At a recent shareholder meeting, Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed concerns the company was so focused on consumer products, pros have been largely ignored. Cook promised investors Apple’s future comes with plans to do more in the pro area, but Cook seems to think a professional’s path is through those same consumer products. Is he just offering lip service again?
“Don’t think something we’ve done or doing, but isn’t visible yet, is a signal that our priorities are elsewhere. You will see us do more in the pro area. The pro area is very important to us. The creative area is very important to us in particular.” – Tim Cook
Responding to the challenge the Mac Pro has gone a long time without an update, Cook went on to say updates were in the works. But many complain there is no hint or rumors that Apple is actually working to refresh the professional platform.
In fact, the iMac has gone over 500 days without a major hardware update, yet the 5K iMac is still performing better than the late 2013 Mac Pro platform. However, there are iMac rumors, and they hint at Apple planning to introduce a refresh this year, including AMD graphics chips and USB-C ports, replacing Thunderbolt.
“Expect us to do more and more where people will view it as a laptop replacement, but not a Mac replacement – the Mac does so much more.” – Cook
Apple’s CEO also told the meeting that while the iPad Pro is geared towards being a laptop replacement for some professionals who need a more mobile footprint, Cupertino doesn’t think it can, or should replace desktop Macs, because of the difference in workflows require the beefier system.
“To merge these worlds, you would lose the simplicity of one, and the power of the other,” Cook said.
Cook has to know, though, if investors are expressing concerns about the professional market being left to languish without critical hardware updates, there is even greater concern by those same pros who are spending their money elsewhere, namely on PCs and Adobe Premiere. And Apple should be.
The latest Mac Pro was released in December 2013, and ever since has been labeled failure by many, and a joke by some. Others held onto their aging pre-trash can Mac Pro platforms, and have done everything they can to update them by adding better graphics cards, faster RAM and SSD drives.
But there’s only so much you can do, and the fact the 5K iMac (which is getting long in the tooth itself) can encode video faster and more efficiently than the Mac Pro, something needs to be done in the professional market, and soon. Cook and his team either need to put up or shut up when it comes to the professional market. So far he’s been quite content to let it languish, and with nothing new on the horizon this year, it seems Apple will either drop the professional market altogether, or we’ll see a one more thing with which to dazzle us all and allay our fears.
Clearly it’s not going to be the former, because Cook is assuring pro updates are on the way. So maybe, we may just get a refresh this year, after all. But the question is, WHEN? I just hope if it ever does come out, it’s not another short sighted attempt like the ‘Trash Can’ Mac Pro ended up being. Pretty? Sure. But sometimes function really does have to beat form.