Apple to Re-Enter Display Market

Apple did something very unusual (at least for Apple!) this week, by inviting a small group of journalists into the company’s offices in Cupertino and talking openly and frankly about their plans for the Mac and especially the Mac Pro that it launched in June 2013 (Display Monitor Vol 20 #24). The company confirmed that the Mac Pro would remain ‘a modular solution’ and on that basis would include a monitor. However, the new Mac Pro and monitor won’t be here until 2018.

Most of the discussion revolved around Apple’s continuing commitment to the Mac product line and to an admission that the company had lost some momentum in the workstation market because of the radical round design that it had adopted for the Mac Pro. The design severely limited the upgrade options, largely because of potential thermal issues, and that has meant that some customers have left the brand. The system can only support dual mid-range GPUs and cannot support the most recent high end single board solutions.

Analyst Comment

Apple has stopped supplying any stand-alone monitors and when the latest Mac Pro was announced, the company promoted specially designed monitors from LG (More News of LG’s Macbook Monitors). Those monitors hit problems with Wi-fi interference (Sales of LG Monitors Stopped by Apple) although the monitors have been fixed and are once again on sale. Nevertheless, the episode must have dented the confidence of Apple in working with a partner on monitors.

Our friends at Jon Peddie Research, which tracks the workstation market, estimate the sales of the Mac Pro at around 100,000 per year, but tell us that the market is growing. (Workstation Market Shipment Sets Record in 4Q16). (BR)