The New Improved Apple Mac Pro, Pro Display XDR, and Pro Stand (a failu​r​​e by Apple)

This past Monday, Apple had its WWDC Keynote address, in which they announced a number of things. There were a number of interesting things announced, but there was one marjorly big FAIL that I want to discuss here.

Let me start this post rant with the following disclosure.

Some might call me an Apple FanBoy. While I do like many Apple products, I believe in using the tool that best fits the craftsman or job. For me, my life, and my work, these are the tools that I have come to use and enjoy the most in many cases. If that makes me a FanBoy, I suppose I am guilty as charged.

I love my iPhone (I have had many, but currently have an iPhone Xs – I miss the earphone jack).

I love my iPad (although my two-year-old currently uses it more than I do).

I really enjoy our Apple TVs (I wish the Gen 1 could upgrade it’s OS to the Gen 2, but that’s life).

But if there’s one thing that I love above them all, and the impact it has had upon my life and the way I work, it is my MacBook Pro. Since switching to it 3 years ago now, and retiring every Windows PC in my life, I haven’t looked back. I use it for both work as well as personal use, and it has travelled with me all over North America these past 3 years.

At WWDC, Apple announced a new Mac Pro. The base price, just a mere $5,999 USD.

It’s sexy and sleek, but is it worth the steep price?

According to the information published on Apple.com at the time of writing this, the base system specs (as best I can guess) would be:

8-Core 3.5GHz Intel Xeon W
32GB Memory (4 x 8GB 2666 MHz DIMMs)
AMD Radeon Pro 580X Graphics Card
256GB SSD

Now, I’m sure the system performance will be impressive, but I find the pricing structure of this system to be more than a little prohibitive. Yes, this is a ‘Pro System’ for ‘Pro Users’, but I think this is a package that is unwisely designed from a perspective ratio of cost-to-performance.

The next announcement brought to the stage, was the Pro Display XDR. This snazzy jazy computer monitor isn’t quite as impressive of specimen as the Mac Pro, but it does have the word ‘Pro’ in it’s name, so you too can own one of these for a measly $4999 (also USD).

Look at the pretty swirly colours. I’m distracted, and maybe I won’t notice the next part you’re going to announce…

When they first started announcing this display, I was really interested. It’s a really nice 32″ in size, with a crazy Retina 6K resolution (6016 x 3384). According to the Apple marketing material I’m using as a reference while writing this, the “Pro Display XDR Features […]the[…] Largest Retina Display Ever”.

<sarcasm>Well, at least it isn’t as expensive as the Mac Pro. But I guess it needs to be expensive since it has the same fancy dancy grid-heatsink body.</sarcasm>

Well, that was a crazy ride guys. What…??? Wait….there’s more…???

I’m confused….

Yes, you see the next item up for taking advantage of their customer’s announcement, was the Pro Stand. But that’s only $999 (also USD), and who would ever want to put a monitor on a stand….except..…..EVERYONE!!!!

Almost…

Well, maybe not everyone wants to put their monitor on a stand.

But if they don’t want to put it on a stand, then they will probably want to mount it to the wall with some sort of VESA style mount. Well, don’t worry. Apple is here to screw you provide you with an option. Yes, the Patented* Apple VESA Mount Adapter can be yours for only $199 (also USD).

Well, there you have it.

So lets look at the economics of this.

I live in Canada, and am damn proud of it (sorry). More specifically, I live in the Metro Vancouver area. The Median Family income of the latest census is $72,662 (published in 2016). If we adjust this for inflation, and I’m using inflated numbers here, let’s say for easy math this is now $79,200 (CAD). That is $6,600 (also CAD).

The current USD to CAD exchange rate is roughly $1.34. This would mean:

  • the overpriced base model of the Mac Pro, will cost $8,039 (also CAD).
  • the who will every buy one Pro Display XDR, will cost $6,699 (also CAD).
  • the compete ripoff Pro Stand, will cost $1,339 (also CAD).
  • the VESA Mount Adapter will cost $267, but that’s ok. I’m sure some company in China already has knockoffs being made as I’m typing this.

That’s a total pre-tax price of $14,738 (also CAD).

Nope! Sorry, my bad. I forgot the Pro Stand….

That’s a shameless total pre-tax price of $16,077 (still CAD).

So, if we tally this up, for the average household to purchase one of these systems (not that they would be looking to), it would cost them 20.3% of their ANNUAL INCOME. Or in other terms, it would take them almost two and a half months to earn the money to purchase this alone, let alone pay for anything else.

How ridiculous…

Now, I understand the median average typical household is not going to be looking to purchase one of these systems, but I wanted to put it into this perspective.

I still like my Apple products. I will undoubtedly purchase more. In fact I have been wanting to purchase an iMac for home use for a while now, and plan to do so next year. But I really hope that Apple starts designing their products, so that the pricing scale is something the normal household can easily obtain.

Side Note: I think I snorted Pepsi out my nose with the silence that hit the theatre when they announced the price of the stand. It wasn’t quite Steve Jobs being booed on stage, but I thought it was good. I hope Tim Cook, and the powers that be at Apple, heard that silence loud and clear.

* – I have no idea if this it patented. I am being extremely facetious when I say this. If you cannot understand this, I figure you’re either a lawyer (paid by Apple) or someone from Apple (Hi Tim!). Either way, you need to get your head on straight…

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