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Apple Mac Pro to be retired?

Apple is reportedly considering whether to ditch its ageing Mac Pro line of desktop computers.

Apple may ditch the Mac Pro. Like a worn-out salaryman reaching the end of his career, Apple's high-end desktop powerhouse could be quietly retired with a gold watch and a half-hearted handshake to see it into retirement.

Apple bosses are undecided about the Mac Pro's future, according to AppleInsider. In a telling sign of the way Apple has changed over the years, Apple's desktop computers now make up just a fraction of Apple's revenues: the iTunes store makes nearly as much as desktop computers, while the company sells three times as many MacBook laptops, nine times as many iPads and 13 times as many iPhones.

And many of those desktop computers are iMacs. The iMac may not offer the sheer processing grunt of the 12-core Mac Pro, but it's hardcore enough for even professional use and the recent addition of Thunderbolt makes it even more powerful.

The Mac Pro is also culturally at odds with the rest of Apple's line-up: you can dive in and tinker with it, simply opening the side panel to add up to 32GB of RAM, four PCI Express expansion cards and up to 8TB of storage. Meanwhile the fruity phone-flinger is so opposed to you fossicking about inside your iPhone it won't even let you take the battery out.

With no update since last year -- and then only minor changes -- it would seem the venerable Mac Pro's days are numbered. Ultimately it all comes down to the bottom line: increasingly niche it may be, but it's still a premium-priced product -- up to £15,000 when fully loaded -- and may earn Apple a tidy sum even with relatively low sales.

Is a Mac Pro still an essential tool for the workplace, or should it be fired? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section or on our Facebook page.