The “trash can” 2013 Mac Pro addressed only a fraction of the needs solved by the previous “cheese grater” towers, aged quickly without critical upgrade paths, and suffered from high GPU-failure rates from its cooling solution — all because its design prioritized size and appearance over performance and versatility in the one Mac model that should never make that tradeoff.
Over the next few years, it became clear that the Mac Pro was an embarrassing, outdated flop that Apple seemed to have little intention of ever updating, leaving its customers feeling unheard and abandoned. I think Apple learned a small lesson from it, but they learned a much bigger one a few years later.
By the end of 2016, in addition to the generally buggy, neglected state macOS seemed to be perpetually stuck in, Apple had replaced its entire “pro” Mac lineup with controversial, limiting products that seemed optimized to flex Apple’s industrial-design muscles rather than actually addressing their customers’ needs.
This paints a bleak picture, one of an Apple out of touch with their Mac base, and even more so with their vast community of developers.
Then, in April 2017, out of nowhere, Apple held a Mac Pro roundtable discussion with the press to announce that they were in the early stages of completely redesigning the Mac Pro.
Nice writeup by Marco. It is hard to find the right balance between listening to the experts you’ve hired to drive your company forward, but doing that without losing touch with the community that buys your products.