I shared my opinion yesterday via social media but let me explain a bit more.
1. The new macpro is of course awesome. It’s insanely and mind boggling fast and expandable. If you buy this you’ll be set for at least 5 years and maybe more, that is in the target market and that’s where the second part comes in.
2. The problem I mostly see is that for 90% of the old macpro market this machine is now out of reach. And that’s a shame being it’s the only serious machine apple delivers that has an option for external screens.
In the past you could choose the iMac or the macpro for a bit more. I’ve owned two older macpros and the thrashcan version which I loved to be honest. I’m very picky with my screens and I just want a machine that is upgradable. So the macpro was always my choice. In fact I only worked on macpros and MacBook pros.
The macpro was always the creators tools. Just throw anything at it and it would do it. I was willing to pay for that. My last macpro I bought for approximately 5500 euro. Which was a huge chunk of money for me. If I look now I have to shelve out at least 7k in euroland for the base unit alone. If you want some serious speed probably 10k which in all honesty is just too much for me and probably for more people.
Now in perspective, the new macpro is awesome of course. It’s unique and very flexible. It’s really something that is apple but in all honesty I feel like apple is getting way out of reality with their ideas of what people can afford. You can build amazing gear that is unique but what if hardly anyone can afford it.
I myself switched about 3-4 years ago to windows. I started with the studio machine because I found that my MacBook pro was actually rendering video faster in premiere than my macpro (h264 and xeons). So I edited on my macpro and than rendered on my laptop.
Apple kept promising a new macpro but after waiting a year I switched. Working in a mixed environment was actually easier than I thought so when the new MacBook pros lost their card reader and got the new keyboards I waited one more generation and also dumped my MBP for a Dell XPS.
After testing the surface book 2 from Microsoft I know what the future is for creatives. And it’s not apple. The surface book series is insanely usable for creators like me and semi affordable (yes it’s not cheap)
What I’m afraid of (yeah I’m still an apple fan boy so I wish them all the best and hope to maybe one day return) is that apple is slowly moving from a premium brand that was aimed mainly at creators like myself (willing to spend some money in their gear) to a brand that is awesome and high tech but more a “fashion” brand. What I mean with that is that the stamp “apple” is now meaning it’s just out of reach for normal people like me.
Apple used to have a whole line up of amazing products. I never liked the iMac for myself but didn’t have too because there was the macpro and macmini for people they for example used it in a home theater setting.
In other words you paid extra for the macpro but it was within reach. They’ve now put the macpro base unit at a price where you normally would buy a pretty much specked out macpro.
Of course it will sell. There will be people that can afford it just to show off what they got. And yes it will be awesome for the film industry (major film industry) and sfx companies but they will miss that huge market of guys like me that are willing to pay a premium but not take a second mortgage.
And that’s a bit of the apple issue I’m afraid. Now this is my personal opinion but I wonder how many people agree.
Apple is still releasing well produced products that will be stable and work for years and look great. However they have lost the balance between being a premium brand and being a fashion brand.
When I look at the iPad pro for example. When you hear what it can do you might be very interested. Now throw in that Adobe is releasing Photoshop soon for the iPad pro and project rush was just released you might think wow that’s awesome.
And than you realize that a fully working iPad pro combination that will mimic a laptop is priced all above 1500.00 and you still are stuck with a device that runs iOS/ipados and not macos. Meaning plugins won’t work on it like they do on a MacBook and there are still a lot of things that don’t work on an iPad that do work in a full macos device. Now add a stand to it and a keyboard and you have something that on paper is awesome but in reality is crippled by ipados and the lack of a digitizer.
Now add a bit more money and you can get a surfacebook that not only is a well build laptop but where you can also take the screen off and use it as a tablet. But now you run all the apps and plugins, full Adobe suite (or resolve etc,) and has a screen that can be calibrated and a working file system and color management. Plus a lot of connections for the outside world.
