This two-year Mac rollout with Apple silicon sure has been fun, hasn’t it? Not only do we get to see how the M-series processors are developing, but we also get fresh takes on Mac designs and features. It’s been years since Mac customers have had something meaningful to look forward to besides processor bumps and a new laptop keyboard and the Apple silicon transition has made things super exciting again.
We’re coming up on the two-year anniversary of Apple’s initial announcement that it would be switching to its own silicon. But that doesn’t mean we’ll stop seeing new Macs! We know the M1 rollout is done, and now we’ll start to see what else Apple can do with its Mac silicon, so we could see more exciting design changes.
The excitement won’t end in June, and based on the rumors, we’ll see more innovations on the Mac at least through the end of this year. Here are five Macs that could continue the parade that started in 2020.
The Mac Pro isn’t for everyone, but everyone wants to see what Apple will do with it. This is the Mac for the most demanding users, and Apple can go all out, not just with speed, but with high-end features and design too.
Apple’s previous two Mac Pro designs—the 2013 cylinder and the 2019 tower—are stark contrasts in design, with the former being super compact and self-contained, while the latter is big and modular. With the new Mac Pro, we could see a compromise between these two design philosophies, eliminating some user-accessible components while allowing others.
That’s because the M1 System on a Chip (SoC) has built-in features that usually would be separate components, such as the GPU, RAM, and media accelerators. Mac Pro users, however, need expansion slots for different cards, and want the ability to add more RAM or upgrade a GPU. If Apple took away any modular ability, that would send the wrong message to the customers of the Mac Pro.
The Mac Studio introduced the M1 Ultra, Apple’s top M1-series SoC. The Mac Pro is Apple’s chance to really flex its processing muscle, so the company could introduce a new SoC implementation that really makes the Mac Pro scream. WWDC would be a fantastic showcase for the newest Apple silicon Mac—the same place where Apple showed off the last two models.
Apple currently offers three Mac mini models: Two that have the M1 SoC, and a third that’s still using an Intel processor. It’s this third Mac mini model that is going to be very interesting to see.
Apple does not have a desktop Mac that uses the M1 Pro processor—it’s only in the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro. The high-end Mac mini seems like the ideal machine for it. The price might go up too—it’s $1,099 now, but it could go to $1,299 to fit better between the low-end Mac minis and the entry-level $1,999 Mac Studio.
Even with the M2 likely making its debut this fall, an M1 Pro Mac mini would be a great option at the higher end. The M2 would replace the M1 in the low-end Mac minis. The M2 will be like the M1 (8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores), but faster, but not fast enough to catch the M1 Pro. With the Mac Studio at the upper end of the spectrum, WWDC could be a great showcase for a new mid-range Mac mini.
Like the Mac mini, the current MacBook Air has an M1, and there are rumors that a new model could get an M2 (though there have been conflicting reports about that). What’s more exciting about a new MacBook Air is the possibility that it could get a dramatic makeover.
Essentially, the MacBook Air could look like a portable iMac, with a variety of color options, a white bezel around the screen, and an even thinner and lighter body. It could still use a LED display, which is more affordable than the mini LED displays used in the MacBook Pro.
This would help distinguish the MacBook Air as a laptop for the general consumer, like the iMac. So not only would it be interesting to see the redesign, it will create distinct lines of delineation within Apple’s Mac lineup. A WWDC entry would certainly make a splash, but this one’s more likely to launch in the fall alongside the M2 processor.
New rumors have surfaced about a 15-inch Mac laptop, and it’s believed that it will be a larger version of the MacBook Air, which is currently available only as a 13-inch model. It wouldn’t be unprecedented: In case you didn’t know (or don’t remember), Apple used to have two MacBook Air sizes, an 11-inch model and a 13-incher. The smaller Air was discontinued in 2015.
However, Apple sells a 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M1, and there have been rumors that this laptop will be upgraded to an M2. So will Apple really go with two MacBook Airs and three MacBook Pros? That’s a crowded laptop lineup.
It’s hard to believe Apple would keep the 13-inch MacBook Pro if it is going to make a 15-inch MacBook Air. Maybe could Apple revamp the 13-inch MacBook Pro to a 15-inch MacBook that sits between the 13-inch MacBook Air and the 14-inch MacBook Pro? But whatever the machine is called, it would represent the first 15-inch laptop since 2019, when Apple launched the 16-inch MacBook Pro.
For many people, it’s the sweet spot between portability and size, and we can’t wait to see what it looks like, though we might need to wait a bit. Look for this model either in the fall or early next year.
Apple’s desktop lineup is evolving nicely. The Mac mini has $699 and $899 lower-level models, and an M1 Pro Mac mini would be a nice high-end addition. The Mac Studio is a relatively lower-level pro computer, and the Pro is the ultra-high-end.
Then there’s the iMac. Apple sells three standard configurations, but no matter which one you pick, it’s still a lower-level M1 Mac. It doesn’t have a high-end companion. Maybe it doesn’t need it, but it seems like an iMac Pro would be a good fit.
Even though Apple did away with the 27-inch iMac in March, the rumor mill has been churning reports about an iMac Pro with M2 Pro and M2 Max professors that could be released in 2023. The rumors make it sound like an interesting Mac, with a chip that’s like the M1 Pro, a Liquid XDR display, and a design similar to the 24-inch iMac. It could be an attractive all-in-one alternative to the $1,999 Mac Studio that’s missing a keyboard, monitor, and mouse.