This post is purely my speculations and thoughts on the matter. Additionally this post should be seen from a developers point of view. Ever since Apple came out with their new M series chips, I have been expecting a iMac Pro to come out. However, what instead seems to have happend is… it disappeared. Then this “bombshell” was dropped TechCrunch: Apple says it’s not planning a 23-inch iMac, which has been repeated by other medias. So what happend?
Well honestly, I think Apple kind of fucked up. So what did they fuck up? Two things actually and they are from two different categories. First fuck up, the MacBook Pro 16 inch. The machine is an amazing power house (sadly I have only had the pleasure a couple of times), which greatly outperform similar classed machines (looking at you Dell XPS). But that cannot stand alone. Yet, it is not just powerful, it has a bigger screen compared to 15 inch pre M era. It is really light and very portable, and it has (grabs my pearls) an HDMI port. This basically means it can be connected to any display or project without a flipping dongle. This means that now, you can buy a very nice screen cheaper and MacBook Pro and stay portable. Which makes an iMac Pro less desirable. Then you also have the fact that creators like MKHB have stated (I could find the exact youtube video) that video editing can now be done in high resolution on the MacBook Pro. Again decreasing the desirability of an iMac Pro. Because before you had the iMac Pro and Mac Pro.
But the MacBook Pro does not even come close to the second fuck up. The Mac Studio. I am old enough to remember the PowerMac Cube G4! Which was introduce as a midpoint between the consumer grade iMac and the PowerMac power house. brief side note: For those to young, the PowerMac was the Mac Pro before Macs where Intel based. Note that introduce as the mid point between iMac and PowerMac. Think about it for a second, what was it replaced with? Well the Mac Mini, but the Mini was really a midpoint between iMac and Mac Pro. It was a “competitor” to iMac, where you could bring your own peripherals. What came instead a much later was the iMac Pro. This was the true midpoint between iMac and Mac Pro. Then fast forward a few years what happend? The flipping reintroduced the Power Mac Cube, it was just called Mac Studio instead. It gave you an option to bring your own peripherals effectively making it a competitor to the iMac Pro (if it had not be discontinued). That means that if they reintroduce the iMac Pro, it will not be competing against other brands, it will be competing against the Mac Studio. Therefore, Apple would be quite stupid, if they where to reintroduce the iMac Pro as it either will not sell or it will cannibalise the Mac Studio. Another thing in the favour of a Mac Studio over an iMac Pro. It is freakishly portable and can be hooked up to any screen, keyboard, and mouse! So why would you lob around a 27 inch monitor with a computer? When you can just bring a cute little cube?
So I basically think Apple either accidentally or intentionally killed the iMac Pro market. Now, there is actually another factor which Apple had zero control over and that is the increase in working from everywhere. It has become so common an normal that many companies have stopped offering desktops to their employees and instead only offer laptops. This has been a trend for a while and I think apple may have seen the writing on the wall and decided to focus so much harder on their laptop lines than desktops. With the Mac Studio and Mac Pro being focused on video creation (editing, animation, etc) and everything else being focused on other customers. Like developers, photographers, and so on.
So do I think the iMac Pro is permanently dead? That is actually a good question. My honest answer is yes… until the day they may kill the Mac Studio. If that happens (I doubt it at the moment) then they may reconsider it.