With the first-generation of Apple laptops now running on the Apple Silicon M1 platform attention turns to the desktop with the iMac Pro and Mac Pro on deck and ready to make their debuts. First up is the iMac Pro and Apple is set to crank up the power.
Details on the potential bump to the M1 chipset have been found inside the code of MacOS, with references to both the iMac and a 12-core chipset.
There’s a natural place for this in Apple’s upcoming portfolio. Last year saw the launch of the first ARM-based iMac running Apple Silicon. this was equipped with the base M1 chipset seen in the MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro. Clearly designed for consumers on the desktop, the obvious next step is to have an iMac for professionals that require far more performance than the average user – much like the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops.
Apple is expected to launch this iMac Pro during it’s upcoming Spring event in late March or early April.
Apple could run the same M1 Pro or M1 Max chips that are used in the aforementioned laptops, but the separation between iMac Pro and MacBook Pro would probably make it a better idea to buy a laptop and an expansive monitor and docking station solution.
Handing the iMac Pro more power not only takes care of the “why should a professional buy this instead of a MacBook Pro” but it also keeps Apple’s own chip efforts in the news as it incrementally ups the CPU- and GPU-core count, increasing performance with each product release, and keeping pace with the competition as the likes of Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm continue to innovate with their own products.
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Is the iMac Pro likely to increase the user base of the macOS platform? Apple’s marketing machine is certainly going to try to and the continued imrpvoent improvements in the M1 family make for a tempting offer. Yet moving over to a new ecosystem, especially in a corporate environment, is not an easy thing to do.
What’s more likely is that the iMac Pro is going to be the “big upgrade” in many departments, finally unlocking the budget to go for something that offers a significant step up over the Intel-based iMac Pro desktops.
As Apple introduced its ARM-based macOS project, it labelled the end of 2022 as the moment that the entire platform would have moved over to Apple Silicon. Following the launch of the iMac Pro, only the luxuriously powered Mac Pro remains to make the switch.
After that… well the M1 line-up will be finished. I guess it’ll be set for the M2 to take Apple beyond 2022. What will two more years of experience contribute to the chip design? Will the demand for even more power still be ther or was the M1 the macOS equivalent of increasing the size of the iPhone screen with the 6 Pro? And can the Windows-based competition match the marketing and the muscle?
It’s going to be an exciting 2022 for the personal computer.