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Is iMac Pro dead? Apple may discontinue model, says buy ‘while supplies last’, here's how 2021 iMac could look

The device, first launched in 2017, has not received any updates in over three years. If you head over to the Apple Store now, you'll see 'while supplies last' mentioned, indicating that Apple is indeed no longer manufacturing the device
the iMac Pro with space grey accessories (Apple)
the iMac Pro with space grey accessories (Apple)

Apple's iMac Pro could be on its way out, with the Apple Store website no longer listing any options for custom configurations. The device, first launched in 2017 has not received any updates in over three years. If you head over to the Apple Store now, you'll see "while supplies last" mentioned, indicating that Apple is indeed no longer manufacturing the device. 

Users can now only pick up the base model, with 1TB of SSD storage and 32GB of memory for $4,999. Usually, Apple limits stocks when it begins manufacturing a new model, but that doesn't seem like the case here. The iMac Pro has received no significant hardware updates since 2017, and there are few rumors of an update. So does that mean this is really the end for the iMac Pro?

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It seems so. The device wasn't exactly a runaway success, with its high price tag are limited features. With the Mac Pro and iMac as competitors, it felt very much out of place. 

The current iMac Pro (Apple)

Too 'Pro' for the market

When it was launched in December 2017, Apple called the device "the most powerful Mac ever made". The device was available at launch with 8, 10, 14, or 18 core Intel Xneon processors. The power and speed of the upper-end models, combined with the insane price tags ($11,199 for the 18-core model) put it well out of reach for many. As a TechRadar review put it - "If spending almost as much as a new car on a computer seems extreme, then look elsewhere."

In terms of upgrades, the iMac Pro received only two significant ones. In 2019, Apple added an option to upgrade to 256GB of memory. Then in 2020, the company discontinued the 8-core processor model, making the 10-core one the base model. Beyond that, the device never really got any attention from Apple. This is why the news isn't exactly surprising.

Apple doesn't reveal sales figures for individual devices, it isn't surprising if the iMac Pro failed to sell in vast numbers. Like Apple's Mac Pro, the iMac Pro is targeted at very limited customers. Given that the top-end iMac can be bought for $3,000, it seems like many people opted for the less-powerful model. 

Updates on the horizon?

Unlike with other devices, there are very few rumors of an update to the iMac Pro. The last credible rumor came from noted analyst Ming Chi-Kuo in 2020. Kuo predicted Apple would launch a new iMac Pro in Q4 2020 with a mini LED display. Beyond that, we've got no rumors at all. Other devices including the MacBook Pros and iMac are all expected to be updated this year, with plenty of rumors that they could be receiving Apple's M series chips. There are also some rumors of a redesign for the iMac. 

We could see updated iMacs at the rumored Apple event in March, or WWDC in June. But it seems like the end of the line for the iMac Pro. Apple might resurrect the device in a few years, like it did with the iPhone SE. For now, though, get ready for a slew of updates to the MacBook Pros and iMacs.

The iMac Pro (Apple)

2021 iMac Rumors

If Apple does launch a new iMac this year, what can we see? We know that the device will receive Apple's M series processor, reportedly an upgraded 'M1X' version. The processor will reportedly have a 12-core CPU and 16-core GPU. Bloomberg even reported in December that Apple is working on a 16-core CPU processor, which would be ideal for the power-hungry iMac. 

Externally, the device is rumored to get a major refresh. We could see the 2021 iMacs come with smaller bezels and larger screens, very much like the Pro Display XDR. MacOS Big Sur beta code also hints at a TrueDepth Camera, so we could see Apple incorporate the FaceID technology from the iPhone. This seems less likely, but it would still be an interesting addition. We've seen quite a few concept designs for the new all-in-ones, such as the below from John Prosser and Concept Creator.

John Prosser iMac concept (John Prosser)

Another concept by Daniel Bautista imagines the iMac with FaceID, wireless charging and an iPad-like design. 

iMac concept by Daniel Bautista (Daniel Bautista via Behance)

These are some great-looking designs to be sure, but they remain concepts for now. Hopefully, we'll get our first look at the refreshed iMac later this month, if not in March.