Apple Mulling Preview of New Modular Mac Pro at WWDC in June

Apple is considering previewing its upcoming redesigned Mac Pro at its Worldwide Developers Conference this June, according to a new report by Bloomberg today.

Modular Mac Pro concept from Curved.de

Apple has said it is working on a high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro for its pro user base that will be easily upgradable and will feature components for the most system intensive tasks.

According to sources who spoke to well-connected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, Apple has "internally weighed previewing a new version of the high-end Mac Pro" at this year's WWDC, although no firm decision appears to have been made.

According to executives Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller, Apple is committed to making the Mac Pro the highest-end desktop system able to accommodate VR and high-end cinema production. Apple has also put together a "Pro Workflow Team" to tailor the Mac Pro and other Apple products to its professional users.

The modular workstation is expected to ship alongside an upcoming Apple-branded pro display, which rumors suggest will be 31.6 inches with a 6K resolution and have "outstanding picture quality" enabled through a new Mini LED-like backlighting design.

We still have no word on when in 2019 the Mac Pro is coming, but Apple did promise a 2019 launch date in early 2018. If it's anything like the last Mac Pro in 2013, we should indeed get further information at WWDC, which Apple is planning to hold from June 3 to June 7 in San Jose, California, based on permit filings uncovered by MacRumors.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Don't Buy)

This article, "Apple Mulling Preview of New Modular Mac Pro at WWDC in June" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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16-Inch MacBook Pro, 6K Apple Display, AirPower, AirPods 2 and More Predicted for 2019 [Video]

Last night, we saw the release of a extensive research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who laid out his timeline for product releases from Apple in the coming year. MacRumors videographer Dan Barbera recaps Kuo's predictions in this video which covers an extensive range of products including an all new 16" MacBook Pro, 6K Apple Display and much more.


Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Kuo is well regarded in the rumor community due to a very good track record at predicting Apple's products. Kuo gathers intelligence from his contacts in Apple's Asian supply chain, translating the information he gleans into research notes for clients.

Our Coverage

We've updated our Upcoming Apple Products Guide based on this new information.


This article, "16-Inch MacBook Pro, 6K Apple Display, AirPower, AirPods 2 and More Predicted for 2019 [Video]" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Said to Release 31.6-Inch 6K Display With Mini LED-Like Backlight Design in 2019

Apple will release a 31.6-inch 6K display with a Mini LED-like backlight design in 2019, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who detailed his expectations for Apple's 2019 roadmap in a research note obtained by MacRumors.



Apple left the display market back in 2016 with the discontinuation of the outdated Thunderbolt Display. Apple did, however, say they were working on a new screen alongside the new Mac Pro. Apple's Phil Schiller said in 2017:
With regards to the Mac Pro, we are in the process of what we call "completely rethinking the Mac Pro." We’re working on it. 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.

As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won’t see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it’s really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that’ll take longer than this year to do.
Kuo describes the new monitor as a "6k3k" display.

Related Roundups: Mac Pro, Apple Displays
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Don't Buy)

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2013 Mac Pro Launch Was ‘Postponed’ Due Partly to Shortage of ‘Made in USA’ Screws

The New York Times today published a story explaining why Apple is unlikely to manufacture more of its products in the United States.


The report reveals an interesting anecdote about the latest Mac Pro. In late 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook touted that the computer would be "Made in the USA," but sales were supposedly postponed by months in part because Apple could not secure enough custom screws for the computer from U.S.-based suppliers.

A machine shop in Texas tasked with the job could produce at most 1,000 screws a day, according to the report. By the time the computer was ready for mass production, this shortage gave Apple little choice but to order screws from China where factories can produce vast quantities of custom screws on short notice.

Apple's manufacturing partner eventually turned to another Texas supplier in Caldwell Manufacturing, which was hired to make 28,000 screws, the report adds. That company delivered 28,000 screws over 22 trips, with its owner Stephen Melo often "making the one-hour drive himself in his Lexus sedan."

The report goes on to describe how the United States struggles to compete with China's combination of scale, skills, infrastructure, and cost. In short, American workers are typically more expensive and unwilling to work around the clock.

