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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

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.