Posted by: Chris Barylick
Date: Friday, May 25th, 2012, 05:00
Category: Hardware, Mac Pro, News
Apple’s Mac Pro line really hasn’t been updated in a while.
Which is growing disconcerting to some users.
Per AppleInsider, a group of users has begun a “We Want a New Macpro” group page on the social networking site had garnered over 4,000 likes as of late Thursday and a number of comments from group members calling for either a Mac Pro update or concrete information from Apple about its plans for the high-end machine.
According to the page, the petition was started by Lou Borella, a self-described “professional editor and graphic animator” in the New York City area, earlier in May.
On May 9, Borella posted an open letter to Apple asking for “a little clarity” about the Mac Pro.
“Its been neglected for far too long. We realize all the success of the iPad and iPhone and we’re really happy with our new toys,” he wrote. “But unfortunately many of us need to make decisions on hardware for professional uses that allow us to make a living.”
The letter went on to say that professional software applications, such as Adobe Creative Suite 6, AVID, Pro Tools and Smoke, require “the most powerful hardware available.” In addition, creative professionals need configurable systems for their business.
“The iMac is not the answer for these situations,” he said.
Borella is seeking for a “timeframe” for a new Mac Pro update or official confirmation as to whether the line is “dead.”
“It’s not too much to ask. We cannot wait any longer and it’s really not fair to string us along like this,” Borella concluded, also signing the letter on behalf of the “Creative Community.”
According to an informal poll posted to the page last week, 267 people are willing to wait until “shortly after” the Worldwide Developers Conference in mid-June, while 47 people said they would wait until the end of this year. 143 respondents said they would wait until the Mac Pro was “officially discontinued” before taking the next step.
A second poll found that 197 people are willing to wait because their “current computer still works fine.” 131 others said they would build a “Hackintosh,” a custom-built computer running an unauthorized copy of OS X. Finally, 47 people said they would switch back to Microsoft Windows.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on both the petition and its plans for the Mac Pro.
Apple’s neglect of the Mac Pro was especially felt last year as all of the other Mac models received upgrades adding Thunderbolt and Sandy Bridge processors. Some have even suggested that Thunderbolt is Apple’s alternative to high-end workstations.
The Mac Pro’s important to Apple’s bottom line has diminished as the company’s profits have increasingly skewed toward mobile devices and the iPhone has come to account for the bulk of its revenue. Apple sold 1.2 million desktops in the second quarter of fiscal 2012, compared to 2.82 million notebooks during the period. Mac revenue for the quarter amounted to US$5.1 billion, much less than the US$22.7 billion in revenue from the iPhone and related products.
Though Apple has in the past been known as a niche hardware and software maker catering to creative professionals, the company has shown a willingness to adapt to better serve its mainstream customers. For instance, it announced plans to discontinue its Xserve server in 2010. Though the company redirected customers to its Mac Pro as a Mac-based server alternative, it has curiously not updated the Mac Pro since July 2010.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.