Apple’s desktops are getting a little old, and critics have noticed. But the company is working on some updates.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based giant is working on an all-new Mac Pro desktop that could come with a modular design, allowing users to swap components in and out, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber is reporting. Gruber, a well-respected Apple watcher who spoke to Apple executives, said that the company is also developing new professionally focused displays that would complement the high-powered computer.
Additionally, the Apple executives who recently met with Gruber in Cupertino, said that Apple has “great” new iMac all-in-one desktops in the works. Some of those iMac versions will target professional users who need higher-powered components.
Apple’s (AAPL) desktops have been a source of debate and criticism over the last couple of years.
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While the company has delivered new notebooks in the form of the MacBook and MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, the Mac Pro has been languishing on store shelves. The desktop, which was redesigned and released in 2013 with high-powered components, hasn’t been updated since. While that wasn’t necessarily a problem in 2013 and 2014 when the Mac Pro was still among the most powerful desktops on the market, it’s been left far behind by Windows-based alternatives that run on the latest and greatest components.
After Apple failed to announce new Mac desktops at last year’s MacBook Pro with Touch Bar unveiling, some critics charged Apple with ignoring professional customers who need the additional power the Mac Pro offers.
“To be clear, our current Mac Pro has met the needs of some of our customers, and we know clearly not all of our customers,” Apple senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller said during the meeting, according to Gruber. “None of this is black and white, it’s a wide variety of customers. Some… it’s the kind of system they wanted; others, it was not.”
Schiller added that Apple is “completely rethinking the Mac Pro” and wants the new device to be refreshed on a regular basis to keep pace with competitors that already release regular updates.
Apple’s iMacs, which are traditionally designed for home consumer use, have received a bit more attention than the Mac Pro and have at least been updated on a slightly more regular cadence. Still, the all-in-one desktop could use a boost to its components to help it catch up to competitors offering the latest processors and design features.
“There’s still even further we can take iMac as a high performance, pro system, and we think that form factor can address even more of the pro market,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, told Gruber.
Apple’s executives told Gruber that the new iMacs should be available sometime this year, though they didn’t say exactly when. They also said that Apple’s new Mac Pro won’t reach store shelves this year, suggesting it could be unveiled in 2018.
In an attempt to quell unrest surrounding the Mac Pro, Apple on Tuesday announced minor upgrades to the Mac Pro’s processor and graphics card. The Mac Pro’s pricing remains the same with a starting price of $2,999.