In response to the report, an Apple spokesperson told The New York Times that Apple was "an engine of economic growth in the United States" that spent $60 billion last year with 9,000 American suppliers, helping to support 450,000 jobs.

Apple has promised to release a new Mac Pro in 2019, but it's unclear where it will be manufactured.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Don't Buy)

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What to Expect From Apple in 2019: New iPhones, Modular Mac Pro, iPad mini 5, Updated AirPods and More

2019 promises to be a major year for Apple, with a number of exciting products on the horizon. Apple's promised modular Mac Pro for its professional user base is expected to come out in 2019, and there's a new TV service under development that's going to come out during the first half of the year.

Apple is working on a new iPad mini, a new lower-cost HomePod, over-the-ear headphones to go along with revamped AirPods, and, as always, there are new iPhones coming in 2019.


Below, we've rounded up all of the products we're expecting to see from Apple in 2019 based on both current rumors that we've heard so far and past release information.

AirPower


Apple announced the AirPower, designed to charge the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods all at once, in September 2017. At the time the AirPower debuted, Apple said it would launch sometime in 2018. Since then, we've heard little about the device, and no sign of it has materialized.

In fact, Apple has scrubbed most of the mentions of the AirPower from its website, but because the device was mentioned in the user guides for the latest iPhones, it appears it hasn't been scrapped and is still in development, with Apple perhaps aiming to launch it in 2019.


So what's the reason for the delay? Rumors suggest Apple was overly ambitious with the AirPower and has been having trouble with overheating, multi-device charging circuitry, and software bugs, all of which has led to a pushed back launch date.

We don't know when the AirPower might be coming, but it doesn't look like the product has been abandoned just yet, and it's possible we'll be hearing an update in the near future.

New iPhones


Apple is going to continue with its three iPhone lineup in 2019, offering three iPhones that will be similar in size and design to the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.

It sounds like Apple will continue to use an LCD/OLED split for the displays, and all of the iPhones are likely to feature A13 chips from Apple supplier TSMC. Chip upgrades typically bring improved performance and efficiency, and the A13 will be no different.


At least some of the iPhones expected in 2019 could use a triple-lens rear-facing camera setup for improved images, and a revamped TrueDepth camera system with a smaller notch is a possibility.

Apple Pencil support could finally come to the iPhone in 2019, and we've heard some mixed rumors suggesting the entire 2019 iPhone lineup will do away with 3D Touch, with all iPhones instead adopting the Haptic Touch feature of the XR.

We'll hear a lot more about the 2019 iPhones as the year progresses, but it's sounding like the upcoming devices will have some exciting improvements to look forward to.

For more on the 2019 iPhone lineup, make sure to check out our 2019 iPhone roundup.

Apple TV


There's no new set-top box coming in 2019 that we know of, but Apple is said to be "considering" a smaller Apple TV device that would be an Apple TV dongle similar to the Amazon Fire Stick or the Google Chromecast.

Such a device would make the Apple TV interface and any Apple content available at a lower price point. Right now, Apple charges $179 for the Apple TV 4K and $149 for the non 4K version.

Amazon's Fire Stick

Competing dongle-style devices from Amazon and Google are priced at $25 to $35, so an entry-level Apple TV dongle could allow Apple to significantly expand its audience and it could provide more people with access to Apple's rumored streaming TV service.

For more info on the Apple TV, make sure to check out our Apple TV roundup.

Streaming TV Service


Apple has more than a dozen original television shows and movies in development after starting to work on creating original TV content in earnest in 2017 and 2018.

Many of the TV shows Apple is working on feature high-profile directors, producers, and actors, with rumors suggesting the first TV shows will debut in 2019 as part of an upcoming TV streaming service.

Apple could bundle its service with an Apple Music subscription and an upcoming digital magazine and news subscription, offering all-in-one access to paid news, magazines, original TV shows, movies, and Apple Music content, but standalone subscriptions are also likely to be available.

Apple is said to be planning to launch the TV service in more than 100 countries in 2019, starting with the United States in early 2019 and then expanding to additional locations.

At least some of Apple's original television content could be made available for free through the TV app, and Apple's own original offerings may be offered alongside subscription channels from companies like HBO and Starz.

For more info on Apple's streaming TV plans, including a list of all of the TV shows Apple is working on, make sure to check out the original content section of our Apple TV roundup.

