Apple quietly informed some fans that it will start shipping the Mac Pro and its eye-wateringly expensive Pro Display XDR and stand from December 10, as spotted by a customer who received the company's "save the date" email on Saturday.
The new devices were showcased last June at the Worldwide Developers Conference in an effort to woo creative professionals. Apple had announced that the Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR would start shipping this fall.
The updated Pro hardware made waves at the time for being "an absolute monster of a workstation", with the entry-level Mac Pro including an octa-core Intel Xeon CPU and supporting 32GB of memory. Since then, Apple has also specified that the device can be ordered with an additional 8TB drive.
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But it was the Pro Display XDR that stole the show. Its 32-inch display and 6K resolution, along with P3 and 10-bit color built-in as well as automatic color adjustment, are likely to seduce graphic designers, photographers and other creative professionals using workstations.
The XDR Display has to be purchased with a separate stand, which uses a Thunderbolt 3 cable to connect to the Mac Pro and can support up to six displays. The workstation is particularly suited to video editors and photographers who work with HDR images and footage.
While the revamped Mac Pro – which is the first major upgrade of the device since 2013 – promises better performance, it was the new products' price that was the talk of the town.
The Mac Pro comes at $5,999, while the XDR Display is priced at $4,999 and its stand, at $999. The catch? The Mac Pro doesn't come with a display, and the display doesn't come with a stand.
Altogether, users will be looking at a $12,000 budget to use Apple's new workstation.
So Apple is banking on the promise of highly sophisticated technology to win back customers who historically may have preferred the Cupertino giant's hardware but have increasingly spent their money with competitors.
Microsoft, for instance, is gradually attracting users away from Apple with the Surface range. The Surface Studio 2 compares well to the iMac Pro, boasting a Core i7 processor, a high-end GPU, and a high-definition display with 3:2 aspect ratio.
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But the Surface Studio 2 starts at $3,499. Microsoft's prices are already cheaper than the iMac Pro, which ships at $4,999.
Apple is hoping to compete with ever-more sophisticated products, or so it seems, but we shouldn't expect them to be affordable anytime soon.