Apple is preparing a new line of Macs to launch “between late spring and summer,” according to Apple a report by Mark Gurman of Bloomberg.
The most significant of the three would be a 15-inch MacBook Air, but a new Mac Pro refresh would complete the Mac’s transition from Intel’s CPUs and AMD’s GPUs to Apple Silicon, and a new 13-inch MacBook Air could also be a possibility . Apple is also reportedly planning a new 24-inch iMac, which could be the first of its Macs to use its next-gen M3 chip.
The 15-inch MacBook Air would be a new product category for Apple: a larger-screen laptop that costs less than a MacBook Pro. Apple’s consumer-oriented laptops — from the old PowerPC iBook to the early Intel MacBooks to the current MacBook Air — all range between 11 and 13 inches. The 15- to 17-inch PowerBook and MacBook Pro models always required an increase in CPU and GPU performance, which drove up the price. The cheapest MacBook Air starts at $999, while the cheapest 16-inch MacBook Pro is $2,499.
There’s plenty of room in Apple’s lineup for a model in between these two extremes for people who want to fit more on the screen at once, or who need larger text and images so they can be seen better.
Gurman’s report offers few details about the new 13-inch MacBook Air, aside from the fact that it exists. It could be a new model with an M3 chip, although the M2 model was only released in July, and the gap between the M1 and M2 Air was closer to a year and a half. It could also be an M2-flavored update for the budget $999 MacBook Air, similar to the M2 version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
But Gurman seems more confident that the new iMac will include the M3, as “Apple designed the next iMac on the same timeline as the M3 chip.” This new iMac would look the same as the current M1 model, from the 24-inch screen to the color options available, but “some of its internal components” will be “relocated and redesigned.”
The new iMac is “in an advanced stage of development” and is expected to launch in the second half of 2023. Gurman has said Apple is still working on a larger iMac, but this report only mentions the 24-inch model.
As for the Mac Pro, there are no new details apart from the possible Spring to Summer release timeline. Apple has already missed the two-year grace period set for Apple Silicon Macs in 2020, but plans for the new Mac Pro have reportedly shifted as development progressed. It was originally supposed to have a unique super high-end chip from Apple Silicon, but those plans were scrapped, and Gurman says the version we’re likely to get will be based on an M2 Ultra, a successor to the M1 Ultra the Mac Studio desktop.
While the new Mac Pro is said to have room for user-upgradable storage, the tightly integrated design of the Apple Silicon chips makes external graphics cards and upgradeable RAM much less likely. Apple could skip an M2 update for the Mac Studio to give the new Mac Pro a better reason to exist.
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