Apple: “great” pro-level iMacs are in the pipeline, slated for release this year

Talking to a cherry-picked group of reporters in a white stucco building near Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, Phil Schiller, and Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, have officially confirmed that new iMacs are coming later this year.

What’s more, the new all-in-one desktops will appeal to a segment of pro users as well. Apple also issued a minor spec-bump to the aging Mac Pro today.

Acknowledging that many pro customers were moving to iMac due to the lack of Mac Pro updates, Federighi said that the team is putting a lot of their energies behind a next-generation iMac which he said would appeal to pro customers as well.

High-end iMac configurations will be designed specifically with the pro customer in mind as Apple acknowledges that “our most popular desktop with pros is an iMac”.

Federighi jumped in and said:

That is a pretty incredible evolution that we’ve seen over the last decade. The original iMac, you never would’ve thought as remotely touching pro uses.

And now you look at today’s 5K iMac, top configs, it’s incredibly powerful, and a huge fraction of what would’ve traditionally—whether it’s audio editing, video editing, graphics, arts and so forth—that would’ve previously absolutely required the Mac Pros of old, are being well-addressed by iMac.

But there’s still even further we can take iMac as a high performance, pro system, and we think that form factor can address even more of the pro market.

While the upgraded iMac system is going to be “fantastic for a huge number of customers”, Apple wants to do even more with them but the executives wouldn’t elaborate on that. One thing they did note, though—the new iMacs won’t have a touchscreen.

Asked whether Apple has a two-prong desktop strategy with both iMac and Mac Pro, Schiller responded that each is “going to be important for pro desktops.” Neither executive would say when the new iMacs might be coming, but they’re due this year.

As mentioned, Apple also confirmed that both an all-new modular Mac Pro system and Apple-branded pro displays are coming next year as the current-generation Mac Pro received minor spec update in the form of faster Intel processors and AMD graphics.

Source: Daring Fireball