Apple fans who patiently wait should be rewarded.
Another major Apple event before the New Year is almost impossible. That’s because CEO Tim Cook stated on a recent investor conference call that the product line is “set” for the year. So, any upgrades to the Mac lineup, as well as any other surprises (hint: it could be a headset), will have to wait until early 2023. But that won’t stop us from making predictions about what will happen at Apple Park in the coming year.
Apple has traditionally held three fall events each year, but this year was different. Apple held a September event, as usual, to unveil the new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra. A month later, Cook broke tradition by foregoing the Livestream extravaganza in favor of a low-key series of press releases announcing an M2 iPad Pro, a colorful entry-level iPad, and an Apple TV in 4K.
Apple usually announces new Macs in November, but that date has reportedly been pushed back
With new iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches crossed off our end-of-year Apple launch bingo card, the only remaining tentpole products for the company are new Macs and the elusive XR headset. We don’t know when these previously announced announcements will be made, but we do know what details to expect.
Special Early Edition of Power On: Apple is launching the next iPad Pro with M2 very soon, new MacBook Pros are on track for later this year and Apple is planning to turn the iPad into a Google Pixel Tablet-like home hub next year.
MacBook Pro M2 Pro and M2 Max
According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman and Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo, new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros powered by the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips will be released in the new year. Upgrades to Apple’s second-generation silicon would be a natural progression for the current 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, which come with M1 Pro and M1 Max configuration options.
The standard version of the M2 chip is currently available in two Apple laptops: the 13-inch MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air, both of which were announced at WWDC 2022 last June.
New 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro with new processors will enter mass production in 4Q22. Given TSMC’s guidance that the 3nm will contribute revenue starting in 1H23, processors of 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro models may still adopt the 5nm advanced node.
Mac mini M2
A new Mac mini is also rumored to be on the way, and it appears to have that M2 glow-up as well. Apple’s most affordable device (starting at US$650), the Mac mini, is a small-but-mighty desktop computer popular for its compact design and performance. This will be the product line’s first upgrade in two years, as it currently runs on an M1 chip.
Predictions for Apple’s new desktop products:
1. 2022: More powerful Mac mini and more affordable external display (27-inch without mini-LED).
2. 2023: Mac Pro and iMac Pro.
A headset and an iPad of a different kind
Will this be the year that Apple enters the metaverse?
Apple has long been developing a mixed-reality headset, and experts predict that the XR headset will be available in 2023. The headset was supposed to be released this year, but it was pushed back due to overheating and software issues, as well as supply chain constraints. Nonetheless, Gurman reported in May that it was in “advanced stages of development.” Now that Apple’s product lineup is set for the year, the device — described by Kuo as a “game-changer for the headset industry” — could be revealed early next year.
Given Apple’s notorious secrecy surrounding major product developments such as this, it’s all speculation at this point. According to The Information, Apple’s headset could include iris-scanning technology for identity verification and payments, as well as a “ski-goggle” design that differs significantly from Meta’s Quest 2 and Quest Pro headsets.
Last but not least, will Apple accept the fold? According to The Elec and CNBC, the tech titan will enter the foldable game in 2024. Apple is said to be testing folding technology with the iPad line. This is in contrast to Samsung, which is all in on foldable smartphones. It’s unusual for Apple to jump on a trendy bandwagon, but the foldable form factor appears to be gaining popularity, and now may be the ideal time for the company to give it a shot.
Will 2023 be the year that Apple returns to its innovative roots? Time will only tell. Let’s hope it was all worth it.