Rumor: Could Apple shut down the Mac Pro?

Apple's Mac line of computers continues to sell well overall, but a new rumor claims that Apple is reconsidering the future of its Mac Pro workstation line. Apple Insider reports via unnamed sources that the company is debating whether or not to continue selling the Mac Pro products beyond the end of 2011.

Apple admitted in its recent financial results that its Mac notebooks take up 74 percent of its entire Mac product division. The iMac desktop line also sells well for the company, compared to the Mac Pro range. Perhaps it's due to the company discontinuing the Final Cut Pro software?

Demand for the Mac Pro workstation has declined over the years. The article points out that only a few of Apple's authorized retailers currently sell the Mac Pro, and that those units are sold as special orders. It's possible that Apple could quietly discontinue the Mac Pro but at the same time release new versions of its iMac or its Mac mini desktops that have improved processor speeds that come close to the performance of the Mac Pro.

With the server and high end desktop business dominated by companies such as HP and Dell, it would not be a shock to learn that Apple would decide to close the book on the Mac Pro. We are sure that some Mac fans and film makers would protest such a move but in the end it's all about the business of making money and Apple might soon have to make a choice that's based on profits.

 

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Would personally love to own one of those, but could never afford it. (When I was making more money I could, but got an iMac instead). After owning an iMac, I would say that given the heat this thing puts off, and the overall lack of 'user upgrades' that are available for this, it does put a huge damper on things especially if I were to want to upgrade the video card, or add an extra one in.

I can certainly see a huge rise of osx86 type of projects being made to replace the Mac Pro if this occurs. Build an identical system to spec, maybe save a few extra bucks (Never priced a build like this), and then load osx86 on it. Or maybe Pystar will rebrand itself and make a system capable of running like one but sell it preloaded with Linux to keep Apple away, but give the option to users to install osx86 on it by using their own resources. (Sending the user to certain websites that tell how to do it).

Either way, maybe some day in the next 10 years, I will maybe own a used Mac Pro.

Seems a little unlikely, but then I would have said the same about killing the Xserve and that happened.

If they do kill the Mac Pro without introducing a NEW Mac to replace it, it'll definitely renew the viewpoint of Apple having more interest in it's gadgets that it's computers.

Maybe they'll ultimately drop the computer hardware side altogether and box up OS X for generic hardware.

Considering that many Recording Studios and Animation Studios use the Mac Pro, discontinuing the Mac Pro would be a very dumb move indeed, the mini and the MBP just don't have the specs required for these things. Studios would be forced to get custom built dells/hp's and replace all their software with PC software at significant cost. Would be a terrible move!

I'm not a Mac fanboy by any means, but I don't think this would be a wise move for them at all...

I think Apple are betting on Thunderbolt taking up the slack. So instead of having that $1K+ studio grade sound card in your Mac Pro you'll have it stuck in an external enclosure hooked up via Thunderbolt. Which will be hooked up to an external power source (as Thunderbolt doesn't provide enough power to run it standalone).

Remember that old iMac ad showing how simple the iMac was compared to the PC of the day and it's myriad of cables? Well it's time to go all 180 on that.

And if you don't remember, here it is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz0F5cLlazk

CrimsonBetrayal said,
Considering that many Recording Studios and Animation Studios use the Mac Pro, discontinuing the Mac Pro would be a very dumb move indeed, the mini and the MBP just don't have the specs required for these things. Studios would be forced to get custom built dells/hp's and replace all their software with PC software at significant cost. Would be a terrible move!

I'm not a Mac fanboy by any means, but I don't think this would be a wise move for them at all...

Mac mini and MacBook Pro don't have the specs - have you heard of this thing called an iMac?

CrimsonBetrayal said,
Considering that many Recording Studios and Animation Studios use the Mac Pro, discontinuing the Mac Pro would be a very dumb move indeed, the mini and the MBP just don't have the specs required for these things. Studios would be forced to get custom built dells/hp's and replace all their software with PC software at significant cost. Would be a terrible move!

I'm not a Mac fanboy by any means, but I don't think this would be a wise move for them at all...

I have a 8 core 2.8Ghz Mac Pro. I can run 40 channels at 24bit/48k (mono) with plugins (ssl, Ozone, Omnisphere, Kontakt) and it doesnt crack a sweat over 15% in Protools. I use alot of outboard processing which doesnt impact the plugins. I run latency @ 5ms. By comparison, My Windows 7 "bitza" with 16gb i7 960 didnt come close and it had SSD disks (which isnt the point). I have protools configured to only take 6 cores. yeah I could go an build the same spec machine from clone bits and it wouldnt be much cheaper. but.. it'd pay the difference for the convenience of focusing on my workflow rather than driver issues or what ever.

rwoodhams said,
I have a 8 core 2.8Ghz Mac Pro. I can run 40 channels at 24bit/48k (mono) with plugins (ssl, Ozone, Omnisphere, Kontakt) and it doesnt crack a sweat over 15% in Protools. I use alot of outboard processing which doesnt impact the plugins. I run latency @ 5ms. By comparison, My Windows 7 "bitza" with 16gb i7 960 didnt come close and it had SSD disks (which isnt the point). I have protools configured to only take 6 cores. yeah I could go an build the same spec machine from clone bits and it wouldnt be much cheaper. but.. it'd pay the difference for the convenience of focusing on my workflow rather than driver issues or what ever.

