The minor specification change coming to the Mac Pro this year is largely insignificant. While the meeting wasn't put together to unveil a specific product, Apple let slip that it's working on a re-imagined version of its Mac Pro desktop in order to answer the demands of its most hardcore power users.
Apple has also made Mac Pro build-to-order processor and GPU upgrades much more affordable for pro users who need higher-end specs than the base machines provide.
"The current Mac Pro, as we've said a few times, was constrained thermally and it restricted our ability to upgrade it", Schiller said at a roundtable earlier this week.
The technology giant took the unusual step of pre-announcing new products during a meeting with journalists in the United States, and also apologised to users of the Mac Pro for not updating the device since it launched in 2013. "We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements", he said.
On top of all this disappointing news, Apple uncharacteristically threw users a bone by divulging its future plans for the Mac desktop. The high-end, $3,999, will offer 8 cores and jump from dual D500 graphics cards to a pair of D700 GPUs.
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"We have big plans for the iMac", said Phil Schiller. In particular, enthusiasts have noted it's been more than three years (1,200 days) since the last Mac Pro refresh.
The current edition of the Mac Pro was introduced in 2013.
The system most likely won't be getting a touchscreen, however, in spite of competition from the like of the Surface Studio and other Windows all-in-ones, as Apple insists on keeping its iOS and MacOS lines separate. In addition, Apple is planning to release new professional-grade iMac computers this year. We can also potentially expect another eye-catching design, Mashable reckons, although perhaps a tad more toned down given some of the aforementioned reaction to the 2013 model.
"I think we designed ourselves into a bit of a thermal corner, if you will", said Apple's Craig Federighi while speaking to a select group of journalists at its corporate headquarters. In addition, they'll be releasing a new external display - something it had previously opted out of. Apple now ships computers at a ratio of 80% notebooks to 20% desktop computers, a stat that definitely comes as no surprise.
The problem Apple is facing right now is that many of its customers have lost faith in the company's pro-level computer strategy and feel abandoned.