New Macs: From Rumor to Reality – TMO Daily Observations 2023-01-18

Monday’s rumors of new Macs were spot-on. TMO Managing Editor Jeff Butts and Ken talk over the new machines Apple introduced on Tuesday. Plus – as far as Apple’s concerned, an Intel-based Mac Pro is not worth what it used to be (nor what it still costs).

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2 thoughts on “New Macs: From Rumor to Reality – TMO Daily Observations 2023-01-18

  • A $52,000 Mac Pro tower, you say? Let’s break this down.
    1) this will have a gob-smackingly large amount of RAM in it – 1500 GB – which is removable. $25,000. Resell the RAM DIMMS for $10,000 on the open market.
    2) this will have two Radeon Pro W6600X video cards. $11,000. Maybe re-sellable, maybe not. Apple’s MPX modules aren’t compatible with any other towers.
    3) this will have 8TB internal SSD. $2400. Maybe re-sellable, maybe not. It’s Apple’s custom SSD package.
    4) this will have top-end Xeon W processor. $7000. Sorry, that’s lost.
    5) base cost of the Mac. $6000. Sorry, that’s lost.

    Chances are, if you’re trading in a Mac Pro tower, it’s going to be scrapped. Apple would get the basic material value, and not much else. Or you can sell it on CraigsList, whole, for a much more reasonable amount.

    I offered the car I bought for $20,000 to a scrapyard. They offered me $300. Such a loss of value!

  • Ken and Jeff:

    Regarding the new M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pros, and the fact only a select few amongst creative professionals are likely to experience any performance differentials between these and the M1 machines, I’m not sure that this relative performance boost is the driver for these upgrades in this portable line.

    Recall that TC, and before him SJ, argued that each product on the Apple platform pushes against the other hardware offerings with overlapping use cases, driving each to have to justify its continued existence (Alas, poor iPod! I knew him well). You may recall the recent report that, in Windows-dominated India, where Mac sales barely register, iPad sales outperformed expectations, growing 34% in Y-o-Y in Q2 of 2022, and coming in second only to Lenovo (apparently they make a tablet), in a climate where where laptop sales slumped. This is not simply an emerging market for Apple, but a production site, and a potential bellwether for similar LMIC markets. In short, M1 – powered iPads equipped with a keyboard can do most things that most people need doing on a laptop, and are competitively priced relative to many worker-bee Wintel laptops (my wife’s office just kitted her with another crappy Dell whatever-top; so she takes her iPad Air with her to work).

    Apple need a performance differentiator between their Mac notebook lineup vs these more powerful iPads to drive sales, at least for certain demographics. Given that users are increasingly requesting or expecting touchscreen capability on all their devices, and the iPad’s performance in most enterprise tasks rivals that of laptops, Apple need to make a compelling MacBook performance differentiator and use case to justify that premium price tag, and more importantly to sustain MacBook enterprise sales. They are even, as you’ve reported, rumoured to be working on a touchscreen MacBook (a discussion for another time). I believe because pro iPad users are pushing for more Mac-like performance on that platform – and getting it, and the MacBooks are feeling the heat in overseas competitive global markets.

    As for the M2 Mac Minis – a great value indeed, and yes, they’re breathing down the necks of those first gen Mac Studios. Yours truly is waiting to see if Apple will similarly upgrade the iMac, and if so, will go ahead an upgrade – the future of the 27” iMac notwithstanding.

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