News came out today that Apple will be suspending sales of Mac Pros in most of Europe due to an issue over European regulatory requirements. All resellers have been given notice. It reads:
“As of March 1, 2013, Apple will no longer sell Mac Pro in EU, EU candidate and EFTA countries because these systems are not compliant with Amendment 1 of regulation IEC 60950-1, Second Edition which becomes effective on this date. Apple resellers can continue to sell any remaining inventory of the Mac Pro after March 1.
Apple will take final orders for the Mac Pro from resellers up until February 18 for shipment before March 1, 2013.”
Does Not Affect Mac Pro Elsewhere
The Mac Pro will continue to be sold in all other countries where it is currently sold and distributed. Apparently at issue are the large fans in the Mac Pro and the lack of protection from those spinning blades. The new requirement, according to a report in Macworld UK, states that the new amended requirements necessitate fan guards.
New Mac Pros Coming in 2013 and Made in USA
While nobody is certain the new Mac Pro computers stated to be planned for 2013 will be made in the United States, an article on Fortune makes the logical basic argument that due to the Mac Pro’s heavy weight the company can save on shipping these units to the US and Europe where the Mac Pro has its largest user base.
Apple CEO Tim Cook stated to Brian Williams in a TV interview that Apple was planning on bringing some of its Mac production back to the United States as part of a $100 million investment. A labor economist at Michigan Manufactory Technology Center told the news site Bloomberg that a $100 million factory would employee 200 people and produce 1 million units per year.
Apple sold approximately 4.6 million Macs last year and the Mac mini and the Mac Pro are the only models that likely sell fewer than 1 million per year. A new Mac Pro factory in the US would cater production to an easy to build-to-order (BTO) line and the extra labor cost associated with both BTO and manufacturing in the US can be more easily absorbed by computers costing from 2,500.USD to 3,800.USD.
For those who have feared the demise of the Mac Pro line–and we cannot say that we haven’t ourselves–it is important to recall this workstation-class computer’s history. The current Mac Pro in its basic form factor has been with us a few more years than one might have expected, but it is a wonderful design. And it descends from a series of workstation designs going all the way back to 1991 with the Apple Quadra 700 and 900 towers. Those units grew into a few more serious beige box workstations which eventually led to Power Macs in the mid ’90s.
Apple introduced the amazing blue and white Power Macintosh G3 in 1999, nearly a decade after the Quadra 700/900. In between those designs were similar and logically connected to each other. The design of the blue and white G3 itself held its basic format until 2003 mid-year. Then came our current workstation design. And this design has been so good that Apple has held onto it for nearly a decade now with only minor tweaks. What we should all expect from the next Mac Pro–to be quite honest–is possibly a name change.