Apple’s latest Mac Pro, designed for professionals with intensive computing needs, is facing resistance from the very professionals it targets. The main reason behind their disinterest is the fact that Apple’s other computers, particularly the MacBook, have become exceptionally powerful and capable.
During the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple presented the new Mac Pro as the ultimate machine for power users engaged in activities like audio engineering, color grading, video transcoding, code compiling, 3D rendering, and analyzing large datasets. However, the specific professionals Apple aims to cater to with the Mac Pro remain somewhat unclear, even after testing the machine and speaking to the intended audience. This confusion arises because Apple also introduced the M2 Ultra Mac Studio on the same day, offering similar specifications in a smaller form factor but at a significantly lower price.
When professionals engaged in tasks such as editing, animation, visual effects, and mobile app development were approached, they expressed little interest in purchasing the Mac Pro. The MacBook Pro, powered by Apple’s M1 Max chip, has proven to be exceptionally capable, handling heavy workloads with ease. Professionals were pleasantly surprised by the performance and found it difficult to justify investing in the more expensive and less portable Mac Pro when their current laptops met their needs effectively.
The Mac Pro’s lack of modularity compared to its predecessor, the 2019 model, was another concern raised by professionals. The newer model has limited options for customization and upgrading, with only two processor choices and a maximum memory capacity of 192GB. Furthermore, the Mac Studio, with its similar performance at a lower cost and compact design, has added to the confusion surrounding the Mac Pro.
The Mac Pro’s expansion slots, although offering some potential for modularity, received mixed reviews. Professionals felt that the high starting price of the Mac Pro made the slots less appealing, especially considering that GPUs for desktop use are not supported. Most PCIe cards can now be used with Thunderbolt through external enclosures, reducing the need for the Mac Pro’s expansion slots. The general sentiment was that the Mac Pro’s additional slots were not compelling enough to justify the price difference.
Professionals in various fields expressed uncertainty about the target audience and use cases for the Mac Pro. While some speculated that architects, machine learning tasks, 3D rendering, and DevOps might benefit from the machine, there was no clear consensus. VFX professionals, who were initially thought to be potential beneficiaries, showed little interest in the Mac Pro, as they predominantly rely on Windows and Linux systems that offer better value, compatibility with Nvidia GPUs, and regular hardware upgrades.
Trust in Apple as a reliable brand for enterprise use was another concern among professionals. Apple’s history, including its handling of Final Cut Pro, has created skepticism and doubt regarding its commitment to the professional market. Some professionals questioned whether Apple truly understands the needs and demands of professional users, raising doubts about the company’s long-term reliability and focus.
Overall, professionals expressed a lack of enthusiasm for the Mac Pro, with many considering it unnecessary given the exceptional performance and affordability of Apple’s other computers. The confusion surrounding the target audience, lack of modularity, and trust issues with Apple’s commitment to professionals were the primary factors contributing to their disinterest. Only a few professionals showed genuine interest in the Mac Pro, while the majority felt that their current devices, particularly the MacBook Pro, fulfilled their requirements effectively.