New iMac with M3 chip rumored to release in late 2023

The rumor: In addition to a slew of new M2 chips, Apple is already planning a new iMac with M3 inside, according to Mark Gurman (86.4% accurate, via Power On).

  • “If you’re waiting for a new iMac, I’m hearing an M3 version of that desktop is already in the works—though I imagine it won’t launch until the end of next year at the earliest. Also, for those asking, I still think an iMac Pro is coming. It just won’t be anytime soon,” Gurman says
  • Aside from a new chip, it is unlikely we’ll see any major design changes on the next 24-inch iMac…considering that Apple just redesigned the product in April 2021

Sam’s take: No specs yet for the M3 chip, but as the M2 is rumored to be a minor step up from M1, I would bet it’ll be the same story for M3. Also interesting to note is Gurman’s continued mention of a forthcoming iMac Pro (which other sources have said will not be happening). With him tripling down on this I will be absolutely shocked if it doesn’t ever release. Plus, it would fix the huge gap in Apple’s desktop lineup right now with no 27-inch iMac available.

Mac Studio has a removable SSD, despite what Apple tells you

The video: While not technically user-replaceable, in a surprising move, Mac Studio’s solid-state drive (SSD) is not soldered, according to YouTube channel Max Tech.

  • Taking apart the Mac Studio is a dangerous ordeal with an exposed power supply…but there is a removable SSD…a first for Apple Silicon
  • It was assumed that the SSD would be soldered, but instead it is a simple connection covered with tape (there is also an extra slot on the opposite side for future upgrades)
  • Apple says that the Mac Studio features non user-accessible storage, but it is very possible that authorized providers could offer upgrades in the future

Ian’s Take: While Apple didn’t go as far as making the SSD user-replaceable, this is a step in the right direction. When Apple first unveiled its plans for Apple silicon, many assumed that nothing would be user-replaceable and everything would be soldered. While that has been true for all Apple silicon Macs so far, even the Mac mini, the Mac Studio changes this. While this removable SSD does not tell us much about the Mac Studio, it could give us a peek at the upgradable future of a more modular Apple Silicon Mac.

The first benchmark from Apple’s M1 Ultra chip just leaked and it isn’t even fair

The news: Apple’s just-announced M1 Ultra chip was poised to be unlike any of the M1 chips before it…and a new benchmark first spotted by MacRumors confirms it is even more powerful than we could have imagined.

  • With a CPU single-core score of 1,793 and multi-core score of 24,055, the Mac Studio with M1 Ultra inside beats Apple’s most expensive Mac Pro (a 2.5GHz 28‑core Intel Xeon W chip) with 40% more single-core performance and nearly 15% additional multi-core performance
  • Apple is also promising wild graphics performance with the M1 Ultra’s new 64-core GPU…but real-world benchmarks for that haven’t leaked yet

Sam’s take: Am I the only one sitting here in a bit of shock? Apple’s M1 Ultra is not just the most powerful Apple Silicon ever, it’s the most powerful chip they’ve ever put inside a Mac. And sure, base pricing of 5 grand to get this performance might seem like a lot…until you consider that the base Mac Pro starts at 6 grand. How does this make any sense?

Apple will release 4 Macs with M2 chips beginning later this year

The rumor: This could be the biggest year for Mac releases ever, according to Mark Gurman (85.5% accurate, via Power On).

These are the Macs getting an M2 chip as soon as this year…

  • Low-end MacBook Pro 14-inch
  • iMac 24-inch (refresh of current M1 model)
  • Low-end Mac mini (refresh of current M1 model)
  • Redesigned MacBook Air

Our take: I find it most interesting that Apple is already looking to update their M1 products to faster M2 chips. Considering how that chip gets the job done for the vast majority of the population, I thought Apple would keep it around for some time. It doesn’t appear that way. Unlike Intel refreshes, which would happen on the Mac intermittently, every couple of years, it looks as if Apple could be updating computers with their latest silicon much more regularly!

Upcoming iMac Pro may include more powerful M1 Maxer chip

The rumor: Apple is planning a special variation of the M1 Max chip for the next iMac Pro, according to dylandkt (77.5% accurate).

  • In addition to the standard M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that Apple will place inside the redesigned 27-inch iMac, there may also be a more powerful 12-core CPU option available (only a 10-core CPU is available now)
  • Dylan notes that this chip will be intentionally “targeted towards pros”

Our take: Faster, Pro Apple Silicon this Spring sounds almost too good to be true…but Dylan’s track record for Apple Silicon leaks is simply unbeatable at this point. If this 12-core CPU option does ship this Spring, it will absolutely be the final straw for any remaining Apple Silicon holdouts. But what will they call it? Because they’re running out of superlatives. Introducing…M1 Maxer?