Over the years maintaining an apple eco system has been more and more difficult. Not only for pricing but also because the competition wasn’t sitting idle
Apple iPhones I used since the 3g, but I mostly use it for photography. Since the p20 pro from Huawei there is such a difference between apple and Huawei with photography that it’s not even funny anymore. (video apple is still very good) add to this the price of the iPhones compared to similar or better Android devices and it’s about half the price you spend on Android. And in all honesty after a few weeks I was used to Android.
Apple watch same thing. I loved it and kept up with the every day charging. But I after hitting yet another problem with connecting devices for my bike I switched over to Garmin and never looked back. 5 days on a charge and all the notifications I need plus a great app for tracking health and sports and for half the price. Only the display sucks compared to the apple watch. But it’s not bad.
With the new macpro apple for me closed up the market for people that want a machine that runs on an external monitor. Of course you can add an extra monitor to an imac but not everyone likes shiny glossy screens and the imacs are not easily upgraded. Meaning reselling them also will get harder over time.
If I would have waited for the new macpro instead if switching 3-4 years ago I’m afraid that this would have been the last straw and I would have switched now. Not because I think the new macpro is bad and heck it might not even be overpriced. (find a PC alternative that is the same) but it is just placed so far out of reach that I don’t even think about it.
Finally on the screen. The screen is getting a lot of ridicule online and that’s not fair. I also still do calibrations and can tell you that this screen is insane and for that price even dirt cheap and will have the competition in fear.
Running a screen in 1000 nits HDR is pretty much unheard off below 10k. Most screens top out at half. If the screen would hit bt2020 or even the full p3 spectrum it would literally be the cheapest solution for that kind of work.
And in apples defense most studios I visit that work for TV or cinema (I calibrate their mixing and reference sets) have monitors on vesa mounts so they don’t even use the stands. That having said. The price of the stand does exactly make my point. Great products great design and perfomance but in a few years they went from being at least on the horizon for normal creators (read poor guys that are willing to spend money on their passion) to bring out of this world and reach.
I wish apple all the best and hope they can one day land back on planet Earth and release something like a surface book. That would be the day that I would really consider going back….. On the other hand…. Why go back…. Now that I’ve sold all my apple gear and am used to the “other side” why go for a MacBook pro it there is no desktop device that fits my needs and the competition is already there?
This is the problem with apple. I’m afraid. In the past their eco system was complete from wifi to phones, watches, laptops and desktops. All premium but working. By taking out key components they destroy their own eco system.
Apple all works together great. But take out one part and the system loses its magic very fast. Try to get an apple watch working on Android for example. But my Garmin worked great under both iOS and Android. By taking out the laptops and now desktops with separate monitors apple is quicky killing their biggest market I’m afraid and will be left with the rich kids they don’t create and the huge production houses that actually with apple will save money. But will that bring in enough revenue?
And also think about the other consequences. When you see the new generation of creators all create on windows machines, you see them flip screens to retouch on, taking 40mp raw photos and optically zooming in 5x and having both standard and wide angle censors on their phones and using watches that run for 5 days with the same and more features and take into account those devices are affordable….. what do you think the next generation will buy?
For me it was apple or Atari when you’re serious for creating music or later photography. Windows didn’t come close. It was almost the laughing stock when you created music or did video. Now a days windows has come a long way. Android and google assistant are together with windows creating an almost seamless intergration between phone and laptop and voice control.
In a market where you can maintain a complete eco system that works together on both sides of the border but one side delivers more for less and has a complete line up I’m afraid one day the other side will have to adapt or die out.
Let me close by saying that apple is not bad. Not bad at all (although the MacBook pros are not my thing) if I could afford a macpro I might even get one. But the market has shifted and now a days you get alternatives that are better on 90% of what you need for half the price… So go figure .
When I talk about PC and Android I’m not talking about the budget stuff .if you want a fair comparison you need to take the flagship material. Go from a MacBook pro to a cheap Windows laptop and you will run back within minutes.