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 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
Buyer's Guide: Mac Pro (Neutral)
Related Forum: Mac Pro

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Top Rated Comments

yadmonkey Avatar
164 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.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wiz329 Avatar
164 months ago
Enough of all this ridiculous "might be discontinued" and "future uncertain" nonsense.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrmjenkins Avatar
164 months ago
Support for Tahiti is a strong indication the Pro line is not dead.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
winston1236 Avatar
164 months ago
the manager at my apple store seemed very confident that updates were coming for the mac pro. i have to agree.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eagandale4114 Avatar
164 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.

Rocketman
Sense. Your post has none.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iZac Avatar
164 months ago
Didn't the mini also get threatened with this foreboding future by the rumour mill before it got its makeover?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)