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New Computers From Apple Imminent?

Yesterday the Apple Store was taken down for about 9 hours showing its rather familiar message: “We’ll be back. We are busy updating the Apple Store for you and will be back shortly.”

In the past, the Apple Store going down usually predicated the release of new machines and the start of a few hectic weeks in the OWC labs while we gather and test product compatibility, run benchmarks, and update our offerings based on Apple’s latest and greatest release.

Alas, while we were ready at the helm, Apple didn’t release any new computers when the Apple Store finally came back up. Sure, we saw that they added a thermostat and beefed up their refurbished Mac section with some more machines – but, we at OWC were really looking forward to new machines.

The Mac Pro hasn’t been refreshed since July of 2010 making it the only machine without the latest Thunderbolt interface and as far as we’re concerned is a crucial part of the Apple lineup. Nothing beats the expansion and customization abilities of the Mac Pro form factor and for professional use there really is no comparison. “More memory in an iMac doth not a Mac Pro make.” Sadly, there have been rumors of Apple doing away with the line entirely like they did to the XServe in January of 2011. So much so that an online Facebook petition to Apple We Want a New Macpro has been started and seems to be gaining some steam.

While the Mac Pro refresh is long overdue, all the other models are nearing or past their typical release dates as well. The MacBook Pro hasn’t seen a major refresh since February 2011. Granted, there was a slight processor speed bump in October 2011, but not enough for Apple to even consider a model ID change as they are essentially the same machines. The Mac mini has been in its current optical-drive-free configuration since July 2011. And the iMac had its latest iteration released in May 2011 (with a speed bump on some models in August 2011).

All in all – it has been almost a whole year since we’ve seen anything new on the computer hardware front from Apple. With WWDC only two weeks away, perhaps the store went down in anticipation of a larger than usual refresh of the entire Mac lineup. We think that would make sense as all the models could certainly use the boost of Intel’s latest processors and perhaps even see a few retina quality displays. Time will tell, of course if this was just routine maintenance or if Apple really does have a lot up its sleeve for WWDC.


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  • Let’s say, just in theory, that Apple includes USB 3.0 ports on the new hardware. Could that mean earlier model Thunderbolt Macs (with a proper Thunderbolt hub) would finally be able to boot from a USB 3 drive?

  • Im going to buy the new MacBook pro as soon as its released. I need max ram and hd space. I was going to just order the max config they offer…how long before you will have new drives (presumably SSD) available? Thanks!

    • In most instances we’re able to offer the memory and replacement hard drives the same day as the model’s actual release.

    • Good catch – the same thing happened with the iMac as did the MacBook Pro. A few models received some quiet processor speed bumps in August, but the last actual model ID change was back in May. Article corrected.

  • “Sadly, there have been rumors of Apple doing away with the line entirely …”

    Remember in 2008-2009 when the same was said about the Mac mini because it hadn’t be updated since 2007?

    Then the 2009 model Mac mini came out with redesigned internals, additional ports and could run 2 displays out of the box.

    I’m expecting a redesigned Mac Pro. Especially since Thunderbolt can handle many of the functions that buyers needed the tower/PCI slot design for. I could be wrong, but I could see Apple changing the Mac Pro to be a smaller box focusing on CPUs & Memory and leaving out the expansion slots and drive bays which can now be handled with Thunderbolt.