Mad Macs: No enthusiasm for the Mac Pro

The Mac Pro isn’t for the rest of us.


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Apple has failed again to deliver exactly what someone wants! When will the company learn?! It’s very simple: you read the online manifesto and then you get to work! How much simpler could it be?

Writing for The MacObserver, John Kheit decries Apple and its pundit-enablers.

“Mac Pro: All Apologies, Signed Apple Pundits.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Jason and Aaron.)

God I hate Apple pundits.

They never talk about what I want them to talk about. I am the last good Apple pundit.

Kheit never actually says who it is he’s talking about in so many words or so many links, since most of his links go to explanations for his pop culture references or to other MacObserver pieces. But he does drop a few hints.

…Pravda-like arranged podcasts with Apple executives…

Some would call them interviews but, no, no one tied Craig Federighi to a chair and demanded he answer questions. (If The Macalope had him tied to a chair his first flight of questions would mostly be about hair care, to be honest.) Federighi was the highest-level Apple executive to appear on podcasts during WWDC, having been on episodes of The Talk Show and AppStories. It’s not particularly surprisingly they didn’t discuss Mac hardware on the latter since it’s hosted by the world’s foremost iPad enthusiast.

Latest case in point: the pundits’ blindness to the new cheese grater Mac Pro ignoring Apple’s core enthusiast users.

Apple’s… core… enthusiast… users.





Enthusiasts are Apple’s spiritual core.

Oh, spiritual core. Meaning they are a relatively tiny part of the market that like to think that they’re the real market. OK, that makes sense.

…[Apple] has yet to realize that it’s the enthusiasts who saved it—and they’re also leaving.

All three of those links go to angry posts in the MacRumors forums. Admiral Macbar says: "Your data can’t repel anecdotes of this magnitude!"

In some ways, all Mac enthusiasts are beaten, broken people.

They don’t smell great, either. Bad posture. Not good dressers. Sweaty hands. Awkward conversationalists. Custard eaters.

Kheit’s complaint is that Apple pundits haven’t criticized Apple for failing to deliver his personal hobby horse, a lower-priced, expandable Mac Pro.

Yep, Apple pundits didn’t do that. They also didn’t say “APPLE SHOULD NEVER BUILD A CHEAPER MAC PRO WITH EXPANSION SLOTS, THE NEW MAC PRO IS ALL WE NEED.” What The Macalope’s read and heard is pundits in the Apple community saying that if that’s the machine you’re looking for then, sorry, the 2019 Mac Pro is not that machine; it’s a beast and it has a beastly price. But for what it is, it’s pretty great.

The hilarious thing here is that the same people who are lavishing praise on the new Mac Pro are the ones who have lambasted Apple for the last several years about the trash can Mac Pro and the MacBook Pro. Marco Arment, who can hardly be called an apologist for Apple hardware, is one of the Mac Pro’s biggest fans. Other than the actual fans inside the machine which are huge.

It’s not that Apple pundits aren’t criticizing Apple, it’s that they’re not criticizing Apple about Kheit’s pet peeve.

…enthusiasts are serious influencers having outsized effect on those around them.

Everyone listens to people who write angry screeds when they don’t get exactly what they want. That’s just science.

It doesn’t dawn on the pundits to ask: “Hey, the original Mac Pro cost as little as $2200. There’s an enthusiast segment that really wants and can benefit from having slots. So why isn’t Apple at least trying to serve that market segment?”

Let’s just say it: it is not true that Apple’s best selling products have always been the low end Mac Pros or Power Macs. The reasons nobody’s talking about the enthusiast market are because, well, it’s not that big, and it’s not nearly as important as the professional market which spends more money and is much more aspirational than the “still trying to squeeze life out of my Sawtooth” set.

Yes, enthusiasts (of which The Macalope would have counted himself one around the turn of the century) certainly helped get Apple through the dark ages. But the horny one doesn’t know if you’ve looked at a calendar lately, that was a long time ago. How long do you figure they still owe you something for that?

Today we have the same old familiar goose-step of beaten housewife pundits telling us how much Apple really cares about the Mac, about us. How it’s doing what’s best for us. How they know what we really need. How this time, it will be different.

It might be easier to take this Godwin flirtation more seriously if Kheit linked to anyone saying what he claims they’re saying. Instead he links to an article he wrote in 2005 for the second time.

It’s OK to have your own thing and it’s great to be enthusiastic about it. When you start expecting everyone else to care about it in exactly the same way you do, though, you might have slipped over from enthusiasm to fanaticism.

[CORRECTION: An earlier version of this piece misspelled Kheit's name and misattributed the forum postings to MacObserver instead of MacRumors. The Macalope regrets these errors and how long it took him to fix them which was exactly one year.]

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