Apple Silicon Transition Now ‘Shifting Into High Gear’ | 7 New Macs We’re Expecting in 2022

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With Apple’s first M1 chip now nearly a year-and-a-half old, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that 2022 will be the year of Apple Silicon. In fact, by the time 2023 begins, there may be no Intel models left in Apple’s Mac lineup.

According to Mark Gurman, Apple is getting ready to “shift into high gear” with its Apple Silicon transition, with at least two new M-series chips on deck, plus more new Macs that will pack in the M1 Pro/Max chips that debuted in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros last fall.

While it’s probably no big surprise that we’re going to see an M2 chip soon, Gurman has also added confirmation that there are “super-powered versions of the M1 Max” coming also.

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At first glance, it may sound like this last part aligns with rumours we’ve heard of a 12-core M1 Max chip that’s likely destined for the iMac Pro. However, Gurman goes on to suggest that this chip is actually intended for Apple’s flagship powerhouse, which will also be making the jump to Apple Silicon this year.

Specifically, it sounds like Gurman is talking about the stacked M1 Max chip capabilities first reported last year. In December, Vadim Yuryev of Max Tech discovered that the M1 Max was designed to be combined with up to three other M1 Max chips, creating an ultra-powerful combo chip that would double, or even quadruple, the available cores.

In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman describes the Mac Pro chips:

The Mac Pro chips will come in two main flavors: one that doubles the M1 Max’s capabilities and one that quadruples it. Look for 20 CPU cores and 64 graphics cores on the first chip, and 40 CPU cores and 128 graphics cores on the second. Mark Gurman

Clearly, this is not the rumoured 12-core M1 chip, and Gurman actually doesn’t even mention that. Instead, he suggests that the new iMac Pro will get M1 Pro and M1 Max chips identical to the ones that are already found in Apple’s high-end MacBook Pro lineup.

When Are All The 2022 Macs Coming?

Last month, Gurman suggested that this fall would herald the biggest new product lineup in Apple’s history, hinting that we’d have to wait until then to see any new Macs at all.

This seemed reasonable back when all the buzz around Apple’s March event was focused on the 5G iPhone SE and new iPads, but we’ve since heard that up to three new Macs are expected to make an appearance next month as well.

As such, Gurman has revised his previous estimates to line up with what we’ve all been thinking already; his prediction is that next month’s announcement will feature “at least one new Mac.” Logically, he says, that would be the 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini, since those are the oldest Apple Silicon Macs in the lineup.

However, since Gurman’s sources also suggest that the iMac Pro is getting the M1 Pro/Max chips that are already available, we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer for that one, either.

And with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips already on the market, I don’t believe the iMac Pro launch is too distant either. While we’ll get new Macs in March, I’m told Apple is already gearing up for another round of Mac releases around May or June. Mark Gurman

This would actually bring some interesting symmetry to Apple’s Mac announcements; Apple announced its first M1 MacBooks in November 2020, followed by the first M1 iMac in April 2021. Likewise, the first M1 Pro/Max-powered iMac would come this spring, six months after the M1 Pro/Max MacBook Pro lineup arrived.

Meanwhile, however, Apple may be in a bigger hurry to get its M2 chips into circulation. There’s a great deal of evidence suggesting that an entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro is arriving next month, and if that’s the case, it’s hard to believe that Apple wouldn’t put new silicon in that.

Without providing a specific timeline, Gurman lists everything that he’s expecting Apple to unveil this year, although it’s unclear how much of this is based on inside information and how much of it is educated speculation.

  1. A new Mac mini with an M1 Pro chip.
  2. A 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chip.
  3. A Mac mini with an M2 chip.
  4. A 24-inch iMac with an M2 chip.
  5. A redesigned MacBook Air with an M2 chip.
  6. A larger iMac Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max chip options.
  7. A half-sized Mac Pro, the first with Apple Silicon, with the equivalent of either two or four M1 Max chips.

While most of this seems pretty obvious, the Mac mini remains the odd duck in the lineup, especially based on what Apple’s roadmap is beginning to look like. The higher-end Mac mini is more overdue to get the Apple Silicon treatment than even the 27-inch iMac, but with an M2 chip potentially just around the corner, it’s hard to predict what direction Apple will go in.

It’s possible that the 13-inch MacBook Pro could be the only model to get the M2 chip this time around. This would allow Apple to nudge the MacBook Pro ahead of the MacBook Air, which could be a good idea, considering that the original M1 models muddied those waters a bit.

In that case, Apple could hold off on the M2 Mac mini and even the M2 MacBook Air until later this year, and instead transition the Intel Mac mini to an M1 Pro/Max configuration. The MacBook Air may also be strategically delayed, since Gurman says it’s “a nice holiday seller.”

The 27-inch iMac would follow not long after, becoming the new iMac Pro. Gurman’s information also quashes speculation that Apple has a lower-end 27-inch iMac in the works. With Apple Silicon, the iMac family will follow the MacBook family in a more typical standard and Pro split.

After all, as Gurman points out, if Apple simply wanted to release a larger iMac with M1 silicon, it would likely have already done so. Even in the midst of supply constraints, simply producing a larger version of last year’s 24-inch wouldn’t be too difficult.

All indications are that Apple has its focus on a Pro iMac with a larger screen than the 24-inch model. It will incorporate the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors from the latest high-end MacBook Pros. If Apple goes pro-only for the larger iMac, just like on the MacBook Pro with its 14-inch and 16-inch screens, it will be using display size as another “Pro” differentiator from the low-end model.Mark Gurman

Meanwhile, as a high-end developer machine, Gurman thinks we can expect to hear about the new Mac Pro at WWDC. As with prior Mac Pro models, however, this will likely just be a pre-announcement, with the actual machine not shipping until later in the year.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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