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.