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Old 11-01-2011, 01:00 PM   #1
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Default Apple Rumored to be Considering Pulling the Plug on its Mac Pro Line

In a bit of not-so-surprising news, rumor has it that Apple is mulling the idea of pulling the plug on its high-end desktop Mac Pro line, leaving just the Mac mini and iMac to choose from. As Mac Pros have long been the go-to computer for professionals working with OS X, a discontinuation of the line wouldn't go unnoticed.


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Old 11-01-2011, 01:07 PM   #2
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I can't say that I am surprised by this move either. I don't like Mac but I dislike not having options even more, no matter what platform it is.
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Old 11-01-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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The end of the Mac Pro would sever the last bit of connection Apple has with NeXT. At least to me it would be.

These were the work horses of the Macintosh lineup. Horribly overpriced but whatever. That's a trend at Cupertino.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:51 PM   #4
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I'm gonna state that I still believe it to be highly unlikely.

Quote:
Of course, this is all just a rumor for now, but the fact that Apple hasn't updated its Mac Pro line in well over a year is pretty damning evidence that something is going down.
Maybe because the successor for the hardware inside the Mac Pro has been delayed, and the hardware inside the Mac Pro hasn't been updated in that long a time frame? The X58 platform has pretty much been dead, especially the Xeon variants. Soon as X79 and SB-E launch I expect that we will be seeing that missing refresh...
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Old 11-02-2011, 05:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
Maybe because the successor for the hardware inside the Mac Pro has been delayed, and the hardware inside the Mac Pro hasn't been updated in that long a time frame? The X58 platform has pretty much been dead, especially the Xeon variants. Soon as X79 and SB-E launch I expect that we will be seeing that missing refresh...
One upgrade per architecture... seems reasonable.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:56 AM   #6
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I don't know...

I just don't really see Apple touting the Mac Pro line as they used to. Not 3 years ago there's was a marketing strategy that simply seems to have disappeared. We might see another upgrade. Maybe two, or three; who knows? But its becoming self-evident this division at Cupertino has seen better days. There doesn't simply seem to exist that flare anymore. And this sooner or later carries a penalty.

It's impossible to know what's on Tim Cook head. I don't pretend to be a market analyst either. Neither I've read a financial report from Apple where we can see how the Mac Pro fares in terms of costs and returns. I just smell it in the air that this is something that is just going to happen. As a consumer in fact, I cannot even justify the Mac Pro except for a very small niche of professionals. And Apple... well, let's just say it is no longer a company concerned with niches.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:00 PM   #7
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I agree, marfig.

Given the recent events with Final Cut Pro turning into more of a consumer app and it being rumored that the same thing is destined to happen to Logic Studio, it's clear that Apple's interest in the professional is waning. Back when it didn't have the iPhone, things were different, but with those things selling like hotcakes, any decent return from the Mac Pro line is going to feel like a waste of time. And if Apple isn't going to put real effort into it despite that, then I can't see many professionals working on Apple sticking around.

Ars posted an article not long ago about this also, and they interviewed such professionals. Many of them said that the other Mac choices just don't fit their needs, and it's obvious why. The Mac mini is out automatically... it's weak. The iMac is a lot better, but it still isn't designed for anything that professionals need to do, especially video editing. The high-end MacBook Pros would be on par with the high-end iMacs performance-wise, so any way you look at it, these users would be left out in the cold.

I find that a bit upsetting, because it used to be that most content-creators chose a Mac for various reasons. I am not sure that's the case now, given the rich software selection on Windows for this target market, but still - if there's no Mac Pro, all people are left with is Windows. Linux isn't even in the running (for video). Current Mac Pro users are not going to be able to keep using their rigs forever so the only obvious choice is moving to Windows.

That said, I know the Mac Pro market is small, and it's not like everyone and their dog owns one, but in this particular niche, it's been an important product. But again, it's clear that Apple doesn't care much about niche anymore... not when it sold 100 iPhones in the time it took me to write this.
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Old 11-04-2011, 09:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
I agree, marfig.

.... it's clear that Apple doesn't care much about niche anymore... not when it sold 100 iPhones in the time it took me to write this.
Your most probably right when you stated the above, but I'm sure hoping that Apple keeps the MacPro around a little while longer yet. But again, to your point, Apple has already recently done away with their professional Xserves come to think about it!

Still, in the end, I'll believe it when I finally see it actually happen.
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Old 11-05-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Williams View Post
Ars posted an article not long ago about this also, and they interviewed such professionals. Many of them said that the other Mac choices just don't fit their needs, and it's obvious why. The Mac mini is out automatically... it's weak. The iMac is a lot better, but it still isn't designed for anything that professionals need to do, especially video editing. The high-end MacBook Pros would be on par with the high-end iMacs performance-wise, so any way you look at it, these users would be left out in the cold.
Maybe I'm mis-reading something, but going from what you said if the other Macs don't meet these people's needs, then a Mac Pro is the only option left? That was pretty much the only market for these things anyway given the costs.

The Mac Pro line uses Xeons, and a server chipset, solely because the Mac Pro is a dual-socket platform. It's using purely server / workstation grade hardware, and the refresh cycle on that isn't the same as consumer hardware. On top of that, the underlying design hasn't changed since the launch of Bloomfield in 2008 because Westmere, and then the six-core Gulftown were both drop in compatible. A Mac Pro can fit any one of those three CPUs, and Apple offers all of them as configuration options, up to 12 cores, 24 threads of goodness with Gulftown.

The only replacement for Bloomfield + Westmere / Gulftown is SB-E, and that doesn't launch for a few weeks. I'm pretty sure Apple already has another dual-socket Mac Pro ready and waiting for the Xeon variants, whether those launch soon or by January.
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