The beat . A blog by premiumbeat

June 11, 2012
IndustryVideo Editing

One More Thing! Mac Pros are Dead?

Apple makes major update to MacBook Pros, but a minor upgrade to new Mac Pros may have many creative professionals feeling abandoned.


Users have been speculating for months that Apple may be abandoning the professional market by possibly killing off their high-end Mac Pro computer line.  Without a major announcement at the WWDC, Apple has all but confirmed that Mac Pros towers have reached the end of their product life.


Although they were not announced at WWDC, new Mac Pros have been added to the Apple Store.  It’s been nearly 2 years since the latest Mac Pro update and these latest versions are simply incremental updates. The new Mac Pros get a minor speed upgrade.  That’s appears to be it – no Thunderbolt and no USB 3.0.

Mac Pro Update

This very minor update may be the sign of an end-of-life product.  The Mac Pro has always been a workhorse for photo and video professionals, with it’s fast processing and fully customizable architecture…but it may soon be reaching the end of its product cycle.

The bottom line is Apple doesn’t need it’s professional userbase.  Not anymore.

It comes down to finances.  As Apple grows it’s consumer market, the professional side represents less and less of their overall revenue.  They long ago abandoned Shake (compositing app) for the same reasons.  It costs more to support a niche product than it may be worth to them.

Final Cut Pro X was created to appeal to a wider CONSUMER user base.  Should we be so surprised that the Mac Pro quickly followed suit?

iMacs and MacBook Pros will continue to get upgrades (see info below) and for some video and photo pros this may be satisfactory.  But serious users, with the need for more customization and expansion, will likely be moving soon toward PCs.  Video and photo creative professionals will abandon Apple apps in favor of Adobe and Avid products – further solidifying Apples move away from a pro user-base.  It was fun while it lasted, Apple.


The retina display technology currently present on the iPhone and iPad will now be available on the MacBook Pro, making it the world’s highest resolution notebook display.  This new MacBook Pro line features a thinner, lighter design (25% thinner than previous models). The product launch put a strong emphasis on the MacBook Pro as a creative tool.  Photo and video editing on these new models should be pretty incredible:

  • Final Cut Pro is updated to 100% 1080P video with pixel-perfect width.  Built in HDMI port and USB 3.
  • Aperture’s UI is updated and offer 4X the resolution.
  • Third party development for this resolution is available, and Adboe is working on an update to Photoshop.

These new MacBookPros get 2.7GHz quad-core i7 processors and up to 16GB of RAM.  Comes standard with 768 GB of internal FLASH storage.  It appears that the 17″ MBP will no longer be made however – likely to be the lament of some pro users.
WWDC photo from Engadget

MacBook Air also gets an upgrade with USB 3.0, 512 GB of flash storage and faster graphics processing.

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  • Truecolours

    Good night Apple.

    • Danny Greer

      Now Apple is promising an update to the Mac Pro in 2013…but it may be too late for some. FCPX has already moved many FCP diehards to other NLEs. Ignoring pro user needs on hardware may push some pros even further away…and into PC territory.

      • Chris B

        Yes, Apple is driving away their most loyal customers, now that the iPad sell better than their Destop and Laptop business. I’m a communication designer and had three talks with different customers this week who value my advice concerning the use of Apple Hard- and Software. After the demise of the Final Cut Package, Shake and other Applications and the imputend “update” of the Mac Pro this week after years of arrogant silence I’m now going to abandon this platform and certainly will keep my clients up to date about Apple’s relationship and treatment of professional customers. While I’m writing this, I have another browser window open, trying to become friend with a Dell Precision T7600 Advanced System running Windows 7. The specs look up to date, Adobe offers Cross-Plattform updates of their creative suites and Autodesk Maya performance under Windows was always superior compared to the Mac Pro. Finally, I have to work on myself and let Windows 7 in my professional life – perhaps a dual-boot otion with Linux. I think that’s a more reliable road for professionals.

  • james

    I use a Mac Pro with a 30″ Apple Cinema Display which I absolutely love, but yea they haven’t been making the 30″ displays for some time now. The new iMac-style 27″ displays look to be the largest currently available, so yea I totally agree it looks like Apple’s pulling back from the Mac Pros. Pretty gutted really. 

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