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Apple’s Pro Lineup is Expanding: Just like the Minds of Creators

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Not a problem but an opportunity to get ahead of the trend

In episode 3 of season 21 of ‘Law and Order’, aired last week, an attempt at a joke was made. It was only half-a-chuckle worth of humor and mildly outdated. The upshot was that anyone under 30 is a wannabe social media influencer and anyone over 30 hates social media and influencers.

This is true only in the sense that there is a perception that the new and ubiquitous side-hustle is to selfie-video yourself into a million followers on TikTok mindset is exploding, which it is.

And that it’s happening concurrent with the post-pandemic rejection of traditional employment. The logic being that to start a YouTube channel (TikTok etc) and get a life as a creator that is worth more ( albeit with well known downsides) than a 9 to 5.

Once again there’s a disconnect between Apple with its finger on the pulse of society and high tech appetites, and the ‘media’, ever stuck in an imaginary war between ‘consumers’ and ‘pros’.

So what is “Pro” in a world where everyone wants to produce pro content?

A, now funny, bunch articles published on the eve of Apple’s recent hardware reveal event on March 8th, detailed exactly why there would definitely not be a release of an upgraded ‘mac-mini style’ workstation. The general idea was that the consumer market is bigger and more important and, therefore, Apple would be smart ad postpone the ‘less important’ pro products.

Of course, that turned out to be wrong and the highlight of the event was the release of what’s now called the Mac Studio, including the double stacked mac-mini-styled knock off of the insanely expensive Mac Pro and the partner Studio Display. Many of those articles have been deleted, likely due to the embarrassment of being 100% dead opposite of what transpired.

Next Mitchell Clark , in The Verge, writes that Apple has a “Pro Problem” and is somehow lost in its branding. Apparently, according to the post, Apple is too quick on the trigger to brand something Pro and will have no choice but to start a new, presumably, semi-pro line up using the the new ‘Studio’ moniker.

While this has, in a sense, um, already happened, it is a sign of something entirely different and much more meaningful that is being either willfully ignored or lost in the forest for the trees.

To be fair, the article is, ultimately taking a positive spin on this, positing that changing all “pro” products to the tag “studio” would be smart and that the term “pro” is too restrictive.

What this side-steps is the reality of what the entire Pro-plus-Studio product category is all about. The idea that anyone that uses Apple desktop or MacBook Pro gear for digital content creation would also own an iPhone and possible an iPad is now a given.

What’s new is the huge strides that Apple is making on a daily basis in the ability for all Apple products to add value to all other Apple products. This is a complex transition that literally began at the inception of each product line and will reach a peak of interoperability in around March of 2024 (prediction).

And the Pro lineup, whatever it will be called at that time is, and will continue to be, at the forefront of that transition and insanely great transformation.

Always cheering makes for a dull story

As an aside, it is a well known media technique to couch an Apple ‘puff piece’ in the guise of a takedown. It makes sense, if you endlessly gush on the genius of Apple’s strategy and products, you come across like a fan-boy-ass-kisser and worse, like a shill trying to make bank on Apple just by applauding anything that comes down the pike.

The truth is that this anti-but-really-pro thing works.

The premise of this article, that Apple knows exactly what it’s doing and that there is a monumental shift taking place in society where the meaning of ‘Pro’ is not getting muddied by Apple, but rather, expanding and morphing into something new and huge, is less sexy than just saying, Apple’s lost and they muffed it, dude.

With or without Apple, the meaning of ‘Pro’ is changing, by the minute

The imaginary line that exists between a Pro user and a consumer is blurring. And, according to the verge article, it’s Apple’s fault by designating its high end Phones as Pro and Pro Max, while at the same time also ‘real’ pro gear like the Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR.

What is really happening is that there is a rapidly growing demographic that needs the kind of computational prowess that was once insanely expensive, but at a semi-pro price.

If you are an influencer or a wannabe (supposedly this is ‘everyone under 30’, right?) and you are getting by on skimpy iPhone apps but want to get into software like Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro and so on, but need the power to produce in a hurry, what are your options?

Until the new Mac Studio Lineup those options were very pricy. Very. But now imagine a world where you could have an iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max, a Mac Studio set up and, if you get a few sponsors or subscribers, a MacBook Pro with M1 Max for the road.

By all accounts you now have a full production ensemble with the power (more powerful than Mac Pro is already the headline) to do what would have had a price of tens of thousands of dollars, closer to 20k, just a year ago.

Now it’s only slightly more than what the non-pro cost in 2021.

The tail wags the dog or does it?

The real, and obviously more complex reality, is that Apple is both leading and following the real demographics in the Pro revolution that is already afoot.

The shift from influencers using glamorous instagram photos of lavish lifestyles (fake or not) to get status has changed into video driven authenticity and art leading the way and this trend is already impacting everything.

Facebook has a TikTok account now. Instagram has shifted to video first and is trying to escape photos altogether, the ‘creativity’ element in being a content creator is off the charts and getting more competitive by the second. NFTs are still not dead and being added as a thing to mainstream apps and platforms.

So, no, Apple does not have a “Pro Problem” they are trying to tailor the solution to the market. And the solution is more pro users than ever (what used to be called ‘pro-sumer’ in a now archaic and ridiculous sounding phrase) are getting more powerful tools and at a lower than ever cost.

Sorry not to be able to do a faux Apple take-down on this time. Does Apple make mistakes? Hell yes. Just this time it is the biggest non-mistake ever, and it wold be incredulous or worse to say otherwise. Glory to the Mac Studio and ‘Pro” users everywhere.

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