by Jason Snell
Martin Pilkington on the Mac “Pro”
Many people are not happy about the choices Apple made when creating the new Mac Pro, and Martin Pilkington’s post is a clear encapsulation of many of their arguments:
All in all, the Mac Pro is a powerful machine. For certain workflows it is even worth the cost. But the problem is that Apple has priced out a huge swathe of the professional market by making its lower end Mac Pros prohibitively expensive for what is frankly underwhelming hardware.
Yes, these users can get by with iMacs and Macbook Pros, and even the iMac Pro (if they ever update it). But none of these offer the expandability that many professionals desire. They have limited ports that you can’t expand on. Of the 3, only the 27″ non-Pro iMac offers any sort of upgradability, and even then that is only the RAM. And they all include a built in monitor which many professional users may not need, thanks to the wide range of high quality monitors available elsewhere.
There’s no denying that the Mac Pro doesn’t cater to Apple’s entire pro user base, that at $6000 it’s far more expensive than a Mac Pro has ever been, and that many professional users profess a desire for (internal) expandability and upgradability. It’s also true that by hitching itself to Intel, Apple has missed the boat in terms of the more powerful processors being made by AMD.
Pilkington’s final point, that the new Mac Pro is not a machine for the vast majority of professional users, also seems entirely correct. The implication is that Apple should have made a Mac Pro that would have more broad appeal, that would slide in at a more “traditional” $3000 starting price and be a reasonable buy for software developers and not just high-end video pros.
Apple’s product strategy strongly implies a belief that the iMac, iMac Pro, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro can serve most of the professional audience well… and that most professional users don’t really need expandability and upgradability, even if they profess to want it.
Apple has been headed in this direction for quite a while now, which is why I’m not surprised at the positioning of the Mac Pro as a product for the ultra-high-end.
Nor am I surprised that it has left a lot of people feeling shut out.