Apple plans to release a much more powerful iMac later this year

Speaking to a small gathering of news outlets yesterday, including BuzzFeed, TechCrunch, and Daring Fireball, Apple acknowledged that it had been a while since the company put a focus on pro desktops, announced minor spec updates to the existing Mac Pro, and said that a new Mac Pro model is in the works.

The context is that in October Apple held a big event to unveil its new MacBook Pro and optional onboard Touch Bar display but didn't say a word about desktop Macs.

Apple today announced a figure (via TechCrunch) giving us an idea on how many people are now using a Mac computer.

In an interview this week, Apple's Phil Schiller began talking about Apple's plans for the Mac Pro going forward, stating that the company is "completely rethinking the Mac Pro" admitting that Apple "designed itself into a bit of a corner" with its most recent changes.

For Apple, adding pro level iMacs to its desktop lineup is more of an inevitability than anything else.

"We're committed to the Mac, we've got great talent on the Mac, both hardware and software, we've got great products planned for the future, and as far as our horizon line can see, the Mac is a core component of the things Apple delivers, including to our pro customers", Schiller said.

But perhaps most importantly, Apple admitted that its flashy 2013 Mac Pro redesign was a mistake, and executives indicated that Apple intends to better support its professional users in the future.

"We're working on [a new Mac Pro]", Schiller said. Hard, but apparently not that hard: "You won't see any of these products this year", he explained - apparently the team will be taking their time over getting it right.

Apple's all-in-one computers will get a "significant" update at some point later in 2017, including some new models which will be aimed specifically at pro users (presumably with even more power under the bonnet).

The new $3999 high-end configuration moves from a 3.5 GHz 6-core Intel Xeon E5 CPU to a 3.0 GHz 8-core Xeon E5.

Why bother? After all, the iPhone is Apple's real business now, representing the majority of the company's revenue and profit.

The not-so-great news, at least if you're keenly awaiting a Mac Pro refresh, is that Apple made it clear this revamped model won't be available until 2018 - at the earliest.

That bold new look meant the Mac Pro was a computer arranged around a triangular heatsink and slotted into a cylindrical case.

These next-gen Mac Pros and pro displays "will not ship this year". At the same time, it envisaged Thunderbolt 2 peripherals being the way forward for expansion, rather than the more traditional "desktop computer" enclosure of the previous, much larger Mac Pro. But the main message was about the Mac Pro: While Apple understands that today's update won't do much to comfort its pro customers, the company wants them to know they're not forgotten.

  • Patricia Jimenez