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The Apple silicon Mac Pro might be the biggest disappointment in years

Bloomberg’s Gurman has shed some more light on Apple’s plans for the long-overdue Mac Pro update in his latest Power On newsletter, and it’s not good news.

At the end of 2022, Gurman claimed Apple had adjusted its plans due to the “complexity and cost” of producing a Mac Pro with its ultimate chip combination: a so-called “M1 Extreme” chip with 48 CPU cores and 152 graphics cores. At the time Gurman suggested that as a result, Apple had likely scrapped that higher-end configuration and would instead ship a model with much lesser specs.

Now, in his January 8 Power On newsletter, Gurman confirms that the 48-core CPU, 152-core GPU Mac Pro “has been canceled.” Instead, Apple will release a Mac Pro featuring the M2 Ultra–a newer version of the same chip used in the Mac Studio

Gurman goes on to question why customers would choose to purchase the Mac Pro with M2 Ultra rather than the cheaper Mac Studio with the same processor. It’s a fair question, especially since Gurman indicates the new model will “look identical to the 2022 model” and probably not be as expandable. He reports that the new model will lack user-upgradeable RAM due to the unified memory being built a physical part of the M2 system-on-chip but will have “slots” for storage, graphics, media and networking cards. 

Gurman also reports that the iMac Pro is unlikely to make a return in 2023 and the M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro will offer only “marginal leaps from today’s MacBook Pro processors.” With the M1 Ultra Mac Studio being either out of stock or facing long delays, and the Mac Pro looking like a somewhat minor updgrade, 2023 could be shaping up to be a disappointing one for high-end Mac users.