Big Apple Announcements @ WWDC 2017

Apple made some major announcements at this year’s WWDC keynote speech. Tim Cook and others wowed the crowd with exciting upgrades like new operating systems, powerful new iPads and even a fusion between the MacPro and iMac. These are just some of the highlights you can expect from a release that, like all Apple unveilings, cause a buzz in the world of technology.

Here then are the highlights from the June 5 release. Stay tuned for a more comprehensive look at upgrades and changes.

21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacThis is a major upgrade to the entire iMac line. Now with Intel Kaby lake processors, base model iMacs are shipping right away. The high end iMac can be upgraded to 4.2GHz quad-core i7 Intel Kaby Lake processor, including up to 64GB memory and up to 3TB Fusion Drive or 512GB, 1TB or 2TB SSD. Call a Mac Expert today for availability.

  • Fusion drives standard in all Retina iMacs
  • Retina iMacs graphics upgrade to as much as 4GB VRAM (21.5-inch) and 8GB VRAM (27-inch)
  • 2 USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports capable of handling one 5K or two 4K displays
  • Standard ports remain, i.e. Ethernet, USB 3.0, an SDXC card slot and headphone jack
  • 43% brighter display
  • Next generation graphics: up to 80% faster rendering
  • Price reduced to $1299 on 21.5-iMac 4K base model; $1799 for the 27-inch base model iMac with 5K.

13-inch and 15-inch MacBook ProA nice speed bump has been applied to the MacBook Pro line. Now with 7th generation Intel processors and faster graphics cards. Call for availability.

  • Faster, more efficient processor
  • Improved graphics cards across the board
  • Faster RAM, up to 16GB available
  • Lower cost base model 13-inch MacBook Pro sans Touch Bar

12-inch MacBookAnother speed bump for the MacBook. Fast Intel Kaby Lake processors and up to 50% faster Solid State Drives.

  • Faster, more efficient processor
  • Improved graphics cards across the board
  • Faster RAM, up to 16GB available

13-inch MacBook AirApple didn’t forget the venerable MacBook Air. These popular notebook computers received a processor bump from 1.6Ghz to 1.8Ghz.

New iPad Pro 10.5-inch and upgrades to 12.9-inch – Now that the standard iPad was announced a few months ago with a 9.7-inch screen, Apple has created a new iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch screen. They also improved the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

  • Advanced display is brighter, less reflective and more responsive
  • New A10X Fusion chip edits 4K video, and renders 3D models
  • All day battery life
  • 20% larger display than standard tablet size
  • Full-size onscreen keyboard

iMac Pro – One of the hottest subjects at the WWDC keynote was the announcement of the iMac Pro, Apple’s most powerful Mac ever. The buzz is growing about this workstation-class Mac, due to be available in December. Below are some features of this state-of-the-art machine. Stay tuned!

  • Flat space gray chassis, keyboard, mouse and trackpad
  • An 8-core base model with a starting $4999 price tag
  • Up to 18-core processor
  • Vega graphics cards 8GB to 16GB VRAM (400GB/s) for virtual reality rendering
  • As much as 128GB high speed RAM
  • Up to 4TB all Flash storage available
  • Ports galore: 4-Thunderbolt 3/USB-C, backward compatible 10GB Ethernet, 4-USB 3.0, SDXC card slot and headphone jack
  • 43% brighter Retina 5K display
  • New dual-blower fans to keep it cool
  • Enhanced stereo speakers

HomePod – Apple has jumped into the ‘smart speaker’ sector with HomePod, a rival to Amazon Echo and Google Home. HomePod includes an A8 chip and 7 beam-forming tweeter array. It also features precision acoustic horns with directional control and an Apple-designed woofer. HomePod has the same cylindrical design as a Mac Pro, but is smaller in stature with meshed finish. It works with “Hey Siri” and HomeKit. Cost: $349. Comes in white and space gray.

iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS – All of Apple’s operating systems are getting upgraded and are slated for release to the public later this fall. Here is a brief round-up of what you can expect:

  • watchOS: New Siri watch face, Dynamic updates: HomeKit controls, Enhanced workout app, New Music app
  • macOS: Named High Sierra, Safari with auto play blocking and Intelligent Tracking Prevention. Updated Photos with organization and editing tools. APFS Apple File System – more modern and efficient
  • iOS: iOS 11 – redesigned iMessage, Apple Pay person to person, Siri with new voices and deep learning, translation feature, Photo Portrait mode will see an update with improved image quality. Photo Library is smarter and can identify more kinds of events and updated Apple Maps with traffic lane guidance and posted speed limits.
  • tvOS:Amazon prime coming to Apple TV

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13 COMMENTS

  1. ok so how much would the biggest iMac with the most ram and largest hard drive cost?
    and also i heard a rumor that they were redesigning that stupid mac pro cone. is that true?
    i am one of your customers

    • Hi Pat,
      I built a quick cart starting with the 27″ base model iMac. Added the maximum amount of RAM (32 GB) which added $600. The largest hard drive available to configure it with is a 2TB Fusion Drive, which adds $200. Total for this configuration is: $2599. That should be a very nice machine. As for the Mac Pro, your guess is as good as ours as we do not have any information on the future of the Mac Pro at this time. Let us know if you have any further questions.

