Apple’s Mac Pro has gone for several years without a considerable upgrade or update, but that changes this year. Finally, back in April 2017, Apple responded to the outcry for support of the Mac Pro in teasing that it is working on an ‘upgradeable’ and ‘modular’ Mac Pro 2018 model.
The firm then backed up its promise of a new Mac Pro with a reminder hidden within a press release for the iMac Pro sale date back in December 2017. So, we already know that a Mac Pro is actively under development and could release before the end of this year.
However, that knowledge alone raises only more questions, like what kind of shape or design will the Mac Pro embody given its modular nature? What exactly will be upgradeable about the next Mac Pro? Before we address those over the coming months, however, we need to hammer out the basics.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Apple’s first dedicated desktop since 2013
- When is it out? June 2018 at the earliest most likely
- What will it cost? Likely as much as – if not more than – current models
Mac Pro 2018 release date
While the Mac Pro may be the one Apple product we actually know with absolute certainty is slated for release in 2018, we have no idea of exactly when. So, we’ll have to speculate for now based on previous Mac Pro product launches and releases.
The current Mac Pro computer debuted at the June 2013 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), with a December 2013 final release date. Of course, many purchasers didn’t get their computers until April 2014 on account of backorders.
Before that, the original Mac Pro was revealed to the world during the August 2006 WWDC, getting into the public’s hands within the same month.
So, it’s safe to expect to see the next evolution of the Mac Pro at this year’s WWDC 2018 in June. When the product will be available for purchase after that is anyone’s guess, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple asked its fans to wait until later in the year.
If Apple misses the WWDC mark, the next likely time for the Mac Pro 2018 to appear would be in October or November, so as to make room for the inevitable September iPhone launch.
Mac Pro 2018 price
We have absolutely no Mac Pro 2018 pricing information from neither leaks nor Apple’s own remarks on the device. So, once again we’re left to speculate based on the pricing of previous Mac Pro models.
The current Mac Pro, largely unchanged since its 2013 release, calls for a whopping $2,999, £2,999 or AU$4,899 to start. The only other model available hikes the price up by $1,000, £900 and AU$1,600, respectively, for some beefy component upgrades.
Given how long its been since the previous update to the Mac Pro, it would be unwise for Apple to drive the asking price any higher.
However, if the new Mac Pro’s ‘modular, upgradeable’ nature turns out to be true, that could lead the firm to price the device accordingly, knowing that end users would no longer have to turn to it for upgrades.
Mac Pro 2018 specs
What will be inside the computer is, sadly, another unknown regarding the Mac Pro for 2018, save for a scant few details. For starters, we know that Apple is focused on issuing a Mac Pro with a modular and upgradeable design.
“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,” Apple wrote in a December 2017 press release announcing the new iMac Pro, “as well as a new high-end pro display.”
With that, we know that Apple intends to make at least some of the new Mac Pro design easy to manage, upgrade and set up in different orientations. If this is the case, this computer will have to work with a large variety of off-the-shelf parts – at least ‘off-the-shelf’ for business pros or IT managers. (Could the Mac Pro inadvertently be Apple’s first mining computer?)
The other sliver information we know is that this Mac Pro could be one of the three Mac computers expected to launch this year with one of Apple’s new T series co-processors inside.
Like the T1 (which manages the MacBook Pro Touch Bar and Touch ID) and T2 (which manages the iMac Pro hardware security) before them, these will likely offload key tasks from the Intel processors that will likely be inside the 2018 Mac Pro models.
How will this manifest inside the Mac Pro for 2018? The most likely scenario is the latter one: implementing the very same T2 chip inside the iMac Pro into this device. That would bring pro-grade security and on-demand Siri to the Mac Pro, the former of which is crucial for getting traction in office environments.
Beyond this, it’s difficult to forecast much of anything hardware-wise that will be found in the Mac Pro Apple has promised will be released this year, especially when factoring in conflicting reports that Apple won’t make any major changes to its Macs in 2018.
What we want to see in Mac Pro 2018
All of these rumors swirling around a potential Mac Pro 2018 release puts us in prime position for a well-crafted wishlist. So, here’s what we hope to see Apple upgrade within the Mac Pro for 2018.
More internal expansion
Simply put, there wasn’t enough room in the last Mac Pro for storage expansion, and that needs to change in the 2018 model. Good thing, then, that words like ‘modular’ make us confident that this will, indeed, be the case. Hot swappable storage bays, anyone?
Apple was criticized in our Mac Pro review for not offering a dual-processor option. Surely, plenty of video editors and other media creators would relish the opportunity for twice as fast rendering and encoding power. A CPU with 16 cores is nice, but 32 cores is nicer.
A keyboard and mouse included
The 2013 Mac Pro shipped without any Magic Keyboard or Magic Mouse included. Simply put, we’d like to see this change with the 2018 version. Shipping an Apple computer without proper inputs is like trying to sell a car without the steering wheel.
iOS apps on Mac Pro
Now that it has been bandied about for so long, the idea of iOS apps on a Mac computer has grown on us. We’d love to see our favorite iPhone and iPad apps make their way to the desktop. However, Apple needs to figure out how this will work on an Apple device without a touchscreen much less a trackpad.
- These are the best Macs that 2018 has to offer so far