It is all but official: Apple will no longer carry its Intel-powered iMac Pro. The device is available for sale while supplies last, and only the base configuration at $5,000 is currently offered.
The phasing out of the desktop model comes ahead of what the Apple Maven expects will be a refresh in the Mac lineup, perhaps as early as this month. Could the Cupertino company be planning to release something better to replace the iMac Pro soon?
Mac lineup: narrowing gap
When the iMac Pro was unveiled, in 2017, Apple hailed it as “the most powerful Mac ever made”, one that would likely cater to graphic designers and gamers looking for performance and gorgeous images. The 18-core processor and 5K display were the highlighted features.
Since then, quite a bit has changed in Apple’s desktop portfolio. Most recently, Apple quietly refreshed the base iMac (i.e. not the Pro version), calling the device “by far the most powerful and capable iMac ever”. It came equipped with SSDs across the product line and Retina 5K display.
The gap in features between the iMac’s basic and Pro models has narrowed. At the other end of the spectrum, the iMac Pro faces internal competition from the heavily equipped Mac Pro, which sells for nearly the same price (although it does not come with a display). See feature comparison below.
When it comes to features and value proposition, the iMac Pro seems ever so squeezed between the 27-inch iMac and the Mac Pro. For this reason, Apple may have decided to simplify the portfolio and cut back on redundancies.
Something better coming?
It is highly likely that Apple will release new desktop models soon. Although no one outside the Cupertino office knows exactly what to expect, it is a near consensus that the new models will be more powerful (M1 chip and architecture) and feature a cleaner design (thinner bezels).
Could Apple have something special up its sleeve to replace the iMac Pro? One possibility is a dedicated model, such as a revamped Pro version. The more likely solution will be a faster iMac base device that will make Apple enthusiasts forget about the soon-to-be discontinued Pro model.
Time will tell what Apple does next. Keep checking in with the Apple Maven for more updates.
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