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Apple discontinues iMac Pro ahead of iMac 2021 launch

iMac Pro discontinued
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want to get your hands on an Apple iMac Pro workstation, you’d better act fast. Apple has said that after the final non-customizable batch on its website is sold out, they won’t be replaced — at least for now.

Apple confirmed that the iMac Pro’s end is in sight to MacRumors, explaining that the machine is stuck between two more competitive options. The 27-inch iMac, refreshed in August, is powerful enough for the vast majority of people, and anybody who needs more grunt is better served by looking at the high end Mac Pro. 

Of course, discontinued lines can come back, but it’s hard to see a clear path for the iMac Pro in the short term. It’s anticipated that Apple’s next move will be to put its own Apple Silicon SoCs into the iMac 2021, after a positive reception in the new MacBook Air M1 and Mac mini M1 lines.

It’s possible that the standard new iMac could pursue Apple Silicon, while a Pro model could stick with Intel, but that could prove awkward given leaked benchmarks suggest the next generation M1X chip could give Intel a run for its money. 

We've also heard via a separate leak that the iMac 2021 will be coming in five colors, which would be a welcome change of pace in terms of the design. 

Frankly, it’s hard to fault Apple's logic here. The iMac Pro made sense when it was first released in 2017 when the existing ‘trash can’ Mac Pro was looking somewhat long in the tooth. An all-in-one PC with an Intel Xeon W processor with up to 18 cores and discrete AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64x graphics and a 27-inch 5K screen was a compelling option for users with big power demands, and even bigger wallets.

But when Apple released the Mac Pro two years later, the iMac Pro looked a whole lot less appealing. The modular desktop computer offered Intel Xeon W CPU with up to 28 cores, up to 1.5TB of RAM and up to four GPUs for serious productivity.   

In short, most buyers are catered to by the options below or above the iMac Pro. If you upgrade the high-end iMac on the Apple Store to a 10-core i9 processor, quadruple the RAM to 32GB, up the SSD to 1TB and throw in a Radeon Pro 5700 XT, it comes to $3,999 – or $1,000 less than the only iMac Pro still available

On the other side of things, the Mac Pro starts at $5,999, and offers far more flexibility for future upgrades , though of course that high cost of entry doesn’t include a screen. Both options also have the advantage of being available immediately, while the last of the iMac Pro stock strangely has a 3-4 week wait time. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.