Why Apple's secrecy is frustrating Mac Pro customers

c|net by Josh Lowensohn

Apple's habit of keeping things close to the vest threatens the allure of one of its oldest, and still important, products.

It's not exactly a revelation to say Apple executives are fond of secrets. While that sense of mystery may work marketing magic with consumers, many Mac Pro customers in the professional world would very much appreciate it if Apple would cut it out with the cloak-and-dagger stuff.

At a starting price of $2,499, the Mac Pro is one of Apple's most expensive products. It's still the go-to workhorse for creative types who work in film, photography, print, and architectural jobs. But many of them are losing patience with Apple following a series of erratic product updates and poor communication about future plans, and there's only a vague indication their concerns will be addressed anytime soon.

"Pro users aren't the kind of people that hang on rumors," said longtime video producer Lou Borella, the creator of a Facebook group called "We want a new Macpro," which was started last May and has since received more than 19,300 likes. "If you're not going to release on a yearly cycle, let us know. You're not going to lose us. You're going to lose us because you're not saying anything."

That waiting game reached a tipping point last year, when after nearly two years between upgrades, Apple finally updated the Mac Pro with newer technology. For some, what Apple delivered was too little, too late.

Many "pros," or Mac Pro users, were miffed that while Apple updated the Mac Pro's processors and the amount of memory, it didn't include many of the newer technologies it's been building in its notebooks and its other desktops for years. One customer who e-mailed Apple CEO Tim Cook bluntly asked whether the company really cared about the pro community. Cook then did something unusual for an executive at any company (let alone Apple): He replied in an e-mail, saying Apple was "working on something really great for later next year" and not to worry. read more...

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