[emphasis added]Let’s say you’re Apple. You’re faced with the following problem. Three years ago you launched a radical new lineup of Mac Pros. For multiple reasons, you haven’t shipped an update to those machines since. At some point you came to the conclusion that the 2013 Mac Pro concept was fundamentally flawed. ...
And so you decided to completely redesign the Mac Pro. But that new design isn’t going to ship this year. You’re committed to your pro users, but a sizable chunk of them are growing ever more restless. They suspect — in some cases strongly — that you don’t care about them anymore. They see the stalled Mac Pro lineup as a sign that Apple no longer cares about them, and they worry deeply that the Mac Pro isn’t merely waiting for a major update but instead is waiting to be decommissioned.
What do you do?
There are really only two options at this point. The first would be to suck it up and wait until the next-generation Mac Pros are ready to be announced, and suffer in silence while more and more people point to the current Mac Pro’s stagnation as proof that Apple is abandoning the Mac Pro market.
The second would be to bite the bullet and tell the world what your plans are, even though it’s your decades-long tradition — a fundamental part of the company’s culture — to let actual shipping products, not promises of future products, tell your story.
Apple chose the latter.
Probably everyone reading this owns a piece of Apple one way or the other. If nothing else, as the world's largest company, everything it does is news.
The key point here is not that there will be a new Mac Pro - which, even if it doubled the company's financial expectations for it, would still be no more than a rounding error on its annual balance sheet. The point is: Apple never does this.
This is like Monsanto donating all its patents to the public domain. This is like News Corp naming Noam Chomsky to its Board of Directors. It's that out of character.
Now maybe the glass is half-full and Apple is taking these pains because it cares about even this very small segment of its customer base. Or maybe the glass is half-empty and Apple is belatedly recognizing that it can't afford to further alienate the power-user creative professionals who established its brand cachet in the first place.
But there's a glass with some water in it sitting on the table. And I doubt there will be more surprising financial news published this week.