The 27-inch iMac is dead. The iMac Pro is dead. Long live the Mac Studio and the Studio Display!
People have been hoping and wishing that Apple might resurrect the 27-inch iMac in the form of a new Apple Silicon-powered version of the iMac Pro. When Apple announced its "Scary Fast" event, people's expectations rose that the company might bring back the big iMac. However, when the event kicked off, the only desktop Mac to get an update was the regular iMac with the new M3 chip.
After the event, some people still held on hope — so much so that Apple had to release a statement that the 27-inch iMac and the iMac Pro were officially dead. In a statement to The Verge, Apple PR representative Starlayne Meza confirmed that the company has no plans to release another 27-inch iMac, whether it be a regular or a Pro one:
"The company encourages those who have been holding out hope for a larger iMac to consider the Studio Display and Mac Studio or Mac Mini, which pair a 27-inch 5K screen with a separate computer, compared to the all-in-one design of the iMac."
While there will be some 27-inch iMac diehards out there losing their minds over this news, I believe Apple made the right call here. In this new Apple silicon world, there isn't a need for this product.
That's why the Mac Studio and Studio Display exist
While it is undeniably fun to imagine what a new iMac Pro might look like, those who have languished dreaming of this thing have been potentially missing out on one of the best desktop setups the company has ever created: the Mac Studio and the Studio Display.
Apple unveiled the Mac Studio as a souped-up version of the Mac mini and its complementary Studio Display back in March of 2022. The company has also been keeping its Mac mini up to date quite quickly in the age of Apple silicon. While none of these computers have been updated to the new M3 lineup just yet, all of them come packed with the still incredibly fast M2 processors.
While some people will still dream of the ultimate all-in-one, Apple's stance with its "pro" desktop computers is the right one to take. While the all-in-one iMac makes total sense for most consumers, those who need more performance also need more options. That's where the iMac Pro makes less sense.
While it's cool to have a super fast all-in-one Mac, most pros need flexibility with their workstations. They might only need the performance of the Mac mini and its M2 or M2 Pro processor if they need a bit of a boost. Or, they might need the power of the Mac Studio and its offerings with the M2 Max or even the M2 Ultra chip.
They may also have different display needs. They could get what they need out of a Studio Display, but they may also need the increased resolution and quality that the Pro Display XDR provides. Or, they might need something more proprietary and need to get a display outside of what Apple offers.
While the iMac Pro could offer some of this flexibility — namely in the area of at least some chip upgrades — it couldn't offer all of them. And, when an iMac Pro user needs to upgrade their setup, they'd of course be stuck upgrading the entire computer — even if the processor was the only thing that was really needed.
The Mac lineup is already great
Apple has done a fantastic job with its Mac lineup lately, both with the desktop and laptop lineup. I don't want an iMac Pro busting its way onto the scene and confusing the lineup like the company has done to its iPad lineup. Don't make everything — just make it simple.
I believe that's exactly what Apple has already done here. The company has essentially distilled its desktop Mac lineup into three camps:
- iMac: Consumers who need a desktop Mac that "just works"
- Mac mini, Mac Studio, and Studio Display: Prosumers who need more flexibility
- Mac Pro, Pro Display XDR: Pros who need peak performance no matter the cost
It's the long-called good, better, best lineup, and I think it really works here. Consumers and pros both get what they need, despite it not always being exactly what they think they want.
Also, don't forget that the 2017 iMac Pro began at $5000, whereas you can buy a Mac Studio and Studio Display at a starting price of $3600. That's an enormous value and a much more performant setup for an even cheaper price than what Apple would have likely fit into a new iMac Pro. So, I beg of all of you, to put aside that desire and enjoy what you already have right in front of you.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
I've never understood the point of the alleged "all-in-one" desktop. It's not "all-in-one". It's still a monitor with a separate keyboard and mouse.Reply
A laptop IS all-on-one. You can take it to the couch. You can take it to the coffee shop. You can take it on the road. You can put it on a desk, plug in a large monitor, keyboard and mouse if you need to.
Consumers expect mobility these days. Or at least, easy to move around and can run for hours on the battery. Desktop systems don't do either of these.
Consumer desktops are dead at this point. Even at work, we stopped getting desktop boxes 15 years ago. Everyone gets a laptop, a mouse/keyboard and two 24" monitors for the office.
Because you can take the laptop home and work.