iMac Pro Launched Five Years Ago Today
In April 2017, Apple uncharacteristically apologised for its approach to the Mac in recent years and pre-announced it was working on a "completely rethought" Mac Pro with a modular design, a new pro-level iMac, and a new high-end external display. At WWDC that year, Apple unveiled the iMac Pro, after years of rumors about a "Pro" iMac. The iMac Pro sought to placate many of Apple's discontented professional Mac users, coming around four years after the launch of the controversial "trashcan" Mac Pro, but two years before the current Mac Pro, which returned to a modular tower design.
Apple presented the iMac Pro as "the most powerful Mac ever made." It featured 8-, 10-, 14-, or 18-core Intel Xeon processor options, a 5K display, AMD Vega graphics, ECC memory, and 10 Gigabit Ethernet, with a starting price of $4,999. It was also the first Mac to contain a custom T2 chip, as well as the first desktop Mac to be available in Space Gray. While it did not have a slot to easily access the memory like the 27-inch iMac, the processor, memory, and storage were not soldered in place and could easily be removed if the display was disassembled.
In March 2021, Apple announced that it was discontinuing the iMac Pro. By that time, the machine had been surpassed by the 2019 Mac Pro, a significant final update for the 27-inch iMac, and the first Apple Silicon Macs. The iMac Pro's position in Apple's product lineup is now effectively held by the Mac Studio and the Studio Display.
Yet after the launch of the 24-inch Apple silicon iMac in April 2021 and the discontinuation of the 27-inch iMac in March 2022, interest in an iMac Pro with a larger display has again spiked. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman believes that Apple is still "working on a larger-screened iMac aimed at the professional market," a rumor supported by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Yet other reports claim Apple has no plans to release a new high-end iMac at all.