According to these people, the consensus among sales executives for the Cupertino-based company was that the Mac Pro’s days — at least in its current form — were inevitably numbered. In particular, internal discussions were said to focus around the fact that sales of the high-end workstations to both consumers and enterprises have dropped off so considerably that the Mac Pro is no longer a particularly profitable operation for Apple.
I loved my 2008 Mac Pro. I loved its expandability, its sheer horsepower, and its ability to burn through any task I asked of it.
But Apple’s modern laptops can have SSDs that significantly outperform any number of 3.5” hard drives in a Mac Pro. Almost every computer Apple sells comes with 4 GB of RAM, and all except the MacBook Air can be upgraded to at least 8 GB very affordably. As Thunderbolt peripherals come out (assuming they do…), all Macs can now have fast disk enclosures, display adapters, and other throughput-hogging peripherals connected at full bus speed. Intel’s recent Core-series laptop and desktop CPUs are increasingly competitive with the hotter-running, much more expensive Xeon line in the Mac Pro. And every generation of Mac Pro has been more expensive than the last.
The Mac Pro was a tough sell to anyone but the most demanding users even in 2008. Today, even fewer buyers can justify it and it’s a worse deal relative to the rest of the Mac line. The Xeon E5 isn’t going to help either problem.
I bet we’ll see a minor Mac Pro update to use the E5 CPUs whenever they’re available (probably within the next few months). But it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the last Mac Pro. It had a great run, but the tower is over.