At the WWDC 2017 keynote, Apple announced the Space Grey iMac Pro, an amazing piece of hardware, “the most powerful Mac ever” starting at $4,999.
It is a 27-inch iMac with a Retina 5K display, it can go up to 18-core Xeon processors (so it is super fast), and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation (I suppose this is the most scientific metric that proves that this is a super fast computer) achievable on the high-end configuration.
It is the first time that a desktop Mac comes in Space Grey colour and this is also a first for the keyboard and mouse that come with it. And this where Apple didn’t predict correctly the demand for the product. I’m not talking about the demand for the computer, they probably do have this right (I sure hope so with this price tag!). I’m talking about the demand for they keyboard and the mouse in this Space Grey colour.
This is not a brand new keyboard or mouse with anything new. The only new is the colour. What came as a surprise to me after I analysed the comments from users on websites that focus on Apple related issues, every comment related to these accessories was a clear indication of willingness to purchase the keyboard or the mouse.
There are many Mac users out there that have a Mac and the all too familiar silver / white keyboard that want to add some a spill of colour on their desks. They do want to buy the keyboard or the mouse (BTW most comments are on the keyboard!). And probably all of them already know that the keyboard won’t be a $19.99 keyboard, it is going to be probably at least $129.99 because this is how much the silver / white Magic Keyboard costs.
But the great disappointment is that the keyboard and the mouse won’t be sold separately, the only way to buy them is to buy the Space Grey iMac Pro. It is $4,999 or nothing. You can’t pay $129.99 and buy it. You can’t even pay double that and buy it. You have to pay 39 times more (and get a rather amazing computer along with it).
There are at least three aspects that I find fascinating about it:
- The colour defines the premium product: You can tell the minimum cost for this product by its colour. You know that this is the most expensive iMac out there. I’m not sure if you can do the same for any other Apple product or even any other product. The iPhones look all the same no matter if they have 16 GB or 128 GB. Granted, one of them has a different finish and probably it is the only product that comes close to this concept of “demanding attention”. Imagine the advertising agency with the 20 creative people working on their iMac. The one that gets the silver grey iMac Pro is the leader of the pack. It is the one that stands out by far.
- It is really exclusive: You can’t buy a part of the premium and exclusivity that comes with the silver grey iMac Pro. You have to go all in, you have to be an amazing professional that can actually do amazing things. No one else will have anything similar to it, not even a mouse or a keyboard similar to it.
- It is priced differently: Most of Apple’s products are expensive yet they are affordable for many. Even the Macbook Pro and the iPad Pro are affordable for many. But the starting price for the iMac Pro makes it extremely clear that it is only for the most serious of the users, those with the specific and very demanding needs.
The only thing that I still don’t know how Apple tends to manage is what happens if my Space Grey Magic Keyboard or Mouse breaks and I need to replace it. If I’m not able to buy a new one, is silver and white my only option? That would make me a very miserable owner of a very expensive machine that I use to create amazing things every day and yet whenever I look down to my keyboard it just feels wrong. I sure hope they have a very creative answer to this case!