBook. In 10 seconds I was logged in and on the web; her machine hadn’t even reached the login screen yet….

    It even had an awesome “Welcome to Macintosh” video at first boot which plastered a massive smile across my face. “THIS! This is how a computer is supposed to be” I thought to myself; the promise if that Apple logo all those years ago, being fulfilled in front of my very eyes. It was glorious and Apple still had it’s soul.

    Compare that to now: Apple make grey metal things with faulty keyboards. The logo is black; not white or coloured. Everything is grey, grey, grey. Or a terrible gold or pink. The only colour left is on the iPod Touch and it’s probably only got a few years left before they kill it. Even the iPhone XR colours are vomit inducing pastel and heavily oversized and overpriced for what you get.

    It’s all about money, stocks, shareholders and “Customer Sat” – a fancy way of saying, “people are buying our stuff so we’re getting rich”

    The future of OS X (I refuse to sayMac OS; it sounds stupid) is looking bad, given the restrictions coming down the line; the iPad doesn’t know what it wants to be, and the iPhone is overpriced with nothing really innovative to show for it. At least iOS on the iPhone is still relatively decent, although it should have been further ahead than it is now, and should have way more depth and colour in the UI. But that’s a topic for another day. Apparently some of the UI changes in iOS 13 are decidedly worse in terms of design and quality (shadows; depth; colour; resolution etc).

    We all wanted an affordable modular Mac. Period. Not a freaking cheese grater that only Film Studios can afford. It’s not rocket science and Apple know it. They deliberately did not give it to use because they don’t like that form factor anymore. They don’t like expandability. They also don’t like ports – none of their hardware ships with any decent ports; not even the new Mac Pro (only 2 USB ports? Seriously?!)

    All the leadership at Apple need to go and we need to get the real long-in-th-tooth enthusiasts in their place to re-inject and re-ignite the spirit of Apple that seems to have died along with Steve.

  • O.K. I’m an enthusiast, an ‘old faithful’ Apple die-hardly.… have been for about 35 years. But apple has not been making anything that appeals to me for several years. My dream / requisite Mac sounds like this: a 13″ laptop that I can open-up and easily add memory, speed, be able to drive an inexpensive 24-30″ external monitor. It would be rugged, too (I think this feature would be highly valued world-wide). It should probably go for about $1,000 -$1,200 plus whatever accessories I eventually acquire. Variation on this would be a similarly open iMac.

    Apple’s Developer tools are impressive, but don’t forget to dance with those who have been apple’s base all these years, too.

  • Can you really make an equivalent machine, with 8 slots and in which all cores can run full speed all the time, for $3500?

    I don’t believe you when you say you can do this.

    1. I, can only whine. 😀 That said, Apple, could get a slower GHz 4 or 6 core processor with 8GB of ram and dont include their useless waste of time 256GB SSD (and frankly its more useless proprietary SSD port and T2 chip) and get us that machine for under $3500. I believe that. And if not this year, definitely by next year. But if you dont ask, you wont get.

    2. I thought John was pointing out that Apple used to make more affordable modular Macs (like the 2006 Mac Pro which was ~$2200 in its cheapest, dual-core form.) Seems like Apple could build *something* in this space if it wanted to.

    3. I personally have spec’d out the parts and the assertion that it would cost $3500 to build is 100% accurate. You could try looking it up yourself.

      Add to that the fact that the motherboard has NO I/O other than PCI-E you start to realize that the standard I/O that EVERY motherboard has will take a couple slots away, it seems like less of a marvel and more of a gimmick at the buyer’s expense.

  • The problem is the pundits THINK they are channeling Steve Jobs, but the pundits clearly ARE NOT succeeding!

    Unlike the pundits, Steve Jobs actually knew what he was doing when he explained to people why his products would change their lives, even though they had never seen them before.

    (PS I think that NEW cheese grater us UGLY!)

  • I like the idea of a midrange modular Mac like the old cheese grater Mac Pro.

    Apple seems to have shown zero interest in building such a machine for the past few years… at least until they surprise us and do exactly that.

    Regarding Mac pundits, even AppleInsider has suggested Apple could make a midrange modular “xMac.”

    1. Disagree. That article uses straw man that people are complaining that the Mac Pro is too powerful or too expensive. It apologizes that apple doesn’t need to make a slot based Mac Pro entry level model that’s cheaper. I.e., a 6 core lower ghz lower ram model… not to mention that piece was an incoherent mishmash piece that seems to ignore that you can upgrade the iMac into the price slot he talks about. YMMV.

      1. Yes. I specifically disagree with that article as it brings up straw man arguments against making a lower spec and lower price version of the Mac Pro.

  • Desktop headless Macs like Mac mini and Mac Pro are ecological, whereas all-in-one desktops like iMac are anti-ecological, since a CPU may last seven years, but a display lasts more more than 20 years. Apple should put emphasis on making brand new headless Macs and brand new displays.

  • Three years ago, I needed a new laptop. Apple didn’t make what I wanted or needed, so I compromised a little, and bought a Surface Pro. Three years later, Apple still doesn’t make what I need, so I bought an LG Gram 17. I was able to immediately add a _second_ NVMe SSD inside (both RAM and storage are upgradeable), and I’m loving the featherlight, slim, compact computer with the huge monitor, and almost zero bezels. Why Apple?

    And as an enthusiast, who needed expandability, two years ago, I built my first Hackintosh. I still buy Macs for everybody else in my family, and have gone back to iPhone, and will likely be buying an iPad Mini here shortly, but on the Mac side, Apple just can’t seem to create the computers I need. (and my Gram’s admittedly mediocre keyboard still blows away my wife’s MacBook butterfly keyboard–until they get rid of those, I shan’t be buying an Apple branded laptop)

    1. A Surface Pro seems like a massive compromise, but if a Windows tablet-laptop is your thing then Microsoft has you covered.

      The LG gram is a bit closer to the 17″ MacBook Pro that Apple doesn’t actually make, but sadly it’s Windows.

      I also recommend skipping the dreadful butterfly keyboard and trackpad with faulty palm rejection. Both of them are inferior to the prior designs that actually worked properly.

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