The Not-Shipping Mac Pro

A lot of people have written and spoken about the newly, kind-of announced, not-shipping-this-year Mac Pro. So, you don’t really need my commentary…but here it is anyway.

I’m not going to write about the (unknown) specs, or what I think it should be, but rather about two things that it made clear to me.

First, and easiest: this isn’t a “new” Apple. This is an aberration. A one-off. An outlier. We will never again hear about future plans, or products that will be shipping in more than a year’s time. Apple was forced into this position by people abandoning the Macintosh. You’re thinking, “that’s just a few people, and surely there are more buying Macs that make up for it, right?” Sure. But the people leaving the platform are influencers. It’s a tiny, tiny crack in the foundation, but one that becomes a massive wound over time.

If you’re a techie, think about how many people over the years you’ve influenced to use Apple (or even other products). Your friends and family trust you because you’re in the know. Think about the world of Hollywood, 3D graphics, and now the upcoming cool future of VR/AR. How many people have that group influenced to use a Macintosh? Well, those are the groups that are bailing out. There is no Mac powerful enough to handle real-time Ray Tracing, VR development, or…heck, there’s no Mac that can adequately keep up with Windows for top-tier games.

Apple had to comment here to stem the exodus, that’s all.

Second: This wouldn’t have happened if Steve were alive. Wow…I hate saying that.I really don’t think anyone knows what Jobs would have done. I certainly don’t. But here’s the thing: no one is Steve. He was in a complete class of his own. As good as Tim Cook is, he, nor anyone else at Apple, has the RDF 1. Steve commanded that.

If Steve were alive, Apple could have honestly made all of the same steps: a 2013 Mac Pro that no one asked for, and then 3-plus years of ignoring it, hoping it would just go away. But Steve would have you convinced that this was by design, and absolutely in your best interest. You’d come away feeling cared for. Apple still commands the hype train, and no one beats them for presentation. But having seen it—lived through it—I know that no one could part you with your money in a way that made it seem completely rational like Steve Jobs.

I don’t want this to come off as doom-and-gloom. It isn’t. It’s just two things to realize. I’m really excited that we’ll see a new tower(-ish) form factor from Apple. One thing the 2013 “Trash Can” Mac Pro does excel at: audio work. It’s small and quiet. Really. Audio people: go snatch one up used before they disappear.