In an interesting development, Apple is promoting the Mac Pro in U.S. movie theaters. The advertisements reportedly feature the introductory video from Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference highlighting the workstation's unique design, with a new tagline added promising delivery in "Fall 2013."
That (vague) ship date shouldn't come as a big surprise. Last year, Apple promised a comprehensive refresh of its workstation products would be coming sometime in 2013 and, given that a summer release doesn't seem to be in the cards, "Fall 2013" is just another way of saying "later this year," which is what the Apple website has promised since the announcement.
Hard to say exactly when that will be — Apple is holding a September 10 event, but that one is expected to be iOS-centric. Might we hear a Mac Pro announcement at the same time? Observers are expecting a formal launch of the next version of OS X, Mavericks, which is also described as "coming this fall," so it seems like a safe bet that the Mac Pros will be ready when Mavericks is, or shortly thereafter. That could be as early as September.
But I'm really curious about Apple's decision to advertise its new high-end workstation directly to consumers — although movie theaters do seem like an ideal venue for a machine aimed in large part at content creators, the Mac Pro is generally expected to be way too expensive to get traction with the mass audience. It feels more like another one of Apple's recent branding moves, intended to impress people with the company's commitment to innovation (while sending a clear buy-me message to any high-end users who do happen to be out at the movies).
That said, I'm wondering if it's a national campaign or if Apple has limited it to major markets. If you've seen the Mac Pro teaser playing at a theater near you, please drop a note in the comments telling us when and where you saw it.