Apple’s redesigned Mac Pro desktop computer is coming in 2019 rather than 2018, a report has confirmed, providing clarity so that potential purchasers of the company’s iMac Pro could move forward without waiting all year on a more powerful alternative. TechCrunch delivered the bad news today near the start of an article focused on reassuring professional customers that Apple still cares about their business.
During its release of the iMac Pro last December, Apple reiterated that it was still working on a “completely redesigned” Mac Pro that will be “modular” and “upgradeable,” along with an accompanying “new high-end pro display.” The company originally announced a bifurcation of its professional desktop computer lineup in April 2017, suggesting that a pro-quality but all-in-one iMac would become available by year’s end, with a completely redesigned Mac Pro thereafter.
According to today’s report, Apple’s Mac marketing head Tom Boger said that the company wants “to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product. It’s not something for this year.” To facilitate development, a new Pro Workflow Team under engineering lead John Ternus is working to determine how professional users are actually using Macs in the field, and crafting solutions for them.
While the all-in-one iMac Pro is likely to satisfy the needs of many Mac-using professional users, Apple has traditionally offered more highly customizable and user-upgradeable Mac desktops at the top of its lineup. Though the prior-generation Mac Pro’s mini trash can design was novel and sleek, it quickly proved thermally constrained and precluded meaningful upgrades, leading Apple to abandon the form factor. Still, the company does not appear to be interested in returning to the gigantic, heavy tower design used in the prior-generation Mac Pro.
Apple apparently remains committed to a modular machine, and says that it is using the time to measure twice and cut once, rather than going back to the drawing board. It’s possible, though not a certainty, that the future machine will rely substantially on the external GPU support enabled through the most recent update to macOS High Sierra, rather than fully housing an ultra-powerful GPU inside. Apple is also said to be working on its own chips to replace Intel processors in Macs, starting in 2020.