On Monday, June 6, Apple will consider upcoming changes to iOS and macOS, along with other major software announcements. The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is a developer-focused event where the Cupertino company loves to share details about the latest software updates for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Although it’s a software-centric event, Apple could use the stage to announce new Macs with its next-generation M-series chipset.
What can Mac consumers and power users expect this year? Let’s round up what Apple might release at WWDC 2022 in terms of Macs.
The all-new MacBook Air
The MacBook Air is still the most popular Mac in the market, and there is a reason why people love this computer so much. The MacBook Air is one of the fastest laptops in its class, but it’s also lightweight and costs the same price as Windows laptops. If recent rumors are to be believed, the Air will get a major update, and the new model could be announced as early as next week at WWDC.
The next generation MacBook Air is expected to come in different colors similar to the newer iMacs. Its design will remain thin and light, but the classic tapered edge will be replaced by a flat-edge design similar to the iPad Pro and iPad Air. It’s also expected to get white bezels around the screen, a 1080p HD webcam, and revised ports. It’s unclear if Apple will put the upcoming M2 chip inside the Air. However, a March tweet from trusted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the upcoming MacBook Air will have an M1 chip, not an M2 processor. He also stressed that production of the next generation MacBook Air will not start until the end of the second or third quarter.
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Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s Mark Gorman believes the new MacBook Air will come with an M2 chipset because these laptops are already in testing, although supply chain disruptions linked to Covid-19 have complicated things a bit. In his latest newsletter, Gurman believes that if any Mac appears at WWDC, it will likely be the MacBook Air, although he previously stated that it won’t appear until after September 2022.
New Mac Pro with Apple Silicon
At the company’s March event, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, John Ternus, shared the teaser of the new Apple Silicon Mac Pro on stage. Not much is known about the professional-grade Mac Pro, which will replace the 2019 Mac Pro, which has an internal Intel chip and a high-performance Mac tower.
One possibility is that the updated Mac Pro could feature the same M1 Ultra chip found in Mac Studio. The Mac Pro could have a smaller chassis and a lower price tag. Another speculation is that Apple will release a boosted version of the M1 Ultra chip and market it with a different name and use case.
The current Mac Pro, which is still available for purchase from the Apple Store, starts at $5,999 and goes up to $50,000 for the top model. Remember, you’ll have to shell out another $4,999 to get a 6-inch 32-inch Pro Display XDR.
Mac Mini with M2
Two years ago, Apple updated the Mac mini with the M1 chip along with the MacBook Air. Now, Apple has revealed an updated version of the Mac mini at WWDC next week that will be very interesting. According to leaks and reports, the computer will likely have a glossy “glass-like pixel” surface, similar to the original Mac mini from 2005. Mark Gorman of Bloomberg has spoken in the past about how he expects Apple to upgrade the Mac mini to two variants: One with the M2 chipset and the other with the M1 Pro chipset.
The new Mac Mini is also expected to have four Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, HDMI, Ethernet, and a magnetic power connector. Although interest in desktop computers has slowed, Apple continues to sell the Mac mini. Frankly, it makes sense that Apple would continue to support the most affordable Mac desktop computers.
MacBook Pro 13 inch
Latest update in late 2020, the 13-inch MacBook Pro occupies an odd place in Apple’s Mac lineup. The 13-inch MacBook Pro isn’t quite as fast as the 14- or 16-inch MacBook Pro, and it’s not as affordable and lightweight as the entry-level MacBook Air. So why would Apple want to keep the 13-inch MacBook Pro? Well, the answer is less complicated than it seems. No matter what business experts and insiders say, the 13-inch MacBook Pro will continue to attract a segment of users who don’t want to pay a high price for a 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro but still need a light-weight professional laptop.
It might be easier for Apple to market the new 13-inch MacBook Air to those who want a Touch Bar and better battery life. The new 13-inch MacBook Pro may get the same M2 processor as the next MacBook Air, as well as similar storage and memory options.
No new 27″ iMac
The 27-inch iMac, an all-in-one desktop computer aimed at professionals, is slated to be upgraded. And while Gurman has talked about a larger iMac Pro with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chipset options on the cards, it’s unlikely to appear anytime soon. With the M1 silicon family, Apple has finally streamlined its Mac lineup with a solid strategy. The recent introduction of Mac Studio and the expected upgrade to the Mac Pro will mean that Apple will not need a specific “pro” desktop range in the future just to showcase more power.