When Apple announced its move to make its own processors for the Mac, it also promised that the transition would begin sooner than we thought, with the first models arriving by the end of this year. Now we have a better look at Apple’s roadmap thanks to a new report from Ming-Chi Kuo.
According to MacRumors, the first non-Intel Mac will be a refresh to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which was most recently updated in May with a new scissor keyboard and faster processors. Kuo doesn’t give much in the way of details other than the new processor, so it could simply be a swap to show off how fast the new chips are. The 13-inch Pro will reportedly be followed by a new MacBook Air, which could also arrive later this year or early next.
But then things could start to get very interesting. After the first two models, Kuo says Apple will set its sights on the 16-inch MacBook Pro and the long-rumored 14-inch MacBook Pro, both of which will feature an “all-new form factor design.” The 16-inch MacBook Pro was only just released last year, bringing a larger screen, slimmer bezels, and a new keyboard, so a redesign would be surprising. However, now that Apple will be controlling the whole stack, the Mac could begin to see redesigns as often as the iPhone.
Kuo says the new MacBook Pro models will begin shipping “in late 2Q21 or 3Q21” so we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer to see what Apple has up its sleeve. According to his report, the new models could spark a renewed interest in the MacBook line to the tune of 18 to 20 million units, a significant increase over the 16 to 17 million units expected to ship this year, according to Kuo.
Not mentioned in the report are new iMacs, which were rumored to arrive at WWDC. Kuo previously expected the next revision to retain Intel processors and Apple has already teased new Intel Macs in its pipeline, so it’s likely the iMac won’t see Apple silicon processors until late 2021 or 2022.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.