Apple is testing a whole bunch of new Macs powered by its next-generation M2 chip, including a new MacBook Air and several MacBook Pro models, according to Laptop Vine.
This report comes from one of the most trusted sources for Apple spills, Mark Gurman, who points out in Bloomberg that mining of information from developer logs suggests that as many as nine possible Macs using different variants of the incoming M2 chip are being tested.
Obviously, take this with a big pinch of your favorite condiment, though Gurman does point out that in addition to the newspapers in question, he’s spoken to inside sources who corroborated the information. But remember there are no guarantees here, never with nuggets from the rumor mill.
Okay, so the main points of interest here are the new MacBooks, starting with the alleged MacBook Air (2022), which has long been rumored to come in an all-new design with the M2 chip. Gurman says this laptop is codenamed J413 and will offer an 8-core M2 processor (with a 10-core graphics solution).
There’s also an entry-level MacBook Pro with M2 in review, which will use the same SoC as the Air. And again, this refresh of the base 13-inch model has been tossed around via the rumor mill several times.
Other Apple laptops currently being tested allegedly include refreshed 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, both running the same base spec. Supposedly, the M2 Max is a 12-core SoC with 38-core graphics (up from 10 cores and 32 cores respectively in the current M1 Max). These laptops will come with up to 64GB of system RAM, the report says.
As you’d expect, the much-talked-about Mac mini (2022) also comes into play with this batch of tests, and the next-gen model is supposed to run with the same specs as the MacBook Air and its M2 chip – but it There’s another Mac mini variant with the M2 Pro inside also in review.
Interestingly, Apple has also reportedly tested Mac mini machines with an M1 Pro and M1 Max, but Gurman thinks those designs won’t come to fruition and may well be redundant now that the Mac Studio is on the scene.
Finally, Gurman claims there is a Mac Pro that is built on the follow-up chip to the M1 Ultra currently seen in the Mac Studio.
Analysis: The best-laid plans could still go wrong…
Apple is prototyping and testing bushels of hardware, and not everything is selected for store shelves. So there’s no guarantee we’ll see anything like all the Macs discussed here. That said, Gurman observes that testing is “advanced” in some cases, so some of this hardware is likely close to being finalized for launch.
The leaker thinks two Macs will be released around the middle of the year, and we’ve already heard from Gurman that we might see them unveiled at WWDC (we’re not so sure, as we discussed earlier, but hey , we certainly cannot rule it out).
The theory is that one of those models slated for a WWDC reveal is the redesigned MacBook Air, and in this latest deluge of rumors, Gurman mentions again that this is one of the Macs that will arrive in 2022, with the low-end MacBook Pro (13-inch) and Mac mini. We’re looking at 2023 for the rest, then, or however many of them make the cut (it’s also worth noting here that there’s no mention of a new iMac).
Obviously, we have to remain skeptical of these predictions – and any crystal ball watching for that matter – and moreover, there could be a disruption in MacBook production that would upset these potential delays, or at least could cause a delay. As we heard earlier this week, the current lockdowns in China could have a huge impact on MacBook manufacturing in particular.