Apple is about to discontinue its iMac Pro all-in-one workstation. The system is currently only available in the default configuration while supplies last, and no replacement is planned, at least for now.
Apple confirmed that it is discontinuing the iMac Pro in an interview with MacRumours. The company said that no replacement for the iMac Pro was planned because for the vast majority of iMac Pro users the latest iMac 27-inch in its high-end configuration is the preferred choice, whereas customers who need serious performance and expandability could opt for the Mac Pro.
The main idea behind the iMac Pro was to put in an Intel Xeon W processor with up to 18 cores along with a discrete AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics processor and up to 256GB of DDR4-2666 ECC memory into an all-in-one PC with a 27-inch 5K display. Apple launched the system in late 2017. Since Apple did not have a competitive desktop workstation in its fleet, it made a lot of sense for performance-demanding users who could plug in a larger monitor or two if they needed more screen real estate.
After Apple released its Mac Pro workstation in late 2019, the appeal of the iMac Pro somewhat dropped as the full-blown desktop offers more performance with its Xeon W CPU with up to 28 cores, up to 1.5TB of DDR4-2933 memory, and up to two AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo MPX modules (4 GPUs in total). The Mac Pro also provides more expandability, as it can be equipped with the Apple Afterburner ProRes and ProRes RAW accelerator card or any other add-in-board supported by Apple's MacOS.
Then Apple launched its latest iMac in mid-2020. The high-end version of the current iMac comes with a 27-inch 5K display, Intel's Core i7 processor with eight cores, up to 128GB of DDR4-2666 memory, and an up to Radeon Pro 5700 XT graphics processor. This system immediately made Apple discontinue the eight-core version of the iMac Pro. Still, even the 10-core iMac Pro model does not look too attractive at $4999 compared to a similarly configured iMac that costs over $1000 less.
Right now, Apple is working on its next-generation iMac based on its own Apple Silicon SoC that is expected to beat the current iMac in terms of performance. Whether or not Apple will return to a concept of an all-in-one workstation is something that remains to be seen.