Early Apple Silicon Macs are officially available to consumers. The first options include a 13-inch MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini, all powered by Apple’s new M1 processor. There are still new Macs with Apple Silicon, and here are all the details we now know.
Apple has acknowledged that it will take approximately two years to migrate the entire Mac lineup to Apple Silicon chips. The new Mac mini, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are simply the top three available for Apple Silicon Macs. We expect the next Macs to be rolled out slowly over the next two years until the migration is complete.
One of the most anticipated Macs for the transition to Apple Silicon is the iMac. The iMac received its latest internal update back in August, but this update simply included new Intel processors, leaving the exterior design unchanged.
The iMac is long overdue due to industrial transformation. The outer chassis was last revised in 2012 when Apple introduced the new iMac case, which has a side that narrows to 5mm thick. But that design feature is only visible from the side, and the iMac has remained unchanged for a decade.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has repeatedly reported that Apple will release a redesigned 24-inch iMac sometime in the fourth quarter of 2020 or the first quarter of 2021. the iMac and Apple Silicon band are likely to arrive in the first quarter of 2021.
Interestingly, the 24-inch iMac would seemingly replace the existing 21-inch iMac, which hasn’t received a major upgrade in years. We haven’t heard a report on the fate of the 27-inch iMac yet. It is possible that the 27-inch iMac is moving further on schedule, given that it is more powerful than the 21-inch iMac.
New MacBook Pros
A version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro is now available, including Apple Silicon, but is quite limited: 2 Thunderbolt ports, up to 16GB of unified memory, and up to 2TB of SSD storage. We expect Apple to move to the higher-end MacBook Pro next time.
First, several reports say Apple has a redesigned 14-inch MacBook Pro. Kuo said it will be released in the second and third quarters of 2021. Most recently, Kuo doubled this claim and reported that MacBooks with “completely new formalities and industrial design” would arrive in the second half of 2021.
And finally, we also expect Apple to update the 16-inch MacBook Pro with Apple Silicon sometime next year. It is not clear what formal factor changes we can see here.
New Mac Pro
The Mac Pro is one of the most mysterious products Apple has to offer, and it’s not clear where the Apple Silicon Roadmap is located. Most recently, Bloomberg reported that Apple is making a new Mac Pro in the works, which is about half the size of the current Mac Pro design.
The Mac Pro is harder to predict because it has an incredibly modular design that allows users to mix components and update individual components. It is not clear how Apple Silicon will take this design into account.
The current M1 Mac mini suffers from similar limitations as the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and max. It has 16GB of memory and 2TB, with only two Thunderbolt ports on the back and no 10GB of Ethernet. This is actually a downgrade compared to the previous generation Intel Mac mini that Apple is still selling today.
Apple may have a new Mac mini that meets four Thunderbolt ports and other higher-level specifications, but we’ll have to wait to find out for sure.
More Intel Macs?
Finally, it’s unclear whether Apple plans to release Macs that use additional Intel processors. At this year’s WWDC, Apple said there are still more Intel Macs in the pipeline, but technically this has already been proven with the new iMacs introduced in August.
In response to a recent report by Ming-Chi Kuo, a trusted Twitter leaker L0vetodream he said the redesigned form factor “doesn’t just apply to Silicon,” but that message is rather mysterious and unclear. It may indicate that due to Apple’s high level of customization, it keeps the Intel Mac Pro close.
It’s also likely that Apple will make certain Intel-powered Macs available to corporate and educational customers, but the line-up with consumers is almost certain to completely transition to Apple Silicon in the next two years.
What do you think of Apple’s ongoing transition to Apple Silicon in the Mac line? What are you looking for best? Let us know in the comments!
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