Audio Products


AirPods


We expected to get an AirPods update with "Hey Siri" hands-free Siri support and a new wireless charging case, but that case was meant to come out alongside the AirPower, and with no AirPower, we saw no AirPods update in 2018.

For that reason, if the AirPower comes out in 2019, we could get the aforementioned wireless charging case and the "Hey Siri" update for the AirPods at some point during the year.


With a "Hey Siri" feature, AirPods users will be able to activate Siri without needing to double tap on the AirPods with a finger.

While second-generation AirPods with these minor updates could come in 2019, Apple is also said to be working on a set of third-generation AirPods with a new design, improved water resistance, better Bluetooth signal, and noise cancellation features.

There's been some disagreement on when these higher-end AirPods might come out. Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says not to expect redesigned, upgraded AirPods until 2020, while Bloomberg has said some of these features could come in 2019.

Given the delay of the AirPower, it's not quite clear what Apple's plans are, and whether we're still getting distinct second-generation and third-generation AirPods with different features. We can count on seeing some kind of AirPods upgrade in 2019, but whether it's a minor update or a more significant redesign remains to be seen.

For more on the AirPods, check out our AirPods roundup.

HomePod


Rumors have suggested the HomePod isn't selling well due to its high price tag, which has prompted Apple to start development on a lower-cost version that would be more affordable.


Little has been said about a second-generation HomePod, but Bloomberg has said a new model being developed and could come as early as 2019.

For more on the HomePod, check out our HomePod roundup.

Over-the-Ear Headphones


To accompany the AirPods and the HomePod, Apple is rumored to be developing a set of high-end over-ear headphones that will be Apple branded rather than Beats branded.

Apple's Beats Studio over-ear headphones

The headphones are said to be "as convenient as AirPods" but with superior sound quality, and active noise cancellation features could be included. Apple's new headphones are rumored to be coming in 2019, so we could see them alongside a HomePod or AirPods refresh at some point during the year.

Macs


Mac Pro


Though the Mac Pro hasn't been updated since 2013, Apple is working on an entirely revamped high-end high-throughput modular version that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base.

Apple announced the revamp in 2017, but said that it wouldn't be finished until 2019. Apple is committed to making the upcoming Mac Pro the highest-end Apple desktop system available, allowing it to accommodate VR and high-end cinema production.

Modular Mac Pro concept from Curved.de

A "Pro Workflow Team" has been established to tailor the new Mac Pro and other Apple products to the professional user base.

Apple plans to design the new Mac Pro to allow for future upgrades and higher-end hardware. According to Apple execs, the current Mac Pro restricted the company's ability to upgrade it because it was designed for dual GPUs rather than larger single GPUs.

The Mac Pro will be accompanied by an Apple-branded pro display, which is likely to be at least 27 inches with a 5K resolution. We don't know much about the display or specific details on the new Mac Pro, but we will hear more in 2019.

For more on the Mac Pro, make sure to check out our Mac Pro roundup.

iMac and iMac Pro


Neither the iMac nor the iMac Pro got updated in 2018, which means 2019 updates could happen. We've heard few rumors on what to expect in updated iMac and iMac Pro machines, but faster processors are always a guarantee and there's been some vague detail on display improvements.


Check out our iMac and iMac Pro roundups for more details on Apple's desktop machines and upcoming rumors.

MacBook


The MacBook didn't get a 2018 update, and now that it's so similar in design and specs to the MacBook Air, which now has a Retina Display and a slimmer body, it's not clear what Apple has planned for the MacBook.

It could get a 2019 update with new processors and there has been some speculation that the MacBook will be the first of Apple's Macs to get an Apple-designed ARM processor in the future, but we'll have to wait and see.

Right now, the MacBook is slower and more expensive than the MacBook Air, but it still has the benefit of being Apple's most compact machine.

Check out our MacBook roundup for more details on the MacBook.

Other Macs


There are no rumors, but we could see refreshed and upgraded MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models in 2019, and perhaps a new Mac mini if Apple is going to adopt a more regular upgrade cycle for that machine.

iPads


iPad Pro models were just updated in October so there are no real rumors on features that might come to a refreshed version in 2018 if a refresh is planned, but rumors have suggested Apple's next-generation version of iOS, iOS 13, will include some iPad-centric features that could improve the overall iPad experience not just on the iPad Pro, but on all iPads.

