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Mac Pro Build-to-Order Ship Dates Slip as Future Remains Uncertain

Just before Christmas, shipping estimates for Apple's 12-core Mac Pro model increased to 1-3 weeks, and while that specific model does tend to occasionally see some extra lead time, the shipping delays were later noticed to have extended to nearly any customized Mac Pro order. Even as simple a customization as increasing the RAM on an "In Stock" standard Mac Pro configuration increases its shipping estimate to 1-3 weeks.

Quad-core Mac Pro shipping estimate bumped to 1-3 weeks by upgrading RAM

Increases in shipping estimates in Apple's online store can sometimes be indicative of an upcoming product refresh as the company draws down supplies ahead of launching the updated models. The Mac Pro is most certainly due for an update, and there are several indications that components may be coming together for a significant upgrade to the line.

Most importantly, Intel's Sandy Bridge E Xeon processors are due for launch during the first quarter of this year after having been delayed from a late 2011 debut. Rumors have suggested, however, that continued issues with the chipset portion of the "Romley" platform utilizing the Sandy Bridge E Xeon processors may see a release being held back until the beginning of March, still several months from now.

On the graphics front, evidence of support for AMD's "Tahiti" line of graphics cards has been showing up in developer builds of OS X 10.7.3, and just a week and half ago AMD officially unveiled the first Tahiti graphics card for a January launch.

But while the pieces seem to be coming together at the right time for a substantial Mac Pro upgrade, a bigger question is whether the line will even continue to survive long enough to see another update. A late October report claimed that Apple is "questioning" the future of the Mac Pro given declining sales as customers have continued a trend of shifting toward portable computers, and we've heard similar rumblings that even pinpointed a discontinuation date in January.

Consequently, it is difficult to speculate on whether increased shipping estimates for custom configurations might be due to Apple tightening supplies ahead of a refresh or if the company could be drawing down production entirely ahead of a discontinuation of the line.

Related roundup: Mac Pro

Top Rated Comments

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35 months ago
While articles like this bring up my angst about the future of the Mac Pro, I like to think that Apple is smart enough to recognize the value of the Mac Pro beyond its immediate ROI in dollars and will continue the line for a long time.
Rating: 25 Votes
35 months ago
Enough of all this ridiculous "might be discontinued" and "future uncertain" nonsense.
Rating: 23 Votes
35 months ago
It's all about consumers and prosumers now. New market realities, people.
Rating: 20 Votes
35 months ago
the manager at my apple store seemed very confident that updates were coming for the mac pro. i have to agree.
Rating: 14 Votes
35 months ago
Didn't the mini also get threatened with this foreboding future by the rumour mill before it got its makeover?
Rating: 11 Votes
35 months ago
Apple lost the "pro" market years ago. Let's look at some facts:
[*]Two local Apple Stores - neither of them have a Mac Pro on display. There are plenty of iPhones, iPads, iPods, iMacs, Mac Minis, Macbooks and Macbook Pros… just no Mac Pros.
[*]Apple has been "dumbing down" its pro apps.
[*]Newest technologies are no longer introduced on the Mac Pro first, as they have been previously. Case in point - Thunderbolt.
It's my belief that the writing has been on the wall for some time. It makes no sense for Apple to continue serving an almost non-existent market, the majority of which has already gone to PC/Windows due to cost and customizability. If Apple is inclined to make a "pro" level machine, it will most likely be an "iMac Pro" with a more iMac form factor. That's where the sales are, and Apple has already optimized iMac production for maximum profitability. Why not just add one more high end model to satisfy the "pro" crowd and get rid of that huge boxy Mac Pro monstrosity? I can see Apple thinking this way.
Rating: 10 Votes
35 months ago

I would like to see a new Mac Pro. Apple wouldn't be very smart to kill it off, (unless we are talking strictly about profit margins with zero regard to making the professional market happy) in which case the new post-Jobs Apple might do it.

What about the Pro market with Shake, Xserve Raid, Xserve, FCP, Final Cut Server, Lion, etc
Rating: 9 Votes
35 months ago

The persons reading this are missing the clear and literal Apple disclosure.

It states in clear terms available February 1 at the Apple Store San Francisco.

That is a promise or warranty. They must now do that.

Therefore MacPro's will in fact still be available.

Finally we have confirmation and let me be the first to claim I read the proof before anyone else in or initiating this thread.

Move the red circle down a bit and you have the jackpot fact you have all been looking for.

I suspect we will not see Mac Pro EOL till we have seen the 2nd generation MacBook Air with A(x) processors.

Since they have not been announced yet and need at minimum an A6 and more likely an A7 processor or two, I am not holding my breath.


Sense. Your post has none.
Rating: 9 Votes
35 months ago

the manager at my apple store seemed very confident that updates were coming for the mac pro. i have to agree.

He has no inside knowledge....Apple keep everyone in the dark...even employees.
Rating: 9 Votes
35 months ago

Enough of all this ridiculous "might be discontinued" and "future uncertain" nonsense.

Sorry, but the "end is nigh" crowd has nothing better to do with their time.
Rating: 9 Votes

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