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Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Apple has decided to move away from the current, cylinder-shaped design used on its Mac Pro desktop, but creating a replacement will take until next year, executives said on Monday.

In a rare admission of a misstep, executives conceded the unusual design limited Apple's ability to offer meaningful upgrades and failed to meet many pro users' needs. Top executives said the company has begun work on a new desktop and a professional monitor.

"You won't see any of these products this year," Senior Vice President Phil Schiller told a handful of reporters in a discussion at Apple's offices in Cupertino. "It's important to do something great. That will take longer than this year to do."

(Related: Why the Mac Pro proved so hard to upgrade.)

In the interim, Apple plans to introduce new versions of the iMac with components more geared to professionals later this year. Also, later on Tuesday, it will announce a modest performance update to the existing Mac Pro in an attempt to tide over those who rely on Apple's highest-end machine. The updated configurations will add more processor cores and improved graphics performance.

Among the other points discussed:

  • Apple reiterated its commitment both to the Mac and to professional users as well as to continuing to develop pro software such as Final Cut and Logic. "The Mac has an important, long future at Apple," Schiller said. "We have every intention to keep investing in the Mac."
  • Schiller apologized for the slowness of upgrades with the Mac Pro. "We're sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro. We are going to come out with something great to replace it."
  • The company has no plans for touchscreen Macs, or for machines powered solely by the kind of ARM processors used in the iPhone and iPad. However, executives left open the possibility ARM chips could play a broader role as companion processors, something that showed up first with the T1 processor that powers the Touch Bar in the new MacBook Pro.

Go deeper

The recovery needs rocket fuel

Data: BLS. Chart: Axios Visuals

Friday's deeply disappointing jobs report should light a fire under Congress, which has dithered despite signs the economy is struggling to kick back into gear.

Driving the news: President-elect Biden said Friday afternoon in Wilmington that he supports another round of $1,200 checks.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC: It's time for "universal face mask use"

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

The CDC is urging “universal face mask use” for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, citing recent case spikes as the U.S. has entered a phase of “high-level transmission” before winter officially begins.

Why it matters: Daily COVID-related deaths across the U.S. hit a new record on Wednesday. Face coverings have been shown to increase protection of the wearer and those around them, despite some Americans' reluctance to use them.

3 hours ago - World

Saudi Arabia and Qatar near deal to end standoff, sources say

Qatar's prime minister (R) attends the 2019 Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty

Saudi Arabia and Qatar are close to a deal to end the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf following U.S.-mediated reconciliation talks this week, sources familiar with the talks tell me.

Why it matters: Restoring relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar would bring a sense of stability back to the Gulf after a 3.5 year standoff. It could also notch a last-minute achievement for the Trump administration before Jan. 20.