Apple takes media heat for Mac Pro desktop 'mess'



Apple was the focus of a mini firestorm on Tuesday revolving around the aging Mac Pro desktop line.

The most glaring criticism was aimed at tepid adjustments Apple made to the Mac Pro line this week -- the first time any change has happened in years.

Earlier this week, the Cupertino, California-based tech giant reshuffled its Mac Pro lineup, bringing down the price of Mac Pro configurations combining them with faster chips.

But there's nothing new about what Apple did. "The two available Mac Pro configurations aren’t new, they’re just newly priced," MacWorld pointed out. 

Apple has yet to respond to a request for comment from Fox News. 

The entry-level $2,999 Mac Pro model now has 6 Intel Xeon processor cores –versus 4 cores on the previous configuration – with dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics chips. And the $3,999 Mac Pro gets an 8-core Intel Xeon processor with dual AMD FirePro D700 graphics silicon.

These pricing tweaks come after a long dry spell. “Apple has left the Mac Pro largely unchanged since 2013, creating problems for professionals who want to use a Mac for performance-intensive tasks such as 3D rendering or high-resolution video editing,” Apple enthusiast site Apple Insider said on Tuesday.

Media dings Apple for neglect of product line as company promises big changes

Frustration was palpable on Tuesday, with stories such as “Apple admits the Mac Pro was a mess,” from The Verge, which referred to the current Mac Pro design as “trash can-shaped.”

"The lack of updates on the Mac Pro made it obvious that this product was a flop," said MacWorld, referring to the current Mac Pro state of affairs. 

Apple marketing VP Phil Schiller reportedly said that the Mac Pro had heat (aka “thermal”) issues that “restricted” a user’s ability to upgrade and that Apple is “sorry to disappoint customers.”

Most stories on Tuesday focused on a meeting Apple executives had with select news outlets on Monday. During the meeting, Apple said it is “completely rethinking” the Mac Pro model. And, as a result, the company acknowledged "that its flashy 2013 Mac Pro redesign was a mistake” -- as The Verge put it.  

“I honestly think Apple may have finally gotten the message,” Gordon Ung, Executive Editor at PC World, told Fox News in an email. “I like to read Mac Forums…and for years, it was nothing but flying the flag and falling on the sword. These days though, even hardcore Mac addicts are saying Apple has forsaken us.”

Apple apology

But Apple's statement about the rethink of the Mac Pro may only frustrate users because the overhaul won’t happen this year, according to Schiller.

So, to assuage any perceived user frustration, Apple, in so many words, is apologizing. “The mea culpa is clear,” said 9to5Mac.

“The very fact that Apple felt compelled to hold [Monday's] meeting in the first place is evidence of just how much it thinks it screwed-up here,” added 9to5Mac. “The company that has always taken the view that ‘people don’t know what they want until you show it to them’ has clearly had to face the fact that, in the pro market at least, that’s not the case.”

“Apple’s disclosures today are very encouraging but let’s see some actual products first,” PC World’s Ung said.