And this is exactly my point, imagine if you had to move to an iMac, or a Mac Mini because they didn't want to do Mac Pro's any longer. I really can't see anything good coming out of this. I'm not in any way saying there aren't alternatives. I just can't see and recording facility (myself and rwoodhams included), wanting to spend a heap upgrading our equipment to now work on Thunderbolt and iMacs...

Apple doesn't release sales numbers unless they're using them for advertising. It's entirely possible the sales of Pros have dwindled to the point that they're not worth producing in low volume.

I do like the case even though it's a rehashed G5.

Enron said,
Well of course, we're in the "post-PC era," right? They'll probably replace it with a 30" tablet.

Yep. Saved a boatload of cash and have better proformance.

As expensive as they are, they sure are solid. The Dell PowerEdge 7500n can't compare... and that's roughly the same price point if configured spec-for-spec to a MacPro5,1.

My iPhone taught me one thing: That I will NEVER buy another Apple product. I hate it so very much, and view it as the single worst tech buying decision I've made in the past 20 years. It was the foot in the door Apple had to win me away from open platforms, and it failed miserably.

Which is to say I'm not a fan boy. If anything, I'm very much a hater. But I can be neutral when looking at this from a purely business analysis perspective.

I understand the niche of the Mac Pro towers, and even if the division loses money, they would be foolish to discontinue it. It would be a case of the accountants looking at a line item without seeing the larger picture.

Mac Pros drive a lot of sales, indirectly. Every major architecture firm, graphic arts studio, many major movie and animation studios, use the Mac Pro, because for those industries, it truly is the class of the field - in terms of the hardware and software ecosystem that surround them. This drives a lot of secondary sales to the professionals who use the platform at the office, and buy an MBP for on the road, and/or an iMac for the home.

In turn, these people are key influencers - driving sales of Mac laptops and desktops to a wider circle of people who view the creative professionals who use the equipment for a living as an aspirational demographic - people who want to look like creative professionals, buy the equipment they know those people use.

Removing the Mac Pro from that equation will have a ripple effect, Architecture offices, design studios, and other creative houses will find the power systems their industries demand elsewhere. The people who work there will buy home systems that are compatible with the systems at work, and the "glamour" advantage will be lost.

It's something Jobs wouldn't have allowed, because he's smart enough to see the big picture. But with him gone, and the bean counters left to rule the roost (as often happens with this type of succession), there might not be the vision and intestinal fortitude within the organization to see the larger impact of a niche product.

Grelmar said,
My iPhone taught me one thing: That I will NEVER buy another Apple product. I hate it so very much, and view it as the single worst tech buying decision I've made in the past 20 years. It was the foot in the door Apple had to win me away from open platforms, and it failed miserably.

Wow, a statement being paraded as fact with absolutely nothing to back up the said statement - if that isn't trolling I don't know what is.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

Wow, a statement being paraded as fact with absolutely nothing to back up the said statement - if that isn't trolling I don't know what is.

And if you bothered to read the rest of what I wrote, you would be able to understand that it was a contextualization point, not the main argument. But hey, that would involve critical thinking at a level higher than the third grade. My bad.

Why do these threads always end up in one dude slagging another dude? It's just technology man. Chillax...

Lets talk about beer and chicks! OH YEAH!

Grelmar said,

And if you bothered to read the rest of what I wrote, you would be able to understand that it was a contextualization point, not the main argument. But hey, that would involve critical thinking at a level higher than the third grade. My bad.

lots of studios use mac pros.... big budget studios... lots of djs use them too! they are really good for video editing. why they would shun this I dunno.....

Most pro video editors use Avid Media Composer which is available on Windows too. Apple will ditch the Mac Pro and encourage pros to buy MacBook Pros with a Thunder Bolt connected Cinema Screen. Mac Pro's have been dead for years.

remixedcat said,
lots of studios use mac pros.... big budget studios... lots of djs use them too! they are really good for video editing. why they would shun this I dunno.....

Speaking as a DJ, no, most DJs actually use windows for their shows. DJ tools are centered around a windows user base.

Speaking as an audio engineer, it's Mac or bust. If you're not using mac for audio production, you're not serious about your audio production.

Speaking as a computer tech, I can build a system down to the exact specs of any Mac Pro for a little under half of the cost of the Mac Pro. (Including high quality server motherboard, the exact same Xeon processor, more (FASTER) RAM, better video card, choice of hard drive (moot point), etc...

To those who are thinking this may happen, keep this in mind:
One of the largest groups of Mac Pro customers is the Pro Tools HD user base. Mac Pro is the ONLY current Apple platform compatible with Pro Tools HD. (Requires PCI or PCI-X or PCI-Ex slot) If Apple were to scrap the Mac Pro without providing another solution for Pro Tools HD users, they would be abandoning one of their largest groups of consumers. This won't happen.

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