Apple recently held a small discussion with several personnel of Apple and other reporters. Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and John Ternus (vice president, hardware engineering — in charge of Mac hardware) are speaking for Apple, Bill Evans, from Apple PR, sets the ground rules and runs the clock at the table. The other five writers are namely Matthew Panzarino, Lance Ulanoff, Ina Fried, John Paczkowski, and John Gruber. The discussion lasts 90 minutes, however, we can see ages of time more than that.
Most quotes are from Phil Schiller, who starts with:
With regards to the Mac Pro, we are in the process of what we call “completely rethinking the Mac Pro.” We’re working on it. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.
As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.
It is really exciting to know that Apple will release new Mac Pro, which the first version as well as the last version was launched in 2013, users are waiting for years to see it coming. What is more, the new Mac Pro will be in a modular system. As for the beloved pro display, it will come back in the following years, however, definitely not this year.
Schiller also indicates that the update of Mac Pro is not an easy work to be done, actually, as he says:
The current Mac Pro, as we’ve said a few times, was constrained thermally and it restricted our ability to upgrade it. And for that, we’re sorry to disappoint customers who wanted that, and we’ve asked the team to go and re-architect and design something great for the future that those Mac Pro customers who want more expandability, more upgradability in the future. It’ll meet more of those needs.
That is to say, Apple has always taken Mac Pro customers as important ones. According to Apple, Overall, the split between notebooks and desktops in Mac sales is roughly 80/20. (Personally, I’m a little surprised desktops account for even 20 percent of sales. I would have guessed 85/15, and wouldn’t have been surprised to hear 90/10.) Mac sales were up in 2016, once again outpacing the PC industry as a whole, and the new MacBook Pros are a hit, with sales up “about 20 percent” year over year. The Mac is a $25 billion business for Apple annually, and according to the company there are 100 million people in the active Mac user base worldwide.
Actually, even though we still have to wait for the update, we can see Apple will update the configurations of current Mac Pro to make it faster and better for their dollar. This is not a new model, not a new design, we’re just going to update the configurations. We’re doing that this week. We can give you the specifics on that. The CPUs, we’re moving them down the line. The GPUs, down the line, to get more performance per dollar for customers who DO need to continue to buy them on the interim until we get to a newly architected system.
We are glad to see that Apple’s commitment to the Mac line. Just as what Schiller says: We’re committed to the Mac, we’ve got great talent on the Mac, both hardware and software, we’ve got great products planned for the future, and as far as our horizon line can see, the Mac is a core component of the things Apple delivers, including to our pro customers.
Anyway, we know that Apple will continue to innovate and design the Mac Pro. All we can do now is waiting patiently until it comes out. You know, Apple won’t let you down.