Schiller also confirmed Apple will update the iMac: "We have big plans for the iMac", he said.
In short, Apple did something it has never done before - assemble a panel of reporters for an on-the-record talk in which it acknowledged design errors and missteps with the current Mac Pro, pre-announced a new Mac Pro accompanied by a new pro display that won't ship this year, and admitted that it needs to communicate better with its pro users. The update to the iMacs will be interesting as the amount of processing grunt and the display quality of the 5K iMac means Mac users looking for a high-end experience have probably moved on from the Mac Pro. It turns out those GPUs in the 2013 Mac Pro weren't powerful enough to handle some of the applications pro and creative users work with today.
According to John Gruber's account of the meeting, Apple insisted on the Mac Pro while acknowledging that very few of its buyers purchase the desktop.
The news, if you want it straight: Apple is acknowledging that the Mac Pro they introduced in 2013 has run aground on the cleverness of its own design, and they're re-thinking the entire machine.
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When Apple was circling the drain into bankruptcy around 1997, those core users stayed loyal and helped influence many other users. Apple said that it's working on "Apple-branded pro displays", as Gruber refers to them, that will go along with the Mac Pro.
Let's say you're Apple. "I don't think Apple anticipated that their customers would push back so hard on this and some of them are even moving to Windows-based platforms". Speaking to a small group of reporters including TechCrunch, Phil Schiller, Apple Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, apologized for what happened with the Mac Pro and stated Apple was "going to come out with something great to replace it". And it'll be a design that learns from the mistakes of the past. We have a team working hard on it right now, and we want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we're committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.
Depending on when the new machine and monitor actually appear, they may be good news for people working in new mediums. However, it has been more than three years since the last Mac Pro was released so the company may be anxious that some professional users feel abandoned.
While the Mac desktop line only accounts for about 20% of Apple's computer sales, it's still an important segment of the market for them.