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TIMO ZIMMERMANN

balancing software engineering & infosec

WWDC 2019 – Mac Pro / Pro Display XDR

posted on Wednesday 12th of June 2019 in

You often hear people complaining that Apple is ignoring the professional market. The iMac Pro is an amazing machine and I did not regret getting one for a single day. But this obviously was not enough for the loud, orange crowd. You need to be able to upgrade your system, you need x, y and z. Guess what – you can now get exactly this.

But, since we are talking about people on the Internet, everything is still bad. Too expensive. Not what they expected. The squeaky noises continue in an corner no one really cares about anymore. I hate to break it to you – the Mac Pro and Pro display are most likely not for you.

The Mac Pro in its smaller configurations is actually pretty reasonably priced considering the expandability. „But I can build the same hardware for $2000 less than what Apple is charging me“ I hear you say. Sure, if you ignore literally half of the keynote and half of the things that were announced and the options the system design provides. Then you can indeed get a CPU, memory and GPU for less. You can get the iMac Pro for less with a free 5k screen.

„But the Pro display is way too expensive“ I hear you say. Sure, if you compare it to consumer grade hardware you find on Amazon you are right. If you compare it to hardware in the same segment the display is positioned in it is more than reasonably priced.

You might want to joke about the display stand. I have to admit it feels like poor marketing, but is fully aligned with Apples usual pricing strategy. Just offer a discount if you do not buy the stand and no one would have ever talked about it. But most people actually buying a display in this category have desk or wall mounts in place, I would not be surprised if for every 10 displays only one stand is sold.

The Mac Pro and Pro display target a very specific customer group. Just because they have „Pro“ in the name and you consider yourself a professional does not make you the target audience for those two pieces of hardware. The moment you need – notice the „need“, not „believe to need“ or „want“ – a system like this and it actually makes a difference for your work you are most likely charging your clients enough that after one or two jobs the system is paid for and you still have enough left to get a pizza.

The Mac Pro and Pro display are like an Bugatti Chiron – looks amazing, I would enjoy taking one for a drive, but there is no scenario in which I would ever need one.

I already hear the squeaky noises bringing up some C code base you can build on 28 cores and are done compiling in 15 instead of 20 minutes explaining that they are surely the target audience for this…