J'accuse Mac Pro

24 November 2015, 04:41

Over at Mac Observer John Kheit makes a strong case that the new Mac Pro – the model lovingly (?) referred to as ‘the trashcan’ – is turning into one of Apple’s almost legendary failures.

His reasons? Well, have a read, but I’ll let John speak for himself here:

A lot of professional Mac users are still clutching to their aluminum tower “classic” Mac Pros (“cMP”). The latest 2010 and (meaninglessly bumped) 2012 cMP models are particularly coveted …

… And for good reason. Those machines are just better than the trashcan Mac. Right now, a cMP simply spanks the trashcan Mac’s performance. For example, with regard to top end performance, processor-wise, you can get a maxed out 12-core 3.46GHz cMP model that is just as fast as the top end 12-core 2.7GHz trashcan Mac.

In most every other important way, the cMP simply trounces the trashcan Mac. For storage, you can get larger capacities (e.g., 2TB, 4TB, and up) as well as way faster SSDs (e.g., running at near 6GB/sec). Video card options for the cMP obliterate the top end options on the trashcan Mac.

The cMP also has tons of additional storage space with room for 2 optical drives, additional power supplies, slots for multiple PCI cards (e.g., video), drive bays for four 3.5” drives, etc. All in one nice, tidy, clean box.

Poor trashcan Mac users have been forced to live like animals with rats nests of external drives, cables, PCI cages (because lots of people still need expansion cards)—all of these things are big, clunky, with noisy fans (rendering the quietness and compactness of the trashcan Mac meaningless), all while sucking up more power than the tidy integrated cMP.

In terms of bottom line, the Mac Pro is mostly meaningless to Apple. However, it is a halo product much like the Corvette and NSX for GM and Honda, respectively. Halo products don’t make much money, but they are important for adding luster to the product range and creating aspirational lust.

And what makes it even more important than a mere halo product is that it’s a necessary product for what has always been Apple’s most loyal and longest neglected and suffering user base: the creative/professional user.

When Apple was circling the drain into bankruptcy around 1997, those core users stayed loyal and helped influence many other users. It was those users who responded to the “Think Different” ads and ethos. It was those users that Apple leaned on.

And it is those users Apple has ignored from 2010 until 2013, when it launched this substantial, albeit miscalculated, upgrade of the Mac Pro. And, astoundingly, it has again neglected those users since.

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