The limelight during yesterday’s WWDC keynote was hogged almost entirely by the MacBook range, in particular, the brand-new, Retina display MacBook Pro. With the four-year wait for Mac Pro enhancements bringing only incremental improvements at best, you could have been forgiven that Apple was distancing itself from the desktop in favor of the notebook.
Indeed, given the incredible power of the next-gen MacBook Pro, which is now on general sale, it would certainly seem as though the need for a desktop – famously allowing for better performance due to the relaxed form factor constraints – is disappearing quicker than MySpace did.
However, David Pogue of the New York Times has managed to grab a few words with an Apple executive (who, for obvious reasons, shall remain nameless), in which said exec revealed the fruit company is planning to revitalize the iMac and Mac Pro. Details were rather vague, although the exec is said to have forecast a 2013 refresh bringing "new models and design." Given that Apple will be focusing its efforts now on iOS 6 and the replacement for the iPhone 4S, we suspect any significant changes won’t occur until at least next year’s WWDC, or perhaps even later.
Although the Mac Pro could never be replaced by a MacBook, the iMac certainly could, and given the fact we all expected the iMac to be refreshed yesterday, the lack of any attention in 2012 does suggest it has fallen farther down the pecking order than we perhaps initially assumed.
The next-gen MacBook Pro is a certain game-changer, and eclipses the power of any current iMac while offering the thinness of the MacBook Air, which is a phenomenal achievement on the part of Jony Ive and his design minions.
It will be interesting to see how drastically different the next iMac becomes, if and when these supposed changes do occur. Will it ditch the optical drive? Will it become as thin as a Thunderbolt display?
The next 12 months will certainly be interesting from an Apple desktop point of view, and given the company’s relentless plugging of the MacBook range, I can certainly see the iMac and already nearly-irrelevant Mac Pro disappearing amidst the super-thin, incredibly powerful notebooks.