I expect to see a revamped Mac Pro before the end of 2011. It will probably be the last incarnation of the pro desktop.

Despite the coming availability of a new generation of Sandy Bridge desktop CPUs suitable for advancing the Mac Pro line, Apple has reportedly been evaluating whether to continue to invest in its full-sized workstation line beyond this year in the face of limited sales, according to “AppleInsider” (http://www.appleinsider.com).

That’s not surprising. Except for a few users the iMac, Apple’s best-selling desktop, has plenty of processing power. You can attach two Thunderbolt Cinema Displays to the Thunderbolt-equipped iMac for plenty of screen real estate. And Thunderbolt technology “will ultimately allow other, more popular members of the Mac product family to assume the vast majority of the roles that once required the Mac Pro’s flexibility and architecture,” as “AppleInsider” notes.

What’s more, laptops currently comprise 74% of Mac sales. Finally, it can’t be denied that Apple’s main focus is on consumer technology these days.

So my prediction is that we’ll see one last rev of the Mac Pro. After that, the iMac will be Apple’s “pro” desktop, and the Mac mini the entry level desktop.

As for the future of the laptop line, come back tomorrow for my thoughts on that.

— Dennis Sellers