Does anyone else vividly remember the day of June 22, 2020? I am sure. That day, Apple announced that its Macs would switch from Intel processors to the company’s own silicon. Tim Cook claimed that this transition will take two years.
Reader, more than two years have passed since that fateful day. Even if you launch the watch at the November 2020 launch of the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, it’s overdue. Apple’s ambitious timeline has not come to fruition.
But then, wait, what is this? It’s a fully Intel-based Mac Pro that hasn’t been updated since the 2019 release.
You can find all kinds of Intel chips in that Mac Pro — you can get an octa-core Xeon W, you can get a 28-core Xeon W, but you can’t get any processor with an M input in it. His name.
I don’t want to belittle the ground that Apple has broken in the last two years. One—just okay, let’s be honest—we watched the Intel MacBook line hand over its bat to its M1 and M2-powered successors, the best MacBook generation ever to exist. We’ve had great results with the M1 powered iMac and Mac Mini. We are speechless by the power of Mac Studio. For Pete’s sake, an iPad now has M-chips.
But facts are facts: Apple missed its own deadline. It has not successfully seeded M chips along the Mac line.
Apple missed the two-year deadline
Where is the M2 powered Mac Pro? So where are all the other M2 devices we expect to see this year? After all, Apple released the M2 chip in June 2022, and it’s been rolling around in the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13, and iPad Pro. We reviewed all these devices. They’re good—they’re faster than previous M1 models and don’t come close to the multi-core power of the M1 Pro or M1 Max. I was mostly excited about what we didn’t have in the M2 Pro and M2 Max yet from my M2 MacBook testing process.
We expected more. There were rumors of an M2 Mac Mini and from outlets Bloomberg with DigiTimes We were reporting that 14-inch and 16-inch Pro models powered by the M2 Max chip could be released by the end of this year. We’ve heard they’re going into mass production in the fourth quarter, and we’ve heard suppliers are getting ready to ship them. Contrary to expectations, Apple did not hold a launch event (as it did in October 2021 – last year’s 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros were announced). Instead, Apple spontaneously released a bunch of press releases in October, and they were all… iPads. iPads on iPads.
Assuming Apple doesn’t put together another event in the next two weeks (though that would be hilarious and I’d be here for it), it looks like all of these releases will now be 2023 events.
Why are you waiting? Covid has certainly made this year’s assembly environment a bit unpredictable for Apple and its partners, causing factory closures during various parts of the year. Supply chains have also become a giant shrug emoji lately, leading to delays across industries. While I can only speculate, I imagine these conditions have something to do with the slower oscillatory cycles we’re seeing.
What is clear right now is that Apple has yet to shake off its own chips in a very high-end system. The Mac Studio is of course a powerful and absolutely brilliant device. But the audience it offers isn’t quite the same as the Mac Pro’s.
Notably, it’s not nearly configurable—Mac Pro can be customized for a user’s or company’s specific hardware needs in ways Studio cannot, with additional storage, graphics cards, and ports. The studio also maxes out 128GB of memory; this is more than enough for the productive consumer, but insufficient for offices in many fields of mathematics and science, for example. It’s also the case that some high-end professional apps still don’t run natively on Apple’s silicon – it’s not ideal for professionals with demanding loads, no matter how impressive the Rosetta 2 is.
Given all this, not necessarily amazing That we haven’t seen Apple’s silicon yet in the “Pro” category. But it’s apparently a category Apple has been waiting to enter by now. This should perhaps serve as a reminder to those of us who follow the computing world, who have been swept out of the water by Mac Studio and can’t wait to see what uncharted heights Apple’s CPU division will climb to next. Chips are hard to build, professionals are hard to please, and no company is infallible. It’s not even the most valuable company in the world.
Of course, the good thing about all this is that next year is much more exciting. Alongside all these professional M2 devices that are rumored to be released, M3 devices of all types, including the Air, iMac, and Mac Mini, are also said to be in store later in the year – and yes, even a Mac Pro. This will be a pretty quick transition from the M2 – but if the M3 is already a more exciting chip in terms of performance gains and enterprise capability, this might be the best.