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Apple admits Mac Pro problems, promises to ‘rethink’ new generation

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Mac Pro

Apple has pledged to “rethink” the ailing Mac Pro, giving the company’s miniature desktop PC a new lease of life.

When Apple relaunched the Mac Pro at the end of 2013, critical reception was largely positive. The quirky cylindrical build sat well with many reviewers, and the fact that it was significantly smaller and lighter than the first-generation version helped too. But it’s been four years since we’ve seen any real progress in the Mac Pro space, so what is Apple cooking up?

During a roundtable with press, Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller revealed that Apple would be “completely rethinking the Mac Pro”, as quoted by Buzzfeed. Schiller continued: “Since the Mac Pro is a modular system, we are also doing a pro display. There’s a team working hard on it right now.”

Unfortunately, it’s not coming any time soon – not in 2017, at least: “You won’t see any of these products this year,” Schiller revealed.

One of the chief problems with the Mac Pro was its lack of upgradeability. Though the minimalist design was popular, making hardware improvements proved difficult: “We made something bold that we thought would be great…and what we discovered is that it was great for some and not others – enough so, that we realised we had to take another path…and look for the next answer."

Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering, offered a similar sentiment: “We designed ourselves into a bit of a corner. We wanted to do something bold and different. What we didn’t appreciate completely at the time was how we had so tailored that design to a specific vision that in the future we would find ourselves a bit boxed in – into a circular shape.”

It’s not clear how Apple plans to improve the next generation of Mac Pro devices, but John Terns, Apple’s TV of hardware engineering, hints that we may see a more flexible design. Speaking about the old Mac Pro, Terns said: “It served its purpose well. It just doesn’t have the flexibility we now know we need to have.”

The second-generation Mac Pro was launched during Apple’s WWDC opening keynote in 2013; perhaps we’ll see a similar announcement at WWDC 2018.

Related: MacBook Pro vs MacBook Air

How would you like Apple to improve the Mac Pro? Let us know in the comments.

LeeTronix

April 4, 2017, 2:40 pm

Look, apple are only interested now in phones and pads, the rest of the Mac line ups are nothing more than eco hooks for those who use their mobile devices. Sadly this is going to over time implode the apple business. Arrogance and ignorance = pride before a fall...They do not listen the customers needs they dictate what we think we need and that is not an acceptable concept anymore.

mode11

April 4, 2017, 3:51 pm

Actually, it seems Apple do realise they messed up with the Mac Pro:

“We made something bold that we thought would be great…and what we discovered is that it was great for some and not others...– enough so, that we realised we had to take another path…"

LeeTronix

April 4, 2017, 4:01 pm

I have been a Mac user since around 83/84, I have the 2013 Mac Pro and tons of other up to date macs etc but I have finally had it with them. Of course this is from my perspective and my thoughts etc. I feel the company has not only outgrown itself but as it did in the 90s it has become a greedy egotistical arrogant and ignorant complacently intolerable company. It should never take the customers to force them on a whim to make or upgrade they should be doing this because that is their ingrained philosophy the product revolves around the user not the other way round. I agree with you about they have recognised their mistakes because its forced otherwise nothing would be going forward. Just very fed up and disillusioned with a company that used to be innovative but now over expensive for rubbish. Just my thoughts :)

mode11

April 5, 2017, 10:44 am

To some extent though, dictating to customers is the flip side of bold design. Without a certain amount of bloody-mindedness, you don't get interesting products like the Cube or G4 iMac. Like the Cube, the cylindrical Mac Pro was a step too far in one direction, but it remains a beautiful and quiet machine.

It is true that almost everything they make is basically a thin aluminium rectangle with rounded corners. But certain form-factors just work well from both a use and manufacturing perspective. People demand constant 'innovation' from Apple, but then get upset when they come up with something unusual.

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