Texas Ranchers and Mac Pros (Thoughts on)

Posted by Mark Hedengren on

I’m hopeful Apple will release a new Mac Pro in January. That being said I am frustrated again that it has been over 3 years (and two generations of Intel Xeon CPUs) since they have done an upgrade.
            We rely on these computers to do our work. A faster computer means the work is done quickly which means they have more time to create. It is a mistake that Apple is neglecting the creative class that saw them through the 90s. Also it is a huge mistake in marketing. For the same reason the Ford F series of trucks benefits from actual Texas ranchers using their trucks to manage cattle. So every person who buys a Ford truck knows that his truck can do the really hard work even if they only use it for a weekend project at Lowes every six months.
            The same applies to Mac computers and indeed all Apple products. Apple has benefit tremendously over they years from highly visible creative people using their products. When the Coen brothers, George Lucas doing an interview and Mac computers being used in the background. This ethos was most directly applied during the “Think Different” ad campaign. Would Apple been able to claim “Think Different” if their main user were spreadsheet folk rather then designers, filmmakers and photographers. I think not.
            On of the main problems Apple has with keeping up redesigns of the Mac Pro with current Intel chips and ATI graphics cards is the case. Since the cylinder case requires so many custom boards it makes it difficult for suppliers such as ATI to justify design and printing new boards to fit in the case. What Apple has to do to convince ATI that they should build a graphics card just for them is say “hey we are going to sell 1,000,000 of these Mac Pros for sure It’s defiantly worth your while to spend a lot of money and work to make a graphics card just for us.” Of course the problem with this is that the Mac Pros high price point $3000-$10,000 and slow upgrade cycle makes selling this volume of computer difficult. All the custom parts also ads tremendously to the cost of the machine.
            I want to be clear. I’m a HUGE Apple fan. But I do hope they take some of their 200 billion dollars and start supporting the Mac Pro and creative professionals better with their products. Even if Apple lost money on the creative market the over effect on their brand would make up for the cost. 

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