    • It’s clear that Apple has been seriously focusing on its bread-and-butter, the consumers and prosumers, in this latest round of updates. The iMac Pro itself will more than satisfy even top end prosumers and a good cross-section of professionals with (up to) 18 cores, 128Gb memory, Radeon Pro Vega with 16GB memory, ports,ports,ports, and a big 5K display.
      However there is still a good core of professionals who require even more than you can accomplish in an all-in-one platform: maximum throughput, display choice, multiple displays, multiple GPU, etc.
      The big questions for professionals are: Are we being forgotten? Is Apple dropping the Mac Pro and forcing us to iMac Pro or another platform entirely?
      Apple, within the iMac Pro announcement (the iMac Pro specs blow the current Mac Pro away) does put those questions to rest a bit:
      “In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest-end, high-throughput system in a modular design, as well as a new high-end pro display.” (https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2017/06/imac-pro-most-powerful-mac-arrives-december/)
      But now the other questions have to be raised: When will it be formally announced and actually available? How much “higher end”? Will the new design fix all the silliness in the current Pro tower? How much will it set me back? Will this be the last iteration and will the line end up going the way of the dodo?
      I guess we have to just stay tuned…

      • Paul –
        There’s a lot to digest in your comment here, so let me respond paragraph by paragraph.
        Apple has and will always focus on the consumer and prosumer communities, as they do with their professional communities. Speaking personally, I do not believe that they value one community over the other, but they do roll things out at different paces for each community. Consumers and Prosumers tend to be earlier adopters, while professionals tend to hold on to hardware, software and workflows longer that suit their needs and fulfill the needs of their businesses and clients.
        While I agree that Creative Pro’s have very specific and harder to address issues, the reality is that the current offerings are widely used in film, television and radio production, (as well as my own studio), so the increase in cores, RAM, graphics, ports and display resolution are all very welcomed additions.
        I am curious as to what you mean by, “…there is still a good core of professionals who require even more than you can accomplish in an all-in-one platform…”. What are you trying to accomplish that the hardware is preventing? I’d love to troubleshoot some solutions for you.
        As for your questions…No, Apple is not forgetting us. Apple is not dropping the Mac Pro and as has already been mentioned in this thread, has made official statements speaking to the future of the machine and the line. Don’t get too upset that the refresh didn’t come this time around. There is always tomorrow and the one thing we know for sure, is that Apple is always working on something.
        As for your other questions that have to be raised…
        – Apple will announce when they are good and ready and not a moment before. If you have used or followed Apple for any amount of time, this should be clear.
        – Without speculating, I’m sure that the proposed new design will remedy all of the silliness, (except for that one thing that must be fixed for it to be useful. They’re going to save that for a couple versions down the road, just because they can).
        – It’s probably going to set you back a lot.
        – It will be the first iteration of a new Mac Pro, but will be the last first of its kind.
        Yes. Staying tuned is a good idea. The anticipation is part of Apples customer journey and they are the masters of creating it, as well as cultivating it.
        I hope this helps and if you are ever in Wilsonville, feel free to come by the store and we can chat more.

    • What are you interested in? Macs will be available in the next few days, iPads will deliver in a week. Order today and get on the list early!

  2. Pat, it isn’t a rumor. It was discussed publicly by Apple’s top executives earlier this spring and is announced in their press release ( https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2017/06/imac-pro-most-powerful-mac-arrives-december/) which says in part: “In addition to the new iMac Pro, Apple is working on a completely redesigned, next-generation Mac Pro architected for pro customers who need the highest-end, high-throughput system in a modular design, as well as a new high-end pro display.”

  3. When will the 27 in. 2017 iMac 4.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with 1 TB SSD(flash) be available to order on PowerMax?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Brian, that’s a build your own config, but you can order today if you give one of our Mac Experts a call at 888-769-7629. It looks like we can have it on your doorstep in three to four weeks.
      Thanks for the inquiry!

  4. I can’t get consistent feedback on the memory configuration for an iMac 27″ with 16GB memory. One sales person says it will have a 16GB module with 3 free slots. Another says it will have two 8GB modules with 2 free slots. Yet another says it will have four 4GB modules without empty slots. Who is right? The first answer is the only reasonable one if you want to someday have a total of 64GB.

    • David –
      The correct answer is that the 16GB configuration will come with 2x8GB modules with 2 empty slots. RAM is required to come in matched pairs, so having 1 module with 3 empty slots is not a reality. As for 4x4GB, in the past, when 4GB was the standard, Apple used 2x2GB modules and left 2 slots open. No reason to believe they would abandon that practice now.
      Final Answer 🙂

  5. It’s be nice to see a new, useful MacPro. My hunch is that Apple will follow its business model and manufacture these in China with very low cost labor and then charge us really high prices. I’d imagine a tricked-out MacPro will set us back around $9,000 with a profit margin of about 400% for Apple. Gotta keep those billionaires in style.

    • Thaddeus –
      We all agree that it would be great to see a new modular based Mac Pro designed specifically for Creative Pro’s. A quick Google search confirmed, as with the current Mac Pro models, they will all be assembled in the Austin based facility, (that’s in Texas) where Apple is expanding their current facility by roughly 1 million square feet and adding over 3600 jobs in the next few years..
      As for margins and profits, Higher production costs and a $300 million commitment to the Austin campus will no doubt mean for premium prices.

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