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Steve Jobs Once Considered Killing Apple's Pro Products

Ken Segall, the creative director behind the Think Different campaign and author of Insanely Simple, a book about his experiences creating advertising for Apple, writes in a blog post about Apple's "evolving view of 'Pro'" that Steve Jobs once considered killing Apple's entire line of Pro products.
Would Apple ever even think about saying goodbye to the pro market?

I hope you’re sitting down for this, but Steve Jobs did in fact once consider that very option.

This was back in the days when iMac had established itself as a global bestseller. During one of the agency’s regular meetings with Steve, he shared that he was considering killing the pro products.

His rationale was as you might expect: consumer products have an unlimited upside, while pro products are aimed at a niche market that eats up major resources.
2013_mac_pro
Jobs eventually decided to keep the pro products around, but in recent years Apple has been shifting its pro products. For example, the company completely revamped its Final Cut video editing suite, slashing the price and making it significantly simpler to use pro features -- though a vocal group of Final Cut Pro users were unhappy with the changes.

The Mac Pro has gone three years without a significant update, though Apple will, as promised, release a completely redesigned Mac Pro later this year that is unlike any professional machine Apple has made before.

Segall goes on to argue that Apple is pushing 'pros' in a new direction, saying that making software powerful and easy-to-use for more customers is more important than making software that is simply powerful. He says that "Apple is walking to a place that’s entirely new" with its new products, while "asking the pros to walk with them."

Top Rated Comments

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16 months ago
Steve would have never allowed... wait
Rating: 103 Votes
16 months ago
Isn't a good CEO supposed to consider just about any option?
Rating: 70 Votes
16 months ago

He says that "Apple is walking to a place that's entirely new" with its new products, while "asking the pros to walk with them."


We're fine with the walk; it's the fact that we're blindfolded and stepping on rakes that gets to us.
Rating: 59 Votes
16 months ago

It still looks like a trash can or an air purifier.


And this matters because…?
Rating: 56 Votes
16 months ago
SO happy that didnt happen!

APPLE NEEDS PRO products!!!!!!!
Rating: 50 Votes
16 months ago
Pro is needed for the R&D that trickles down to the consumer products later. Need both to drive each other.
Rating: 34 Votes
16 months ago
Sometimes I worry that Apple doesn't understand it's about the ecosystem. The fact that one part of that ecosystem is smaller in terms of profit doesn't mean it's less important. If I'm not using a Mac for work (as a designer and an illustrator), the odds of me buying an iPhone or iPad or an AppleTV plummet sharply. I'm going to buy what plays well with what I use — period.
Rating: 33 Votes
16 months ago
It still looks like a trash can or an air purifier.
Rating: 32 Votes
16 months ago
What seems to be happening is that though their hardware can still claim to be "pro," the software is now "prosumer." I like the new Logic a lot -- but I don't work in a NY studio. I like the new Final Cut better than the older versions -- but I don't make Hollywood movies. It's what the pros think that matters if you're making pro apps.

It's one thing for Apple to "ask the pros to walk with them." But if the pros start walking elsewhere (which many seem to be doing), how much longer will Apple keep their pro line on life support? Canceling it completely could have a ripple effect. I teach multimedia production, and if pros no longer use Apple products then I'll have little reason to teach using them. Then Apple's educational market would begin to dissolve as well. It's a slippery slope they're on.
Rating: 29 Votes
16 months ago

Long live the cheese grater!!!

Having just stuck in an eVGA 4GB GTX 680 FTW Edition graphics card into mine, I just don't see myself getting an iTubeMini Pro or whatever that little black can is, the one with all the uselessly expensive ports on the back.


This one?
Rating: 27 Votes

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