As for other iPads, Apple is said to be working on a refreshed version of the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which has gone so long without a refresh that before a few recent rumors, we were sure it had been abandoned.


An alleged iPad mini 5 case leak suggests the upcoming tablet could perhaps feature some iPad Pro-style elements, like four speakers, a Smart Connector, Apple Pencil support, and more, while rumors have said we can expect an improved processor and a lower-cost display, which indicates a lower overall price tag.


Apple is supposedly planning to boost flagging iPad sales with the smaller model, and the company is also rumored to be working on an upgraded version of the low-cost 9.7-inch iPad. The new affordable replacement could be somewhat bigger in size -- 10 inches instead of 9.7-inches -- and a redesign with slimmer bezels and perhaps Face ID is a possibility.

For more on the iPads, make sure to check out our iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad mini roundups.

Apple Watch


There are no rumors about a refreshed Apple Watch just yet, but because the Apple Watch is updated on a yearly basis right alongside the iPhone, we can expect an Apple Watch Series 5 in 2019.

What might be included in the update is anyone's guess at this point, but there have been rumors of additional health sensors for years, and Apple has proven its willingness to get involved with the FDA with the launch of the ECG feature in the Apple Watch Series 4.


For that reason, more advanced health tracking features could be coming, but we'll need to wait until later in the year to get an idea of what's coming.

To keep up with Apple Watch rumors in 2019, check out our Apple Watch roundup.

Software


Each year in June, Apple debuts new versions of iOS, watchOS, macOS, and tvOS, so we're expected to see new software again this year. We've already heard a bit of detail on what we can expect from iOS 13 and macOS 10.15.

iOS 13


Apple last year pushed several features planned for iOS 12 to iOS 13 in order to focus on under-the-hood performance improvements and bug fixes, so we can expect features rumored for iOS 12 to show up in iOS 13.

The iOS 13 update is said to include several new features aimed at iPad owners, such as a revamped Files app, in-app tabs for opening multiple windows of the same app, support for using the same app side-by-side in Split View multitasking mode, Apple Pencil improvements, and new features for business users.

Features pushed back from iOS 12 include a revamped Home screen app grid for the iPhone and iPad, expanded photo management features, and more.

macOS 10.15


We don't know a lot about what to expect in the next-generation version of macOS, but we do know that it will feature an extension of Apple's project to bring iOS apps to the Mac.

With macOS Mojave, Apple ported several iOS apps like Home, Stocks, Apple News, and Voice Memos over to the Mac, and in macOS 10.15, this functionality will be extended to third-party developers, making it easier for developers to create apps that are functional on both macOS and iOS.

This is an initiative that will include tweaks to both macOS 10.15 and iOS 13 to further introduce common frameworks between the two operating systems. Expect to see more iOS-style apps made available for the Mac following the launch of macOS 10.15.

What's Not Likely in 2019


iPhone SE


iPhone users who prefer smaller devices have been hoping for an updated version of the 4-inch iPhone SE, but it doesn't look like Appleis working on a new 4-inch iPhone.

In 2018, there were some leaks and hints of a 4-inch iPhone under development, but a lot of this information was a combination of wishful thinking and leaked iPhone XR details.


We've heard no further word of a 4-inch iPhone, and with Apple's iPhone lineup now featuring devices ranging in starting price from $449 (iPhone 7) to $1099 (iPhone XS Max), there's not a lot of room for a smaller iPhone.

The 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are currently the smallest iPhones that Apple offers for sale, and the original iPhone SE has been discontinued all together.

AR Smart Glasses


We've heard multiple rumors suggesting Apple is prototyping augmented reality smart glasses and virtual reality headsets, but while these products are in development, a release is not expected just yet.

According rumors, Apple is working on an augmented reality headset with a dedicated display, built-in processor, and a new "rOS" operating system based on iOS, with the "r" standing for reality. Apple is said to be aiming to finish work on an augmented reality headset by 2019 ahead of a launch it hopes will come in 2020.

For more on Apple's AR/VR work, check out our AR/VR roundup.

