You may have missed an amazing moment in Apple history. For the first time in the 21st century, Apple didn’t release a new Mac in the holiday quarter. What happens now?
For most of those two decades, Apple was committed to its chipmakers’ production cycles, with Intel’s development of Core chipsets marking new Mac interactions—particularly the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines—more reliably than Apple. One of the advantages of Apple Silicon was to match the platform’s hardware and software, just as the iPhone and iPad platforms managed to do.
Even with its millstone Intel, Apple managed a regular October event, typically for the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, with a quiet end of November for the Mac family. These changes changed the discussion not only on the Mac platform, but also in the wider PC industry, even as the changes caught up with other innovations on the Windows platform.
Not so this year. Apple’s portfolio acquired a total of zero Macs in the critical last three months.
It’s not that nothing is expected; all indications were that the professional 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models would be updated. Following the release of the Apple Silicon M2 in June, aligned with the popular M2 MacBook Air and the awkward 13-inch MacBook Pro, larger MacBook Pro models with the presumably named M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets were set to launch in the fourth quarter. Those waiting to upgrade will have to wait or buy the less powerful m1 variants.
The Apple Silicon Mac Pro didn’t even make an appearance. This is perhaps more worrisome, given Apple’s announced intention at WWDC 2020 to move its entire product line to Apple Silicon by the end of 2022. While Apple shouldn’t be calling a press conference to announce the non-event, senior management has done quite a bit of talking over the past year , which were recorded and may have reassured the Mac audience of the changed plans.
The question is now twofold. How long will we have to wait for these delayed products and how big a technological leap will they make? Comparing the M1 MacBook Air to the M2 MacBook Air, you get about a twenty percent increase in performance for about a twenty percent premium.
The upcoming MacBook Pro notebooks are not expected to feature any major technological leaps, just iterative jumps in processor speed, more memory bandwidth, and faster I/O ports. Apple has championed the story of the Mac platform every year for over twenty years.
Is this still true?
Now read the latest Mac, iPhone and iPad headlines in Forbes’ weekly Apple Loop column…
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