Apple plans to launch next year an overhauled Mac Pro, it’s high-end desktop computer system which has not been substantially updated for over three years. During a recent reporter roundtable, Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, said that the company has “big plans for the iMac” and that they were “going to begin making configurations of iMac specifically with the pro customer in mind.” This announcement is particularly noteworthy as it’s very rare for Apple to make comments about future changes to its products in advance of official launch events. As such, the announcement may indicate a change in Apple’s approach to communicating with reporters and potential customers, as the company may be looking to project a more open image.
The announcement follows the publication of a YouTube video by popular vlogger MKBHD, entitled “Dear Apple,” in which he describes what he sees as the current problems with the company and its products, particularly the Mac Pro. In the video, MKBHD implores the company to refresh the Mac Pro, describing the importance of high-end Apple products for professional users, especially video editors. He also notes that, in recent years, the company has stopped focusing on the professional market, which is unfortunate for people who rely on Apple products for their work such as himself.
Although it’s not clear that Apple was responding directly to MKBHD’s video, which garnered over 1.7 million views, the company asserted its devotion to the market of professional users this week. In addition to stating its commitment to the Mac line of desktop computers, Schiller claimed that the company was to continue to develop its professional software products like Final Cut and logic. And in a surprising move for the company, which is usually deeply reluctant to acknowledge its faults, Schiller said that Apple was “sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro. We are going to come out with something great to replace it.” (via Axios.)
Schiller also spoke fairly openly about the release schedule for the new Mac Pro as well as other Apple products. He asserted that releasing the new Mac Pro would take “longer than this year to do,” but also that the company plans to introduce a performance update to the current Mac Pro. Additionally, Schiller spoke about the iMac, the company’s desktop computer which includes a screen built-in, saying that there were no plans to add a touchscreen to the device. This announcement is consistent with Apple’s philosophy regarding the use of touchscreens in their devices: the company does not use touch screens on devices whose screens stay upright or are attached to a hinge, such as Macbooks and the iMac, as they claim that doing so would negatively impact the user experience. Additionally, Schiller announced that the company would release a version of the iMac oriented towards professional users.
The casual and open tone of these comments from Apple is surprising, to say the least, as it signals a major departure from the company’s standard rhetoric. One of the reasons Apple may have decided to take this approach in their sharing of details with reporters about the company’s professional line of products is to engender confidence in professional users of the company’s future. These users have a right to be skeptical, as recent years have indicated Apple’s lackadaisical attitude towards the professional market: not only has the company failed to refresh their highest-end computer, the Mac Pro, but last year’s Macbook Pro replaced the Function keys with a gimmicky Touch bar, and an under-powered graphics card and processor relative to the computer’s price. If Apple follows through on the comments Schiller made to reporters this week, professional users can expect to be pleased with Apple’s developments in hardware and software.
Featured image via Wikimedia