A Series of Updated MacBooks & Macs are in Advanced Development, with an updated 24" iMac coming in H2
According to a new report this morning, Apple Inc.’s next iMac desktop is at an advanced stage of development called engineering validation testing, or EVT, and the company is conducting production tests of the machine.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman claims that the next iMac will continue to come in the same 24-inch screen size as the current model, which was announced in April 2021. The versions being tested also come in the same colors as the current iMac, a palette that includes blue, silver, pink and orange.
The new iMacs will, of course, be more powerful — with a new M-series chip to replace the M1. There also will be some behind-the-scenes changes. The computer will see some of its internal components relocated and redesigned, and the manufacturing process for attaching the iMac’s stand is different.
While development of the new iMacs has reached a late stage, it’s not expected to go into mass production for at least three months. That means it won’t ship until the second half of the year at the earliest. Still, this is a great development for anyone disappointed that Apple’s all-in-one desktop hasn’t been updated in nearly two years.
Aside from the iMac, Apple is scheduled to launch about three new Macs between late spring and summer, I’m told. Those three models are likely to be the first 15-inch MacBook Air, the first Mac Pro with homegrown Apple chips and an update to the 13-inch MacBook Air.
The big remaining question is which processors these new Macs will run on. We already know the Mac Pro will include the M2 Ultra, which will provide up to 24 CPU cores, 76 graphics cores and the ability to top out the machine with at least 192 gigabytes of memory.
We also know that Apple has developed the next iMac on the same timeline as the M3 chip, so I’d expect it to be one of the company’s first M3-based machines.
So it’s plausible that Apple is gearing up for at least the new 13-inch model to be an M3 machine. That would make a lot of sense: The M2 chip was always designed as a stopgap processor ahead of the M3, which will mark the first time Apple is moving from 5-nanometer chip process technology to a 3-nanometer design in the Mac.
The shift will bring a major boost to performance and power efficiency. Having the new MacBook Air sport the M3 would also make sense from a timing perspective. Apple has been clear it wants to put its Mac-grade processors on an annual upgrade cycle like the A-series chips in the iPhone. For more, read the full Bloomberg report.
It looks like a 27" iMac a dead end. Instead, for the class of device, Apple is focused on delivering both the Mac mini and Mac Studio with a 27" Studio Display.
While it's always great to hear about new Macs on the way, there's not too much being rumored for the average Mac user to get excited about, yet. Hopefully Apple will introduce something more than just a little more power to get users excited and motivated to upgrade.