“As far as our horizon line can see, the Mac is a core component of the things Apple delivers, including to our pro customers.”
These words from Apple’s Head of Mac hardware, John Ternus, will be a welcome relief to those who fear that Apple has switched its focus to consumers and iOS devices.
So what does this all mean for us Mac users? The good news is that Apple have stated that 30% of Mac users are using a pro app to undertake such tasks as graphic design, video editing and the like. It also stated that its most popular model with the pro market is the MacBook Pro, followed by the iMac.
This explains why the MacBook Pro was the first model to be revitalised towards the end of last year. Apple have commented that there will be a new iMac this year and that it will have configurable options that are targeted purely at the pro user. As ever with an Apple product however, they were not specific as to when the new iMac will be launched – simply that it will be this year.
When you add to this the already strong rumours of a pro-focused MacBook Pro being released towards the end of the year, there are good grounds to be optimistic about the Mac line up.
Another point of real interest was Apple’s commitment to the Mac Pro. Within the past few days, we have seen Apple slightly refresh the line up with the improvements in the standard specifications. The Quad Core is now a Six Core machine with 2 x D500 graphics giving 6GB of graphic performance. The Six Core machine is now an Eight Core with 2 x D700 graphics giving 12GB of performance.
Whilst this move is welcomed, Apple have admitted that the Mac Pro has been a little hit and miss with its pro customers. Essentially, the lack of expandability has meant that many customers have stuck with their old cheese grater Mac Pros. Recognising this, Apple is now working on a brand new Mac Pro that is taking into account the needs of this customer base.
In terms of a timescale, it is thought that the new model will hit the shelves next year. Perhaps a release in October with the new model actually hitting people’s desks in late 2017/early 2018 may be the right type of time frame.
A final point of interest was that Apple will be making displays to go with the new Mac Pro. The LG ones that were developed for the new MacBook Pro have received a lukewarm reception from our customers. Many people want a display that looks like an Apple product and not just a plain black monitor.
Regardless of what products Apple launch and when, the overriding message that can be taken from their announcement is that the Mac line up is still incredibly important to them. It is nice to hear them recognise that pro users are still a core part of their strategy. Because, let’s face it, before the days of iPhones and iPads, it was the pro users that were using Macs. It was those loyal users that gave them the very foundations for their business today. That fan base can be traced back for decades and now it is Apple’s turn to reward them with Macs that are worthy of the Pro market.