Apple reveals Mac is nearing 100 million active users

by Lawrence Cooper April 5, 2017, 0:50
Apple reveals Mac is nearing 100 million active users

In an unprecedented move (as far as I can recall), Apple pre-announced new products it's working on: a new version of the Mac Pro, a high-resolution computer display, and some retooled iMacs with more powerful features.

Anyone holding out for Apple to innovate on the desktop will have to wait a little longer, but they can buy a faster Mac Pro in the short term.

In addition to the Mac Pro, Apple told Daring Fireball and a group of four other writers that it has a new iMac that will ship this year that is designed with pro users in mind.

Today, the company finally took a small step towards upgrading the current Mac Pro design, but it also acknowledged what we've all known for years - the trash can aesthetic of the 2013 Mac Pro make it a serious pain to work with.

There have been rumblings and dissatisfaction with the current state of Apple's "pro" lineup for a while now: the current Mac Pro is based on almost four year old hardware and hasn't been updated since its introduction in June of 2013.

Schiller told reporters that Apple now has almost 100 million Mac users.

During the meeting, Apple almost-but-not-quite flat-out apologised for the silence and complete lack of updates over the past three years, nearly calling the current Mac Pro a mistake, a miscalculation.

Apple will also be developing its own display to go alongside the new Mac Pro set to arrive next year.

"As part of doing a new Mac Pro - it is, by definition, a modular system - we will be doing a Pro display as well", Phil Schiller said during the conversation.

The bad news? You won't see a completely new model until next year.

Apple's all-in-one computers will get a "significant" update at some point later in 2017, including some new models which will be aimed specifically at pro users (presumably with even more power under the bonnet). The next model up, which previously featured a hexa-core Intel Xeon CPU, now features an octa-core (8-core) Xeon E5 CPU, 16 GB of RAM, and dual AMD D700 GPUs boasting 6 GB of VRAM apiece for $3,999. Interestingly, both will be targeted at pro users, albeit from different angles. But Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, said that the design had eventually ended up tying Apple's hands when it came to replace the machine. The company introduced that model in late 2013 - and hasn't updated it since. It's still around but Apple isn't ready to say anything about its future plans.

For $2999, the new low-end configuration gets the specs of the previous high-end configuration, which equates to a $1000 price drop.

But there were other curious aspects to this soft product announcement, especially the company's cagey reply when asked about the Mac Mini in the Mac lineup.

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