Wrap Up


There are some exciting products in the works from Apple in 2019, and we'll certainly see some unexpected surprises as well, as we do every year. Make sure to follow MacRumors.com and the MacRumors roundups over the course of 2019 to keep up with all of the rumors about the upcoming products that Apple has in development.


This article, "What to Expect From Apple in 2019: New iPhones, Modular Mac Pro, iPad mini 5, Updated AirPods and More" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple’s Newest Mac Pro Turns Five Years Old Today

Today marks the fifth anniversary of Apple's last update to the Mac Pro, as reflected in the MacRumors Buyer's Guide.

Mac Pro from 2013 to present

Apple released the second-generation Mac Pro on December 19, 2013, starting at $2,999, and it remains that price today after some reshuffling of configurations despite having over five year old hardware, including up to a 12-core Intel Xeon E5 processor, 64GB of ECC RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, and dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs.

Last year, during a roundtable discussion about the Mac Pro with John Gruber and a few other reporters, Apple's software engineering chief Craig Federighi admitted that the current Mac Pro's so-called "trash can" design has a limited thermal capacity that doesn't always meet the needs of the most demanding workflows:
I think we designed ourselves into a bit of a thermal corner, if you will. We designed a system with the kind of GPUs that at the time we thought we needed, and that we thought we could well serve with a two GPU architecture. That that was the thermal limit we needed, or the thermal capacity we needed. But workloads didn’t materialize to fit that as broadly as we hoped.

Being able to put larger single GPUs required a different system architecture and more thermal capacity than that system was designed to accommodate. So it became fairly difficult to adjust. At the same time, so many of our customers were moving to iMac that we saw a path to address many, many more of those that were finding themselves limited by a Mac Pro through next generation iMac. And really put a lot of our energy behind that.
Fortunately, the long wait of 1,826 days and counting for an all-new Mac Pro should finally be over by the end of next year.

Last year, at the same Mac Pro roundtable discussion, Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller revealed that the company is "completely rethinking the Mac Pro," with work underway on a new version that will be Apple's "highest-end, high-throughput desktop system" designed for its "demanding pro customers."

Schiller said the new Mac Pro will be a "modular" system and accompanied by a new Thunderbolt Display successor:
As part of doing a new Mac Pro — it is, by definition, a modular system — we will be doing a pro display as well. Now you won't see any of those products this year; we’re in the process of that. We think it's really important to create something great for our pro customers who want a Mac Pro modular system, and that'll take longer than this year to do.
Apple briefly reiterated its plans in a press release about the iMac Pro in December 2017:
In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest performance, high-throughput system in a modular, upgradeable design, as well as a new high-end pro display.
It isn't often that Apple pre-announces new products in its pipeline, but there were growing concerns the company was no longer focused on professional users, to the point of Schiller apologizing to and reassuring customers:
If we've had a pause in upgrades and updates, we're sorry for that — what happened with the Mac Pro — and we're going to come out with something great to replace it.
We're committed to the Mac, we've got great talent on the Mac, both hardware and software, we've got great products planned for the future, and as far as our horizon line can see, the Mac is a core component of the things Apple delivers, including to our pro customers.
In April, Apple confirmed that the new Mac Pro will be released in 2019, but it didn't say exactly when in the year.

Mac Pro from 2006 to 2012

There is some debate as to how "modular" the new Mac Pro will truly be, but many are hopeful that Apple will return to a truly upgradeable tower design like 2006 to 2012 models of the Mac Pro, which can be opened with a lever on the back. Others will be quick to dismiss that idea as wishful thinking.

Apple has yet to preview the design, features, tech specs, or pricing of the new Mac Pro, details that will very likely be held until WWDC 2019 in June or another Apple event at some point next year, so we'll have to keep waiting for now.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Don't Buy)

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Intel Unveils Next-Generation ‘Sunny Cove’ Processors and Graphics Appropriate for 2019 Macs

Intel today introduced Sunny Cove, its next-generation processor microarchitecture designed to increase performance and power efficiency.


Sunny Cove microarchitecture, built on a 10nm process, will be the basis for Intel's next-generation Core and Xeon processors later next year according to the company, making them appropriate for potential 2019 models of the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, and Mac mini.

