Is the New Mac Pro Already Passé?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has recently been running a Mac Pro teaser in theaters across the country that promises viewers that the new, futuristic-looking desktop computer will be available this fall. While some reviewers criticized the odd circular design of the new Mac Pro, others commentators wondered why Apple is even bothering to launch a new desktop computer.

ReadWrite’s David Sobotta is one tech commentator who believes that Apple is flogging the proverbial dead horse by launching a high-end desktop computer in the age of cloud-computing. He notes that, “Today’s Mac Pro would have been a supercomputer — in 2003. Nowadays, it doesn’t come close to ranking. Computing power has moved to the cloud.”

Not only is the Mac Pro a throwback to an outdated era of desktop-computing, Sobotta thinks that Apple long ago, “gave up on marketing desktop supercomputers when they moved from PowerPC chips to putting cookie-cutter Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) inside.” He also points out that the Intel-based Mac Pro is out of step with the Cupertino-based company’s overall product lineup and is incongruous with the increasingly “simplified interface” of Apple’s operating systems.

Although the tech commentator thinks that there is “an important and vocal subset of Apple’s users” that may still appreciate a product like the Mac Pro, Sobotta doesn’t believe that Apple is even making a sincere effort to reach those customers. Instead of actually selling the Mac Pro, he notes that Apple appears to have cynically postponed the launch after originally announcing the product in order to gauge “market impact and interest.”

Instead of focusing on delivering a product that consumers actually need, Sobotta believes that when it comes to the Mac Pro, Apple is primarily interested in the publicity generated by the “idea” of the product. In this sense, the Mac Pro might not only be passé, it might be dead-on-arrival.

Here’s how Apple has traded over the past five days.

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