It’s been three years since Apple has touched the design of its Mac Pro desktop, the only traditional “tower” computer Apple still builds. But while that luxury Mac model is nowhere near as popular as Apple’s slimmer and sexier computers, many are still waiting for Apple to give a major update to its highest-end pro desktop.
The Mac Pro was given a minor bump in its specs at last summer’s Worldwide Developers Conference, and company executives uncharacteristically assured several publications, including The New York Times, that Apple would release a newly-designed Mac Pro in 2013. Furthermore, in a response to a concerned email from a fan, CEO Tim Cook said his company had not neglected the Mac Pro, or its user base.
“Our pro customers are really important to us,” Cook said. “Don’t worry, as we’re working on something really great for later next year.”
Well, it is now “next year,” which means we’re expecting a new Mac Pro to debut within the coming months. And the release date of that computer may arrive sooner rather than later: 9to5Mac noted on Monday that Apple is no longer listing the Mac Pro as available for purchase through any of its European online stores.
Removal of the Mac Pro from European Apple sites comes just one month after Apple told its European distributors in January that it would halt sales of the desktop computer by March 1 to comply with a new regulatory guideline that goes into effect that day. The last day resellers could order Mac Pro units from Apple was on Feb. 18, in order to ship by March 1.
In order to continue selling the Mac Pro in Europe after March 1, Apple will need to unveil a new computer that meets new EU safety and electrical standards. More specifically, the current Mac Pro does not comply with IEC 609501 Amendment 1, due to issues with the amount of power guided through its I/O ports, as well as the placement of its fan guards. Selling a Mac Pro in the EU, EU candidate countries and EFTA countries (in other words, anywhere in Europe) will require Apple to make some major adjustments to the Mac’s design.
Last July, the Mac Pro got a minor update, with Apple upgrading the $2,499 base model to a 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processor with an upgradable 3.33 GHz processor for an extra $500. For $3,799, the Mac Pro features two 2.4 GHz six-core Intel Xeon processors. However, neither Mac Pro model received any new I/O ports like USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt; apparently, the only reason Apple bumped the specs at all was because Intel stopped making the older processors.
Apple allegedly has a planned event in March, so it’s possible the announcement could revolve around an all-new Mac Pro. We’ve also heard that event may center around the Apple TV and opening up the software for third-party developers, but considering the timing of the Mac Pro’s expiration in Europe, one might assume the company’s bottom line will take priority over innovation. Of course, there’s always a possibility Apple will make two major announcements on the same day.