Mac Pro inventory drying up pre-WWDC? What does it mean?

Mac Pro inventory drying uap pre-WWDC? What does it mean?

Channel inventory of the Mac Pro entry-level model seems to be on the wane at major American retailers, according to a report from J. Glenn Künzler at MacTrast. What does it mean? Maybe something, maybe nothing.

Künzler infers that the shortage of entry-level Mac supply might mean that something new is coming down the pike, since WWDC is the week after next. But it's also worth noting that Apple retail stores, Apple's online store and major online/mail-order retailer MacConnection all have the units in stock and ready to ship.

I'm almost certain we're going to see some refreshes and change to the Mac product line at WWDC, just like my colleague Jim Dalrymple at The Loop. But I'm not convinced the time is right to see a new Mac Pro model take the place of the old one, with Intel planning changes to its Xeon products (the CPUs the Mac Pro has long used) coming in the third calendar quarter of 2013.

Intel recently introduced the Xeon E3 chip family, which is intended for micro servers and cloud server configurations. It's based on the company's Haswell architecture, but it's a fairly low-power chip that lacks the brute force computational power we're used to seeing in the Mac Pro. The Xeon E5 family, built around Ivy Bridge EP, seems like a more suitable Mac Pro candidate, and that one's due later this year.

That's not to say that Apple won't do the same thing as they did last year, and offer a slight refresh to the Mac Pro around WWDC. Though at this stage of the game, that might just be rubbing salt in the wounds of Mac Pro enthusiasts who are waiting for the next big thing.

As in all things, your mileage may vary.

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Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Mac Pro inventory drying up pre-WWDC? What does it mean?

2 Comments

If Apple has major changes in store for the Mac Pro, enough to warrant a presentation, there is no better venue than WWDC. The Mac Pro is for nobody if not developers.

Although it's unusual for Apple, it's possible they can announce the new Mac Pro at WWDC and ship in the fall (when the new Xeons are ready). In the meantime, they might take preorders.

I'm not expecting this but it's not outside the realm of possibility.