Apple to stop shipping Mac Pro in Europe on March 1

Apple logoApple informed its European distributors that it will stop shipping its Mac Pro workstations throughout the EU beginning March 1. Apple confirmed to Macworld UK that the existing Mac Pro design doesn't conform to a new EU safety standard which goes into effect on March 1, so the company will no longer sell them in Europe. A new "pro product" to replace the existing Mac Pro won't be available until sometime "later this year."

At issue is EU safety regulation IEC 60950-1, which applies to all EU, EU candidate, and European Free Trade Association countries. A recent amendment to the regulation adds additional safety requirements for computers and other electronics, which the existing Mac Pro doesn't meet.

"The new requirements necessitate fan guards and some increased protection on the ports on the electrical system," Apple told Macworld UK. "Because Mac Pro is not compliant with the regulations, we do want to meet that regulation and therefore [will] not offer Mac Pro beyond March 1."

Apple to stop shipping Mac Pro in Europe on March 1

Apple will accept orders for the Mac Pro until February 18 in order to ensure the workstations are shipped out by February 28 to beat the March 1 deadline. Existing reseller stock can still be sold beyond the deadline, however. The announcement also only affects European customers; Apple will continue to sell the existing Mac Pro, which has only seen a very minor update since 2010, in other territories around the world.

Oddly enough, the IEC 60950-1 Amendment 1 was originally published in 2009, long before the existing Mac Pro was released. Surely Apple could have changed the design to conform to the new regulations in the last three years, but the existing tower design was essentially designed over ten years ago when it was first launched as the PowerMac G5 in 2003.

Pro users have long been concerned that Apple may be abandoning the pro market since the Mac Pro hasn't been upgraded in over two years. Its older processors languish behind the performance of the latest Xeon-based workstations from the likes of Dell and HP, and it doesn't include newer peripheral connections like USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt.

Several months ago Apple CEO Tim Cook promised that a new product specifically for pro users would be coming in 2013. Apple declined to give any further information about a potential Mac Pro replacement except to reiterate that it was "working on a pro product for later this year." Perhaps the company had originally expected to have a new Mac Pro replacement before the regulation went into effect but decided instead to wait for updated Xeon processors based on Intel's much more efficient Ivy Bridge architecture expected in the second half of this year.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Apple

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