Who has taken over at Apple?
The 2018 Mac Pro and Apple's pro users.
I didn't buy the 2013 new Mac Pro because it didn't fit my needs, especially at that price point. It was not upgradable and I immediately thought it was the Cube 2.0. It looked cool but not easily upgradable as past Mac Pros were. I did buy several "cheesegrater" aluminum Mac Pros over the years and they were my main production machine for editing in Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X. I now use a 5K iMac and a 2016 MacBook Pro.
Well in a surprise announcement, Apple has said they are rethinking the Mac Pro and are going back to the drawing board to create a new 2018 (or later) modular Mac Pro. Apple did not say a new Mac Pro will be available in 2018, just that it won't be available this year. What? Apple admitting a "mis-step", pre-announcing a major product and talking on the record to professionals? Who has taken over at Apple? I like this new Apple.
I first noticed a change at Apple last Fall after Apple allowed the FCPX team to put their live presentation videos of FCPX 10.3 on YouTube. I haven't seen an Apple live presentation online for FCPX in its almost 6 year life span. Something was changing. I brought this up with several guests on Final Cut Pro Radio.
There is no reason that I can think of why Apple didn't update the existing Mac Pro over the last several years as they now have done. If Apple delivers a Mac Pro in 2018, it will be up to FIVE YEARS between a major update to this model. The new 2017 "Pro Market" iMac will continue to cater to pro users. I'm looking forward to this new "iMac Pro".
So Apple pre-announces a 2018 Mac Pro and talks candidly to its professional users. Highly unusual for Apple. Something has changed for the better.
The highlights from Apple's Mac Pro and professional users conference are:
- This is an unusual kind of briefing for Apple.
- “If we’ve had a pause in upgrades and updates, we’re sorry for that — what happened with the Mac Pro — and we’re going to come out with something great to replace it.” – Phil Schiller, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing
- Apple through the years – a willingness to say when something isn’t quite what we wanted it to be, didn’t live up to expectations, to not be afraid to admit it."
- A performance bump on the current Mac Pro.
- The Mac user base is nearing 100 million users.
- Mac sales – 80 percent notebooks to 20 percent desktop computers.
- "Fifteen percent of all Mac customers use “pro” category apps multiple times a week.
- Thirty percent of Apple’s Mac customer base use pro apps less frequently.
- Vast majority of pro customers use Apple’s notebooks.
- A “single digit percentage” of Apple’s Mac customers are Mac Pro customers.
- Completely rethinking a modular Mac Pro,”
- New Apple Pro display
- 2013 Mac pro didn’t well suit some of the people we were trying to reach. It’s good for some; But it does not address the full range of customers we wanna reach with the Mac Pro.”
- External GPUs have a place
- Transparency for Apple’s Pro customers – “We recognize that they want to hear more from us. And so we want to communicate better with them. We care deeply about them."
- 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.
- New iMacs this year “configurations of iMac specifically with the pro customer in mind and acknowledging that our most popular desktop with pros is an iMac. We can take iMac even further as a high performance pro system and we think that form factor can address even more of the pro market.”
- The Mac Mini is an important product in our lineup.
- The Mac is a huge part of our future, we’re deeply invested in it.
- Scriptability and automation remain super important.
- Strong commitment with both Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X.
Listen to the latest Final Cut Pro Radio episode to hear more about the new Mac Pro announcement.
Read first hand accounts of Apple's surprise Mac Pro 2018 announcements on Daring Fireball and Tech Crunch
Copyright © 2017 Richard Taylor. All rights reserved.
Apple and Final Cut Pro X are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.