Last Monday (June 5) at Apple’s yearly World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) they announced a slate of new products and software changes. As for hardware, one of the big things that Apple announced was the brand new workstation, the iMac Pro. The iMac Pro is very much a system aimed at professionals and people looking for high-end hardware that simply does not compromise. Previously, if a professional wanted such high-end hardware they would’ve had to either purchase a Mac Pro or a PC. The problem with the Mac Pro is that it is not an all-in-one system and requires the user to purchase additional hardware such as a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc in order to make it work properly and the problem with a PC is that it 1) is not an all-in-one just like the Mac Pro and 2) it only runs Windows or Linux. For those that want an efficient, easy to set up, OSX system that also doesn’t compromise on hardware, the iMac Pro is undoubtedly what they are looking for.
In terms of specs, the iMac Pro is a beast. Each one ships with an absolutely stunning 5K display that is rated for 500 nits of brightness. The CPU is configurable with Intel latest Xeon processors that feature either 8, 12, or 16 cores — perfect for any CPU intensive task such as rendering. The base model ships with 32gb of memory but it can have up to 128gb as long as you’re willing to pay for it. To finish a great system off, an AMD Vega GPU is included along with a 1tb, 2tb, or 4tb SSD. The base price of the iMac Pro is $5,000 and will only go up from there depending on which components are purchased. This might seems like an absurd price to pay for a computer, but compared to other computers in this category it is very reasonably priced. As far as Apple goes, the iMac Pro is much more powerful than anything they have ever created and will definitely fill the role as Apple’s new flagship machine.
Although it is a small detail, another thing that separates the iMac Pro from Apple’s other computers is its’ color scheme. While all of Apple’s regular iMac’s are silver, the iMac Pro is in Apple’s favorite color: Space Gray. Not only is the computer itself Space Gray, but so are the special iMac Pro exclusive keyboard and mouse that ship with it. According to Apple, this color scheme will remain exclusive to the iMac Pro and the Space Gray keyboard and mouse will only ship with the iMac Pro and will not be sold separately. This is an interesting marketing move and it’ll be surprising if Apple holds to this exclusivity. It seems likely that the Space Gray keyboard and mouse could be successful as standalone products given the interest that has already been expressed in them and also the success of the white keyboard and mouse in the past.
It is yet to be seen whether or not the iMac Pro will be successful, but if we can learn anything from Apple’s history with high-end computers it seems likely that it won’t have any problems winning the hearts of professionals, but the real question is whether or not Apple will be able to win over their wallets. Given the customization options, it wouldn’t be surprising if the fully upgraded iMac Pro with 18 Core CPU, 4TB SSD, 128 GB memory, and the AMD Vega GPU with 16GB VRAM approached the $10,000+ mark. You definitely get what you pay for, but there is no doubt that this will be one expensive machine even with the base hardware. According to Apple’s website, the iMac Pro is scheduled to be released in December, which, coincidentally, is also when the HomePod is supposed to be released.