While mobile and wearable devices have taken center stage at Apple in recent years, computers have been put on the back burner. In that time, Mac users have become increasingly impatient with the company, which is why Apple decided to break with years of tradition and invite a group of writers to an office building on its campus to explain what it had in store for the Mac in the coming months and years.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball has perhaps the most comprehensive report of the conversation, in which Phil Schiller revealed that Apple was in the process of “completely rethinking the Mac Pro.” Apple’s pricey desktop computer was last updated in 2013, but there is currently a team at Apple working on both a new Mac Pro and a new pro display. But in order for the team to build something worthwhile, it’ll need more than a year. In other words, even though Apple is announcing the new Mac Pro now, it won’t arrive in 2017.
Pro consumers will have to wait until at least 2018 to get their hands on new Mac Pro hardware, but in the meantime, Apple is going to release two updated models of the current Mac Pro this week. You’ll pay $2,999 for the model featuring a 6-core Intel Xeon processor, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs and 16GB of RAM, and $3,999 for the model with an 8-core processor and dual D700 GPUs.
In addition to the Mac Pro, Schiller and SVP Craig Federighi also revealed that new iMacs would launch this year, geared toward the pro market as well. When asked about whether the company is aware of the fact that many Mac users have begun to lose faith in Apple’s commitment to Macs, Schiller said this:
It’s a reasonable question, and this is why we’re here today, specifically, to address that question above all else. 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.
Apple is in the business of letting its products speak for themselves. It shares new phones, tablets and computers when they’re ready to launch, expecting its fans to jump on board. Whether or not this represents a new path for Apple or is simply a stopgap to appease irritated Mac users remains to be seen, but it’s a good sign for Apple fans who depend on professional Mac hardware for work and play.