News: Mac Pro’s Days May Be Numbered

Posted on November 1, 2011

The Mac Pro has always been updated on a less-frequent basis, but it seems things have slowed even further recently. The workstation has been long overdue for an update, and has been held up over Intel’s Sandy Bridge chips. A report by AppleInsider is stating that Apple may be looking to discontinue the line entirely, due to slowing sales, and new options that make a massive tower not necessary for expansion.

Mac Pro: 2006-?Due to the flexibility of Thunderbolt, even a MacBook Air could become as expandable as a Mac Pro, while many of the other Mac models offer fast enough processors (Intel Core i7s) to satisfy most power users. It seems Apple has been mulling this over for awhile:

Although the Mac maker has reportedly developed a revision to the existing Mac Pro that may or may not see the light of day, people familiar with the matter said management as far back as May of 2011 were in limbo over whether to pour any additional resources into the product line.

According to these people, the consensus among sales executives for the Cupertino-based company was that the Mac Pro’s days — at least in its current form — were inevitably numbered. In particular, internal discussions were said to focus around the fact that sales of the high-end workstations to both consumers and enterprises have dropped off so considerably that the Mac Pro is no longer a particularly profitable operation for Apple.

Another point reportedly raised during the discussions was that the advent of Apple’s multi-use, high-speed Thunderbolt technology will ultimately allow other, more popular members of the Mac product family to assume the vast majority of the roles that once required the Mac Pro’s and flexibility and architecture.

As it stands, notebooks currently make up a 74 percent share of the Apple’s computer sales, according to sales figures and comments made by chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer in the company’s latest quarterly earnings conference call this month.

Power users may be upset over the news, but it makes some sense…even checking around the offices, many of the big Apple towers aren’t entirely filled with RAM, drives, or PCI cards…

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