Apple executive introduces Mac Studio positioning

Apple’s latest Mac Studio and Studio Display reviews have been released.  Three Apple executives revealed how the company designed the new Mac Studio console and Studio Display to fill the product gap between the iMac and Mac Pro, as well as other details about the new device.  

Three Apple executives, Tom Boger, Shelly Goldberg and Xander Soren, recently spoke with TechCrunch about Mac Studio.  Boger is Apple’s vice president of product marketing for Mac and iPad, Goldberg is apple’s senior director of product design for Mac and iPad, and Soren is Apple’s director of product marketing for Pro Apps.  All three shared insights about the design process for Apple’s Mac Studio and Studio Display.  

Boger noted that the seeds for Mac Studio were planted by the company’s “Pro Workflows, “or professional product line team, which was initially formed shortly after Apple apologized to its professional users and promised to continue working on the Mac as a professional product.  (There was a time when Apple was criticized for favoring the average user over the professional user.)  

“Our philosophy was not to update the Mac Mini at all, but rather to say, ‘We know we’re working on this M1 chip and we want to bring it to people who want performance and modular systems,'” Borg said.  Put it directly on people’s desks so it’s easy to use.”  

Boger added that Mac Studio is designed to provide “multiple ways to work” for our users.  

“You could decide to have a MacBook Pro with an M1 Max chip, which makes it easier to carry around,” he says.  If that’s how you choose to work, great.  But we also have people who prefer to have consoles on the desktop.”  

Mac Studio aims to fill that gap.  Apple collects feedback from users who have a clear desire for a modular system.  We also listened to users on other aspects of Mac Studio, including what interfaces to offer on the device.  

Goldberg, who leads product design for the iPad and Mac, also shed some light on the cooling characteristics of the Mac Studio — including the challenges of mounting the M1 Ultra chipset into a compact body.  

“It’s a very interesting challenge from a hardware point of view,” she says.  “The team ran hundreds of thermal simulations of the airflow to try to figure out the best airflow pattern to pass through the system in an attempt to optimize performance and acoustics. Ultimately, we came up with a design with an air intake, which is entered at the bottom through more than 2,000 machined holes, all machined at a specific Angle to allow the airflow to rotate.”  

Speaking to Studio Display, Boger said Apple is aiming for “great, easy-to-use, very mainstream displays.”  

“If you want to connect to a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, Mac Studio, Mac Pro, etc., this is a great monitor,” he said.  And we knew that there were still people using Intel-based Macs, so we put the A13 in there to handle spatial audio and to do that on top of video.”  

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