The rumor mill is spinning once again regarding Apple, and this time we’ve heard a spill on the subject of which Mac is coming out in 2023, and to prepare for some disappointments.
This all comes from a reputable source on all things Apple, Mark Gurman, in his newsletter courtesy of Bloomberg (opens in a new tab), where he talks about what’s next in terms of MacBooks, Mac Pros, and iMacs (or what’s not next, at least not this year, in the latter case, as you’ll see). As always, treat rumors with a grain of salt, even those from more reliable sources.
According to Gurman, we’ll see new MacBook Pros in the first half of 2023, but they’ll have the exact same design and features as the existing 14-inch and 16-inch models, with the only real update being the inclusion of the M2 Pro. and M2 Max chips. However, even on that front, the performance gain will be “marginal,” Gurman says.
What might be more exciting are Apple’s apparent plans for a 15-inch MacBook Air laptop, which could be the “saving grace” for the entire Mac lineup this year, though Gurman won’t say what it will pack. He also tells us that a previously rumored 12-inch MacBook isn’t coming, or at least isn’t on the roadmap for the near future.
There will be a new Mac Pro for 2023, but that also disappoints in some ways. Gurman believes that a higher-end version of the Mac Pro, with a 48-core CPU (with 152 cores for graphics), has been cancelled, and Apple is simply releasing a model with the M2 Ultra chip. That throws some question marks over how it will stack up against Mac Studio in terms of value, Gurman notes, and the new Mac Pro will supposedly look the same as the 2019 version, too.
There’s further disappointment in an apparent change that means the user won’t be able to upgrade system RAM, because the memory will be soldered directly to the motherboard.
To round out the rather lackluster state of affairs, the larger iMac Pro that Apple has considered a possibility seems unlikely, appearing and disappearing on the product roadmap, according to Gurman. Gurman observes: “I would be surprised at this point if it arrives in 2023.”
As for a refreshed 24-inch iMac, it apparently won’t go ahead until the M3 SoC is ready, so it’s likely to be in 2024, or maybe it could sneak in later this year.
Analysis: A rather grim but not unexpected rumor dump
If all of this makes for somewhat bleak reading, which it generally does, then we must remember that this is just informed speculation, and Gurman could be wrong in some (or many) ways. Even if he’s right, what Apple is thinking now may change in the future.
In any case, assuming the above rumors are correct, it’s not a surprise to hear that the MacBook Pros won’t be much of a change from current incarnations. Although Gurman’s way of expressing the increase in performance of current models as “marginal” doesn’t exactly arouse enthusiasm.
If you recall, we expected those updates to arrive in late 2022, and when it became clear that wasn’t happening, the rumored release timeline became Q1 2023. Now, Gurman says the first half of the year, which seems indicate that a Q1 release may not happen, another small disappointment.
We didn’t see Apple’s silicon-powered Mac Pro at CES 2023, as we’d hoped, and maybe now we know why: things are still up in the air with the machine, perhaps. Regardless of how the Mac Pro turns out, presumably Apple needs to make it fit and look like a sensible proposition within its own line, though the mention of a possible step backwards in terms of non-upgradeable RAM is an unpleasant thought. With an expensive PC like this, the restrictions on component upgrades are frustrating, to say the least.
Still, we have the 15-inch MacBook Air still potentially available for 2023, which could make up for much of the rest of the Mac lineup hitting shelves this year, with little difference compared to existing models, or disappointing in other ways. A larger MacBook Air has long been rumored, and it never actually appeared, but maybe now is the time: there are certainly some big fans of the idea of a 15-inch version of the laptop (and equally, some people that they are more cautious about that).
Via Apple Insider (opens in a new tab)