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Apple

When Apple introduced its cylinder-shaped Mac Pro, it thought it had a product with a striking design that would meet the needs of a wide range of professional users for years to come. It turned out to only be the former.

Why it matters: Although the Mac Pro accounts for just a tiny, single-digit percentage of all Mac sales, professional users still make up some of the company's most important and most loyal customers.

In a candid admission, Apple executives said Monday that the round design actually boxed the company into a corner. While certainly a head-turner, the unique design imposed some strict limits on how much heat the machine could generate and also required the company to split intense graphics workloads among two modestly powered graphics chips.

It turned out, though, that for many tasks professionals really needed one high performance graphics chips.

"The architecture over time proved to be less flexible to take us where wanted to go," Apple senior VP Craig Federighi said during a roundtable meeting with Axios and a handful of other news outlets. "We wanted to do something bold and different. In retrospect, it didn't well suit some of the people we were trying to reach."

As a result, Apple plans to go back to the drawing board for an all-new Mac Pro design, though that will take until next year to develop. (More details here.)

The history: Apple introduced the current Mac Pro design in 2013, as well as plans to manufacture it in the U.S., but Apple has been slow to upgrade the model, raising concerns the company doesn't care enough about professional users.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Beto not even best Dem against Abbott

Beto O'Rourke speaks at a rally at the Texas State Capitol in June. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Delayed maps upend midterm campaigns

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Midterm candidates are panicking about how the congressional maps will ultimately be drawn, with several strategists telling Axios campaigns are in limbo.

Why it matters: Candidates are unsure if the district they're targeting will remain intact or be reshaped by the process. The uncertainty is especially vexing to Democrats, who are vying to maintain their narrow margin in the House.

First look: Conservatives' 2022 big target: Tax increases

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Conservative groups are unveiling huge ad-buys going after vulnerable House Democrats over tax increases and other revenue measures in their party's massive infrastructure spending bill, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: President Biden and Democrats have an immense amount of political capital riding on a $3.5 trillion bill facing razor-thin margins in both chambers. Conservatives are running ads targeting the House members who leaders will need to pass the measure.