Why did Apple Abandon the iMac Pro?

Apple did not abandon the iMac Pro. They simply have not discontinued it. The iMac Pro is a machine that Apple designed largely because they mis-stepped with their second-generation (2013) Mac Pro design.

The latter couldn’t handle the cooling needed for later high-end CPUs and GPUs. Thus, it was an evolutionary dead-end. So Apple eventually gave up and started work on the next generation Mac Pro. However, they knew it would take a while to bring to market. In the meantime, Apple was bleeding high-end customers.

It turns out that the iMac form factor was adaptable for efficient cooling. Therefore, Apple quickly created a higher-end model, the 2017 iMac Pro, to retain a certain segment of the market.

That model is my current desktop and it is quite nice. In about three years of using it for development I think I have heard the fans kick in hard only a handful of times. It can build our product from scratch in 1.8s (a bit less than 1 million lines of C and C++ code), which is a few times faster than my previous desktop. And I almost never reboot it.

However, with Apple’s transition to its own silicon, I suspect there won’t be much of a raison d’être for the iMac Pro. The next regular iMac is likely to leave the current pro in the dust, and, in any case, there is now a scalable Mac Pro again.

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