Enlarge / Apple’s Phil Schiller takes the wraps off the new Mac Pro at WWDC in 2013. (credit: Apple)
Last week, Apple did something it never does—it spoke to journalists and pundits on the record about a product that was so far from being released that the company didn’t even have prototypes to show off.

That’s the state of the Mac desktop right now.

After the October 2016 product came and went with no mention of the rumored desktops, complaints and anxiety about the state of Apple’s high-end computers reached a fever pitch (my barometer for this sort of thing is what John Siracusa, Marco Arment, and a handful of developers I follow say on their podcasts and Twitter feeds, which is highly unscientific, but I don’t think that makes it inaccurate).

Apple appeared to be pulling out of the external display business, and its new pro laptops offered less RAM and had worse battery life than some people were happy with.
It had been a year since the iMac got an update, two years since the Mac Mini was updated, and more than three years since we heard a single peep about the Mac Pro.
In an internal memo a couple of months later, CEO Tim Cook said the company had “great desktops in his roadmap,” but that’s the stock boilerplate response to any questions about future products.

Credible reports around the same time that suggested Apple had de-emphasized and slowed down Mac development internally only added fuel to the fire.
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