Intel also unveiled new Gen11 integrated graphics with up to double the performance of its Gen9 graphics paired with Skylake-based processors. Gen11 graphics will support 4K video streams and 8K content creation in constrained power situations and feature Intel's Adaptive Sync technology for smoother gaming.

Intel did not provide a comparison of Gen11 and Gen10 graphics, paired with Cannon Lake-based processors.

For those who are ever-confused by Intel's roadmap, it is believed that Sunny Cove processors paired with Gen11 graphics will be called Ice Lake, which succeeds Coffee Lake, Whiskey Lake, Amber Lake, and Cannon Lake.

Intel reaffirmed its plan to introduce a discrete graphics processor by 2020, providing Apple with another option beyond its current provider AMD and former provider Nvidia for future MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro models.

Intel has essentially been iterating on its Skylake microarchitecture since 2015, so it is refreshing that the chipmaker is finally moving on to something new. But with rumors of Macs switching to custom ARM-based processors as early as 2020, it might not be long after Sunny Cove that Apple moves on too.

Related Roundups: iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, iMac Pro

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Apple’s Revamped Mac Pro to Launch in 2019

Apple's redesigned, modular Mac Pro aimed at professionals is set to launch in 2019, according to an update Apple recently provided to TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, who took a trip to the company's Cupertino campus.

The team responsible for revamping Apple's pro product efforts was there to provide updated details both on the Mac Pro and how Apple is shaping it to meet the needs of real professional users.

Apple's current Mac Pro

Employees in the meeting included John Ternus, VP of Hardware Engineering, Tom Boger, Senior Director of Mac Hardware Marketing, Jud Coplan, Director of video Apps Product Marketing, and Xander Soren, Director of Music Apps Product Marketing.

Panzarino was told in no uncertain terms that the Mac Pro will not be arriving before 2019 as the product is still in development. From Tom Boger:
"We want to be transparent and communicate openly with our pro community so we want them to know that the Mac Pro is a 2019 product. It's not something for this year." In addition to transparency for pro customers on an individual basis, there's also a larger fiscal reasoning behind it.
Apple wants customers to know that the Mac Pro isn't coming in 2018 so those who are planning to make a purchase decision for a pro machine like the iMac Pro won't hold off in the hopes of a Mac Pro materializing later in the year.

In the time since Apple announced major changes for the next-generation Mac Pro last year, it has put together a "Pro Workflow Team" led by John Ternus, where employees who focus on pro-level products all work together.

Apple has also been hiring award-winning artists and technicians in an effort to understand the real workflows that creative professionals use to better tailor its products to them. The individuals shoot real projects and then use Apple's hardware and software to find "sticking points that could cause frustration and friction" for pro users.

Apple's Pro Workflow Team finds and addresses the issues that come up, even down to tiny details like tweaking a graphics driver, and it's not just Apple's products that benefit - the company's employees are also working with third-party apps. From Tom Bogar, senior Mac marketing director:
"We've gone from just you know engineering Macs and software to actually engineering a workflow and really understanding from soup to nuts, every single stage of the process, where those bottlenecks are, where we can optimize that," says Bogar.
The Pro Workflow team, in addition to improving current Apple products, is also an essential part of Mac Pro development. Their work is "definitely influencing" what Apple's planning for, with Apple achieving a "much much much deeper understanding" of pro customers, their workflows, and their needs. This understanding is "really informing" the work Apple is doing on the Mac Pro," according to Bogar.

No details were provided on the shape of the Mac Pro or the internal components that it might include, but Apple is still planning on a modular machine, as announced last year, so plans have not changed. Apple back then said that it was "completely rethinking" the Mac Pro, and that it is "by definition" a modular system. Apple at the time also said a pro display was in development alongside the new machine.

A modular Mac Pro concept from Curved.de

Panzarino says we're not likely to hear any additional detail about the Mac Pro at WWDC in June, and that he expects Apple will keep quiet about the machine until next year.

Panzarino's full piece on Apple's efforts to tailor the Mac Pro and other pro-level products to meet professional needs, which goes into much greater detail, can be read over at TechCrunch.

Related Roundup: Mac Pro
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Caution)

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Apple Plans to Ditch Intel and Use Custom Mac Chips Starting in 2020

Apple is planning to transition from Intel chips to its own custom made Mac chips as early as 2020, reports Bloomberg.

