The evolution of the professional user for Apple

The arrival of the new Mac Pro has given all the professionals a break. After years of not receiving any news, Apple has shown that it remains committed to the industry by launching a computer that breaks new ground in performance, design, and component integration. In short: Apple for professionals is back. But do we still have the same old pros?

During the first weeks of sales of the Mac Pro I have been listening to the opinions of some people, and most of them were complaints . The price of the Mac Pro is too high, it doesn’t leave room for internal expansions so the table will be full of devices, there are too many Thunderbolt 2 ports and too few USB… and one argument that has remained quite common with everyone: buying an Apple professional tower wasn’t such a big sacrifice a few years ago.

The evolution of the professional user for Apple
The evolution of the professional user for Apple

That reminded me of the time when I had Apple just discovered. Those were the years of the first translucent iMacs, the PowerMac G3 towers and the extremely large and heavy laptops. The fastest connection we had was 256-Kbps ADSL. Back then, the price difference between the most basic iMac and the PowerMac G3 wasn’t as great as it is today.

The iMac was a computer designed for the public, just like it is now. But the PowerMac was aimed not only at an entirely professional audience, but also at those people who could and wanted to invest in a higher-powered computer. There was an option to buy the more expensive, more powerful iMac, but the idea of a faster, more expandable PowerMac stuck.

Comparing this situation negatively with the current situation means that we are ignoring too many things, starting with the fact that the market before and the market now are not the same. Before we needed a computer to surf the internet, and now you only need to spend 249 euros on an iPod touch to get it. This name may not appeal to everyone, but we are already in the Post-PC era. One was that in the PowerMac days we didn’t even imagine, blinded by the MHz race.

The market and the professional user have changed too much to look back and make a simple comparison

Eric Schmidt said it recently on Bloomberg: it’s not that mobiles and tablets are gaining ground on computers, it’s that they already have. They have already won . The strange thing for the general public, the one that uses the basic and standard layer of the network and its services, is that they buy a complete computer to do it when with a tablet they have much more comfort for much less price. iMacs, Mac mini, and MacBooks remain machines for those who have minimal special needs or for the vast majority of us technology aficionados. But think of the user who buys a device out of necessity, and the absolute king of that market is already the smartphone and tablet.

Carl BerkeleyEn Apple
And naturally, the Mac Pro has a much more specific position in this mobile-dominated market. Hobbyists who want power have chosen to invest in a high-end iMac: relatively affordable, high-powered, a 27-inch screen that a few years ago was unattainable by non-professionals. Apple’s all-in-one has become the choice of discerning users who have their finger on the pulse of digital photography and video or want power for gaming.

The Mac Pro, therefore, is for purely professional users . The video and audio editors who work in a studio, the creators of 3D animations… are those who will not buy the computer themselves but rather the company they work for. In other words: the Mac Pro is no longer the computer of choice for the general user who has demands. It simply won’t take full advantage of its architecture. It is no longer, to put it bluntly, a computer for which you want your game to start in two or three seconds instead of thirty.

Just compare Apple ads then and now : we used to see a typical parent editing their videos with iMovie using a PowerMac. Now that user is using a MacBook, or an iMac. Or not even that anymore, because Apple focuses almost all of its marketing on iPhones and iPads.

Apple does not forget its most loyal users, but it is obvious that things have changed a lot and that the strategy of selling computers is no longer what it used to be. The key is for “traditional” users to understand that the golden age of the computer has passed and that they can still acquire very powerful computers that still meet their needs.

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