Apple officially killed its iMac Pro last week. Its lack of a refresh had already suggested it could be a one-and-done product and, sure enough, it's very much done. But why? An iMac with Mac Pro innards – at the time it launched, anyway – was well received and much loved by those who bought one. But ultimately, it can't compete with modern Macs anymore.
Like the M1 MacBook Air.
While I know I'm comparing a computer with a gorgeous 27-inch screen with a small notebook, the point still stands. The best that Intel could offer for iMac Pro simply can't compete with what Apple silicon has to offer and it absolutely won't compete with whatever Apple has ready for the next iMac refresh. Whatever the iMac's chip ends up being called, it'll be stupendously quick. Scary quick in fact. Especially if your LinkedIn profile says Intel Architecture Engineer anywhere.
Right there is Apple's problem. You can't ship an iMac Pro with Intel processors and have an iMac – costing a quarter of the price – be more capable. Nobody would buy it. Sure, iMac Pro boasts ECC RAM and all that good stuff, but Apple silicon means none of that matters anymore. It's all about ports, speed, and screen size and if iMac does its thing there's simply no space for iMac Pro in the lineup.
Or a refreshed Apple silicon iMac makes it pointless. https://t.co/4asNMrMrjhOr a refreshed Apple silicon iMac makes it pointless. https://t.co/4asNMrMrjh— Oliver Haslam (@OliverJHaslam) March 6, 2021March 6, 2021
This, of course, makes Mac Pro's future an interesting one. We've already heard of a Mac mini Pro being worked on. Is that the new Mac Pro? Maybe?
Whatever happens with Mac Pro, the arrival of Apple silicon has the potential to completely rewrite Apple's lineup, condensing it in the process. Fewer Macs could be good for everyone with Apple able to focus its resources and hopefully avoid another keyboard fiasco.
And if it means the end of the $50,000 Mac Pro, all the better.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
Still love my iMac Pro. Will keep it for a few more years as long as Apple supports it.
My 2019 Mac Pro was more like 17K, than 50K, but it's pretty stellarly awesome. However, I'm looking forward to an Apple silicon desktop Mac that blows my Mac Pro away; no resentment if that happens; it's a good thing.
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