40 years ago I wrote my first BASIC program on an Apple II while serving in the U.S. Army. The rest is history.
iMac Pro
iMac Pro
The iMac Pro - Apple

APPLE SILICON

In what should come as a surprise to no one, Apple appears to be discontinuing the iMac Pro, a computer predicated upon Intel’s fall from grace in terms of processor efficiency. A quick trip to Apple’s website confirms that the all-in-one, workstation-class, desktop Mac is only available in a single configuration, with a 3.0GHz 10-core Intel Xeon W processor, 32GB of memory, 1TB SSD, and the caveat “While supplies last”. Apple Insider’s reporting provides further information:

Previously, there were configuration options for 14-core and 18-core processors, Vega 64 graphics, up to 4TB of storage, and up to 256GB of memory.


Author’s mock up of a Mac mini Pro
Author’s mock up of a Mac mini Pro
Image courtesy of author

Apple Silicon

Back in early November, before the first M1 Macs were released, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman issued a report that included information about a half-sized Mac Pro:

Apple engineers are currently developing a new Mac Pro that looks like the current design at about half the size. It’s unclear if that Mac will replace the current Mac Pro or if it’s an additional model. Apple’s chip designs could help the company reduce the size of its computers due to increased power efficiency, but the current Mac Pro is large, in part, to fit components like additional storage drives and graphics chips.

This…


Image for post
Image for post
The original MacBook Adorable¹

APPLE

In Are MacBooks About to Get Thinner and Lighter? I predicted (based on rumors from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman) that the 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro will weigh 2.75 pounds-ish, and the thinner and lighter version of the redesigned MacBook Air will be Apple’s first sub-2-pound laptop. So far, the responses to the story have expressed a preference for preserving the status quo height and weight of both the Pro and the Air.

It probably shouldn’t be too surprising. Every time Apple makes one of its devices thinner and lighter, whether it be an iPhone, iPad, or…


Graphic depicting Apple M2 silicon
Graphic depicting Apple M2 silicon
M2 graphic created by author (with apologies to Apple)

APPLE SILICON

When Apple silicon leaped to the Mac it made sense to start with the low-end of the lineup and grow towards processor designs that handily exceed the capabilities of the current high-end, Intel-based Macs. But that strategy has only heightened interest in what’s coming next. Into this void has stepped Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman with numerous leaks about rumored 2021 MacBook Pros. Here are the highlights as reported by MacRumors:

• New 14-inch model in place of current 13.3-inch model, facilitated by reduced bezels.

• New, flatter design, said to be “similar to the iPhone 12.”


Image for post
Image for post
Is there a Mac mini Pro in Apple’s future? | Image by author

APPLE SILICON

Apple Shocks the World

When Michigan made the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four in 1992, Juwan Howard, one of the team’s five freshman starters, walked up to the television cameras and proclaimed “I told you! We’re gonna shock the world!” While it would be out of character for Tim Cook to reprise that statement, Apple has every right to make it after releasing the new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini in November.

It wasn’t the release of non-Intel Macs that was shocking, that’s been speculated on for over a decade. At least as early as Steve Jobs’ introduction of the…


Image for post
Image for post
An Apple analyst version of the Magic 8-Ball | Image by author

APPLE

Several readers chastised me for the “click-bait” title of my story Get Ready for the Mac mini Pro, which was a response to the recent rumors that Apple is working on a smaller Mac Pro. I find it almost incomprehensible that anyone could confuse one of my stories with hard news or even well-sourced leaks about upcoming Apple products. But for anyone who mistakenly took me for an Apple analyst, here are a few of the better-known names in that industry with the results of their Mac rumors over the last two years.

DigiTimes


PRODUCTIVITY

Image for post
Image for post
Big Sur’s scaled resolutions alongside the resolutions available with Resolutionator

What’s Past is Prologue

When it comes to technology, there’s only one direction. Forward. And that’s never more true than for PC displays. I purchased my first computer monitor in 1987, a 14-inch monochrome Amdek 410A. A year later I graduated to an NEC Multisync II color monitor that displayed 16 colors, weighed-in at thirty-one pounds, and cost $589 ($1,289 today). That was the first in a long line of upgrades over the next two decades that saw display resolutions increase from CGA(320x200) to VGA(640x480), SVGA(800x600), XGA(1024x768), XGA+(1152x864), SXGA+(1400x1050), UXGA(1600x1200), and finally culminating in the glory that was the Apple Thunderbolt Display’s WQHD(2560x1440).

With…


Image for post
Image for post
Apple’s M1 chip

APPLE SILICON

In Get Ready for the Mac mini Pro I pushed back on Bloomberg’s report that Apple is developing a half-size Mac Pro as a potential addition to the current model. I argued that it makes more sense for Apple to add higher-performance M-series chips to the existing Mac mini, creating a new Mac mini Pro. As examples, I suggested a 12-core model with a $1,999 base price, and a 16-core model priced at $2,999. One response to the story labeled those potential Macs as anemic and an utter ripoff. …


Image for post
Image for post
The author gives his M1 Mac mini the iMac G3 treatment

MAC DESIGN

One of the first things Steve Jobs did after his return to Apple was to announce the original iMac on May 6, 1998:

This is iMac. The whole thing is translucent, you can see into it. It’s so cool… Around the back, we’ve got a really great handle here. The back of this thing looks better than the front of the other guys’ by the way… It looks like it’s from another planet and a good planet. A planet with better designers.


Image for post
Image for post
Author’s tongue-in-cheek rendition of a Mac mini Pro

Apple Silicon

These are exciting times for the Mac. The first Apple silicon chip, the M1, powers the new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. With Apple acknowledging that this is just the start of a two-year transition for the Mac, the rumor mill has been in overdrive, with MacRumors providing a roundup the day after the M1 Macs were announced:

14-inch MacBook Pro: In July, reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo forecasted that new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Apple Silicon and an all-new design will launch in the late second quarter or third quarter of 2021. …

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store