In March of this year, we asked the Pro Tools Community "What Will You Replace Your Apple Mac Pro Tools Computer With?"
We knew there was some dissatisfaction amongst Mac users wanting what they regard as a professional computer, but we didn't predict the response we got. Of those polled over 50% say they will switch from Mac to Windows or to a Hackintosh computer. These included 35% saying they are thinking of switching to Windows and around 20% who said they would consider the Hackintosh route.
Soon after that poll we reported that Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about Apple's commitment to the creative professional said to a shareholder meeting "You will see us do more in the pro area," and went on to say "The pro area is very important to us. The creative area is very important to us in particular."
Then in early April news broke that Apple had invited a select group of technology journalists to a meeting to discuss the future of the Mac Pro. John Gruber of Daring Fireball, one of a small number of journalists invited to a roundtable meeting with Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller at their corporate headquarters said this ...
Apple is currently hard at work on a “completely rethought” Mac Pro, with a modular design that can accommodate high-end CPUs and big honking hot-running GPUs, and which should make it easier for Apple to update with new components on a regular basis. They’re also working on Apple-branded pro displays to go with them.
These next-gen Mac Pros and pro displays “will not ship this year”. (I hope that means “next year”, but all Apple said was “not this year”.) In the meantime, Apple is today releasing meager speed-bump updates to the existing Mac Pros. The $2999 model goes from 4 Xeon CPU cores to 6, and from dual AMD G300 GPUs to dual G500 GPUs. The $3999 model goes from 6 CPU cores to 8, and from dual D500 GPUs to dual D800 GPUs. Nothing else is changing, including the ports. No USB-C, no Thunderbolt 3 (and so no support for the LG UltraFine 5K display).
Apple has “great” new iMacs in the pipeline, slated for release “this year”, including configurations specifically targeted at large segments of the pro market.
There were, of course, various responses ranging from delight to scepticism, so we thought we would poll the same community again to see if the announcement had made any difference.
According to our latest poll, the number of Mac users now considering a Windows computer has been slashed to around 8%. This is even before any concrete plans and specifications for the new Mac Pro modular 'Mackenstein' have been unveiled. This does not account for the 21% of those who said they would consider the Hackintosh route, but it should be encouraging for Apple that a significant number of creative professionals have been affected by the recent news.
Watch this space.