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Apple M2, Mad March, Macs & More

The Apple spring event is coming and there could be more than we bargained for….including Apple M2 chip may be?

There are strong rumours that Apple will hold their first event (still virtual), on Tuesday, 8th March. If these rumours are correct, that will mean invites landing one week before on Tuesday 1st March. That will be slightly earlier than of recent years, returning to their formula of old, for holding the first event of the year in early March.

This event will probably be fairly low-key in product launches — we may only physically see a new iPad Air and iPhone SE 5G. The big news, however, is what is coming downline to us as the spring turns to summer and beyond.

Apple M2 Chip

One, two, three, four

That’s right, according to the respected Mark Gurman’s latest Power On newsletter, it looks like not one, but four new Mac’s may be heading our way in 2022. Best we get on top of the news then and get ready for these releases, starting off with the latest iteration of the venerable MacBook Air.

MacBook Air

As with all Mac’s this year, this model will be resplendent with the very latest Apple Silicone – the Apple M2 Chip. Not as powerful as the M1 Max & Pro chips released late last year, rather a revision of the original M1 chip from last spring.

The MacBook Air is the oldest model in the M1 chip line-up, being well over a year old at the point of writing. The most considerable change, apart from the M2 chip inside, will be aesthetically. The hugely recognisable ‘wedge-tapered’ shape will be replaced by a more uni-bodied look in-keeping with Apple’s current design trends. It will most likely have a 13-inch screen, but due to the thinner bezels, the footprint will not increase, thus retaining its portability. It will be a tad thicker than its predecessor, as they butterfly keyboard is now gone, in favour of the much preferred magic keyboard. I/O is likely to be improved upon with two USB-C ports, now on each side & with the return of MagSafe charging and possibly, possibly, an SD card slot too. The display will be the mini LED variety and funky body-colours, like the 2021 24-inch iMac, look likely. Due to the display, ports and new chip, entry prices will probably be hiked to around £1200.

MacBook Pro

I know what you are thinking…this was only released last year. Well, to maximise returns on R&D, it looks as if a lower spec’d entry model could make its way to the line-up. Expect stripped back port I/O, may be less cooling due to the M2 chip and lower storage options. The display on this entry-level MacBook may only be LED rather than the gorgeous 120 Hz refresh rate mini LED found on its bigger, beefier, costlier brothers.

MacMini Pro

Encased in the same old, familiar enclosure to which we are now so accustomed, it would seem the only required changes to update this great machine will be the M2 chip. Still with eight core performance, but now much faster multicore performance due to the M2 chip. Prices will remain pretty much the same at around £699.

And finally…..

The last of the four new Mac’s expected later this year will be an upgrade to last year’s 24-inch iMac, simply because it is such a simple upgrade to carry out. Everything will remain as is, bar the M2 inside and probably some new, fresh colours to denote the 2022 model range. Of note and interest is that this might be the first-ever Mac with Face ID. The current body of the iMac 24-inch is thick enough for the module to be lifted straight from the current iPhones & iPads, so a desktop may actually feature Face ID before a laptop! Last year’s 24 inch had the option of a fingerprint keyboard, so I can quite believe, that this could actually happen, making it another reason to buy this great value, consumer level iMac.

The clock is ticking

When Apple announced the transition from Intel to Apple Silicone, they made it apparent, that a two-year period would be adhered too. Not withstanding the pandemic, that still looks likely to be the case. That being said, the iMac Pro and Mac Pro need to addressed before the end of this year too. Apple certainly has their work cut out in the months ahead.

And when will all this happen?

Not at the spring event, that is for sure. There remains all kinds of supply chain issues due to you know what! Apple’s first focus will be on completing the two-year transition with machines that remain Intel based, and then they will look at the four new Macs detailed above.

It looks like October and November will be an early Christmas at Cupertino.

What Macs most interest you in the upcoming months?

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Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on February 8, 2022.

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