Apple's initiative, reportedly code named "Kalamata," is part of an effort to make Macs, iPhones, and iPads work "more similarly and seamlessly together" according to unspecified sources that spoke to Bloomberg. Apple already designs its own A-series chips found in iPhones and iPads.


The Mac chip plans are said to be in the early stages of development and the transition from Intel chips to Apple chips could involve multiple steps, starting with the "Marzipan" initiative coming in iOS 12 and macOS 10.14 to allow developers to create a single app able to run on both iOS and macOS.

With its own chips, Apple would not be forced to wait on new Intel chips before being able to release updated Macs, and the company could integrate new features on a faster schedule.
The shift would also allow Cupertino, California-based Apple to more quickly bring new features to all of its products and differentiate them from the competition. Using its own main chips would make Apple the only major PC maker to use its own processors. Dell Technologies Inc., HP Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd., and Asustek Computer Inc. use Intel chips.

By using its own chips, Apple would be able to more tightly integrate new hardware and software, potentially resulting in systems with better battery life -- similar to iPads, which use Apple chips.
Apple has already begun using custom designed T1 and T2 chips in its MacBook Pro and iMac Pro machines, and the company is said to be planning to integrate additional custom co-processors in Macs coming later this year. The custom chips will also be used in the upcoming Mac Pro, which is in development.

The T1 chip, included in the MacBook Pro, powers the Touch Bar and authenticates Touch ID. The T2 chip, in the iMac Pro integrates several components including the system management controller, image signal processor, SSD controller, and a Secure Enclave with a hardware-based encryption engine.

Previous rumors have suggested Apple is interested in creating its own ARM-based core processor chips for its Mac lineup in order to reduce its dependence on Intel. Apple is also rumored to be pursuing development of its own modem chips to also reduce reliance on both Intel and Qualcomm.

A move away from Intel would have a major impact on Intel, with Apple providing approximately five percent of Intel's annual revenue. Intel stock has already dropped following the news.

Related Roundups: Mac Pro, MacBook Pro

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Apple Working on Trio of New Macs With Custom Co-Processors That Could Launch This Year

Apple is developing at at least three new Mac models integrated with custom co-processors, including updated notebooks and a new desktop, according to Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg News.


The report claims the new models could be released as early as this year, but it doesn't specify which ones they'll be. Of course, Apple's notebook lineup includes the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro, while its desktop lineup includes the iMac and iMac Pro, Mac Pro, and aging Mac mini.

In terms of notebooks, the MacBook and MacBook Pro are the most likely candidates for a refresh this year, as the MacBook Air has not received any meaningful updates since March 2015, nearly three years ago, and it seems like Apple is only keeping it around for its $999 price tag at this point.

MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models released in 2016 and later are already equipped with Apple's custom T1 chip that authenticates and secures Touch ID and Apple Pay respectively, and it's possible the notebook could be updated with a newer chip that offloads even more tasks from the main Intel processor.

MacBook models do not feature a custom co-processor, but unless Apple is planning to extend the Touch Bar to the 12-inch notebooks, it remains to be seen if there would be much necessity for a T-series chip.

There's also a single rumor from DigiTimes, which doesn't have the most reliable track record, claiming Apple will release a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook in the second half of this year. It's unclear if this model would be a potential MacBook Air replacement, or where else it would slot in Apple's notebook lineup.

Shifting to desktops, the iMac Pro is already equipped with Apple's custom T2 chip for enhanced security and integration. The co-processor integrates several previously separate components, including the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller.

The T2 chip has a Secure Enclave that makes the iMac Pro even more secure with new encrypted storage and secure boot capabilities. It's possible Apple could extend this co-processor to standard iMac models this year.

Apple has also confirmed it is working on an all-new modular Mac Pro, although it only revealed that its release date would come at some point after 2017. And the Mac mini has gone over 1,200 days without an update, according to the MacRumors Buyer's Guide, and the portable computer could sorely use a refresh.

Much of the Bloomberg News report is focused on Apple's shift towards in-house chip design, reducing its dependance on companies like Qualcomm and Imagination Tech, so further details about the new Macs are scant.


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