Apple made a number of announcements last week at its Worldwide Developers Conference, but the Mac Pro – the stylish aluminum tower that has always represented the ultimate in Macintosh computing power – got exactly zero stage time. After the show, an unnamed Apple exec contacted David Pogue, the New York Times tech columnist, and “announced” that the first Mac Pro upgrade in over two years was “under way.”
The big improvements? You can now get “slightly faster two-year-old CPUs,” griped Instapaper developer and longtime Mac partisan, Marco Armendt. He noted there were no top-of-the-line Xeon chips, no USB 3 and not even a Thunderbolt port, the very thing that media pros using render farms and other post-production gear need. The “new model” even has “the same two-year-old graphics cards [and] motherboard.” To Armendt, the message is quite clear: “Apple doesn’t give a —- about the Mac Pro.”
An Apple vet speaks
Andy Hertzfeld was a member of the original Macintosh development team whose influence can be seen all the way to today’s powerful iMac rental. He says he was “worried” when the Mac Pro wasn’t mentioned from the WWDC stage, but “was in for a shock” when he found the Apple tower “stuck in time in 2010.” Bottom line? “The only thing that’s still high-end about it,” Hertzfeld concludes, “is the bloated price.” (CRE has the fastest Mac Pros anywhere, set up right and ready to go – and rentals save you from big capital expenditures.)
Clearly, Apple’s management team believes that mobile iOS devices are the firm’s best bet for the future. Chris Foresman of Ars Technica observed at the end of 2011 that “the iOS ecosystem has come to represent 70% of Apple’s revenue.” At the same time, Apple has upgraded and added Thunderbolt ports to MacBook Pro rental and the rest of the Mac line – the mini has Thunderbolt and the Pro doesn’t? Some high-end users just might switch…how many will desert Apple for Windows or Linux?
Desktop computer dead?
It is bad business to “utterly disappoint your most loyal customers,” as Hertzfeld puts it. He ends with a couple of irritating questions: “Why do an update at all if you hardly change anything? What’s going on here?” As journalists attempted to clarify the situation after WWDC, Apple didn’t immediately respond. When the blowback built to a boiling point, however, that “unnamed executive” called the NYT‘s Pogue and began damage control. Some Apple watchers wonder if Apple thinks desktop computers have a future, since nothing was said at WWDC about the iMac, either. “An executive did assure me” about new models, says Foresman, “probably for release in 2013.” Okay, so we’ll keep you posted. Again.
CRE will keep you moving forward, too, with everything from event production rentals to post-production technology and mass storage. One call or e-mail, or a trip to our Quick Rental Quote form, gets it done. Call now!