A New Mac Pro is Coming, But Will We See It In 2018?

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| News

Last year in an interview with BuzzFeed, Phil Schiller and Craig Federighi talked about Apple’s plans for the Mac Pro, saying a new Mac Pro is coming, but it wouldn’t be that year. There will be a new pro display too, with teams working hard on a new kind of modular Mac Pro. So will we see it in 2018?

New Mac Pro

We are completely rethinking the Mac Pro. Since the Mac Pro is a modular system, we are also doing a pro display. There’s a team working hard on it right now…[but] you won’t see any of these products this year.

Phil Schiller

New hardware takes time, especially a system that is meant to be modular and last for years. This is something that is lacking in the current Mac Pro. Apple sacrificed modularity for a trash can design back in 2013.

Image of The Machine Shop at Apple's Product Realization Lab. A new Mac Pro is coming, but not any time soon.

The Machine Shop at Apple’s Product Realization Lab. Image credit: BuzzFeed

Phil even offered an apology to customers, saying “The current Mac Pro … was constrained thermally and it restricted our ability to upgrade it. And for that, we’re sorry to disappoint customers.”

While we don’t have a definitive timeline for the new Mac Pro, Apple gave its current line a brief refresh last year. Mac Pros are available with a 6-core Xeon processor, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs, and 16GB of memory for US$2,999. For an extra thousand dollars you’ll get an 8-core processor and dual D700 GPUs.

6 Comments Add a comment

  1. John Kheit

    Andrew, I’m confused by this. The interview you cite to was 2017. So in that interview, it so no new MacPro in 2017. Got it. But why does that interview mean we will not get a new MacPro in 2018? Is there some new information I’m missing?

    You may well be right, that we won’t get it until 2019 (which sucks), but I’m not sure why the 2017 interview saying “no mac pro this year [2017]” means we wont get one in 2018? Or is there some new Phil statement this year on the topic. Sorry, I might be confusing myself in my desperation/hopes to upgrade my ancient cheese grater…

    • Andrew Orr

      My mistake, I completely missed the date on that interview. I angled the updated article asking if we would see a new Mac Pro this year.

      • John Kheit

        A very good question indeed! Thanks Andrew!

  2. Old UNIX Guy

    All – keep in mind what Phil Schiller said … no new Mac Pro in 2017. That does not mean that one will be coming in 2018! If the new Mac Pro is launched at WWDC 2019 then Phil told the truth!

    Old UNIX Guy

    Pessimist (n) – someone with experience

    • gGrant

      AGreed (see what I did there). Typical product cycle is 2 years for Apple.

      Laughed myself sick at the pundits saying if not 2017, must be 2018. For a product that was more than dead in 2016, set to be replaced by the capable iMac Pro, might even be longer, given they didn’t even know what they’d done wrong.

      Apple was convinced iMac Pro would shut customers up. Still thinking of developers as their only ‘pro’ customers. As Señor Kheit has pointed out many times, Pros with realtime requirements like music professionals had long since abandoned Mac Pro. The 25 years Mac-only Digital Performer music app developed a Windows version when the cylinder was announced, not just because it wasn’t upgradeable (can always buy a new one, if they ever updated it), not because it didn’t have slots (and musicians do use slots, but might have been able to outboard them), but because the latency in the design meant Mac Pro was fundamentally unable to do a realtime job, no matter what you attached to it.

      Digital Performer is another world beyond Logic Pro – one machine with Digital Performer captured orchestral recordings in realtime, and the stems from this recording required 256 ProTools machines for mixing. That level of Pro.

      Time was, Apple was the undisputed choice for such work. And given the capabilities of iMac Pro, it’s clear Apple could be again – if they put their minds to it. Once developers have gone cross-platform (effectively moved to Windows, whatever the issues), like Adobe, the choice of X86 might have actually made this easier, but meant the loss of any Apple advantage long term and guaranteed the demise of Mac. No matter what technologies Apple comes up with, no cross-platform developer will bother with them because they don’t translate to Windows, the far larger market.

      I look forward to a time when even diehard Windows proponents will once again have to admit, the best computer for the job is Mac, but they’ll soldier on with Windows, trading a few hundred bucks up front savings for weeks of lost productivity each year.

  3. Ned

    Completely rethinking might also be interpreted as: “We had no intention of ever making another Mac Pro as we decided the iMac Pro was what everyone needed (It’s so badass looking) so, taken aback by consumer outrage, we’re rethinking our strategy and have absolutely no idea what to do with redesigning a computer that we never intended to produce anymore Since we no longer listen to customer complaints or read website comments, we’re at a loss for how to start designing this new machine – that wouldn’t fit in with our omniscient, oligarchic policies. But we promise it’s coming, someday. No leaks as to how things are going, we don’t allow that anymore (not that that should be construed as nothing is going on at all). Did you hear Jony Ives is hosting another fashion show, er, ah exhibit? We’re really interested in Augmented Reality and plan a pair of glasses that will make the iMac Pro appear to be a Mac Pro. Oh, the Mac Mini? Yeah, It’s an important part of our lineup, next question.” A sarcastic trifle, or is it?

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