Apple Inc. is currently evaluating a plan to re-enter the Macintosh workstation market with an “iMac Pro” model featuring an M1 processor/memory chip from Apple design chief Jony Ive, according to multiple sources familiar with the project. The new machine will reach the market in the first half of 2022 or sooner, say the sources.
Ive and his team has already designed the machine, according to the sources, who noted that it is “an unapologetically legit machine” likely targeted at high-end PC users such as video editors and 3D graphics developers. The current design of the iMac Pro includes a miniaturized version of Apple’s T2 security chip found in other Macs. Still, the new M1 will be paired with an advanced custom SSD storage controller capable of supporting up to one terabyte of solid-state storage (in addition to hard drive support), say these same sources.
Apple is reportedly re-entering the workstation market with an ‘iMac Pro’ model featuring an M1/memory chip from Jony Ive.
Apple’s new M1/iMac Pro will also feature an advanced GPU said to be capable of powering 8K displays, as well as offering support for up to 128GB RAM and 16TB hard drive storage, sources say. However, these are all considered “bonus features” compared to the primary purpose of the M1 chip, which is for processing complex 3D graphics applications. The M1 is expected to incorporate Radeon Vega GPU technology that Apple acquired from AMD last year in a $550 million deal.
The iMac Pro will likely replace the current 27-inch iMac model though it remains unclear how many units Apple wants to sell or whether it will see a limited release like other Mac lines such as the MacBook Pro. However, the sources who spoke to MacRumors say that Apple has plans for a more affordable M1-powered iMac model, which could debut as soon as late 2019.