Apple’s M2 chip will have 8-core CPU with improved GPU

The rumor: The follow-up to Apple’s game-changing M1 chip will be a minor upgrade, according to Mark Gurman (87% accurate, via Power On).

  • “From what I’m hearing, the M2 will be a marginally faster version of the M1 chip from late 2020. I’d expect the same overall CPU core count—4 high-performance cores and 4 energy-efficient cores—but a bit of a stronger GPU. That likely means 9 or 10 GPU cores, an upgrade from the current 7 or 8 graphics core options on the M1” Gurman says
  • Apple is likely to first place the M2 chip in a redesigned MacBook Air sometime in 2022

Our take: This is the first we’ve heard of actual specs for the M2: an 8-core CPU and 9/10-core GPU. Definitely smaller improvements than I would’ve expected, but keep in mind that this chip will be powering Apple’s most affordable Macs, not the higher-end pro line of computers.

All Macs will have Apple Silicon by June 2022 (rumor)

The rumor: Apple will complete their transition to Apple Silicon within the next six months, according to Mark Gurman (87% accurate, via Power On).

  • “I’d expect Apple to finish its transition to its own silicon from Intel chips as early as June at WWDC 2022. That includes a smaller Mac Pro with up to 40 CPU cores and 128 graphics cores, a new Mac mini and a large-screened iMac Pro” Gurman says
  • Apple promised in June 2020 that they would complete their transition away from Intel within two years, and this rumor from Gurman suggests that Apple is still on schedule
  • Update 1/2/21 2:50pm: Gurman has clarified on Twitter that he believes the Mac Pro will be announced at WWDC, but not released until later on

Our take: If we thought 2021 was the year of the Mac…I think we were wrong. Apple has some stellar, higher-end releases planned for later this year that I believe will show us the finalized vision for Apple Silicon: a line of chips that will make the rest of the industry sweat. The CPU power has been quite impressive already, but I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that Apple has some wild GPUs up their sleeve.

Report: New Apple Silicon is dropping every 18 months

The rumor: Apple is planning to release new Apple Silicon every 18 months moving forward, according to the Taiwanese Commercial Times (not yet tracked).

  • “According to supply chain industry sources, Apple Silicon will be updated every 18 months in the future” the report says. “In the second half of 2022, Apple will first launch the M2 processor code-named Staten, and in the first half of 2023, it will launch the new M2X processor architecture”
  • Previous rumors from more credible sources suggested Apple’s M2 chip would be releasing in the first half of 2022

Our take: This sounds reasonable to me, but Taiwanese Commercial Times doesn’t have a track record of any kind that I could find. If it is true, that means we’ll essentially be getting new M-series chips of some kind at least once a year, every year for some time. I’d bet on a tick-tock schedule: M_ the first year and M_ Pro/Max the following year.

This is why you can’t run Windows on Apple’s M1 chips

The rumor: An exclusivity deal between Microsoft and Qualcomm has prevented Windows from running on more ARM computers, according to XDA Developers.

  • Up until now, the only PCs that could run windows on ARM chips were powered by Qualcomm
  • Microsoft and Qualcomm have reportedly been in this exclusive deal for some time, but “that deal is set to expire soon” (an exact date is not currently known)
  • This could explain why Windows (via Boot Camp) has been unavailable on Apple Silicon Macs thus far

Our take: As someone who owns a MacBook Pro with M1 Max inside and also games, I was incredibly excited to install Windows on my new Mac…until I learned that Boot Camp and Windows support broadly just doesn’t exist right now. Sure, there are way to virtualize Windows…but performance is never as good as it could be. I really hope Microsoft and Apple work together so that Windows can run natively on M1 chips sometime next year.

New ‘iMac Pro’ concept shows gorgeous Space Gray returning alongside new ports

The concept: A new concept for the redesigned 27-inch iMac has just been shared by artist Ian Zelbo (@RendersByIan).

  • Space Gray and Silver color options are shown in a redesigned body similar to that of the 24-inch iMac with the M1 processor inside
  • New I/O, including a SD card slot and HDMI port are shown alongside multiple USB-C ports as rumors have suggested

Our take: This is almost the exact design I am expecting to see from Apple when the new 27-inch iMac drops in 2022. And I can’t wait.

DigiTimes: New MacBook Pros have entered mass production

The rumor: Apple’s highly anticipated 14 and 16-inch M1X MacBook Pro models have entered mass production, according to DigiTimes (61% accurate).

  • Their latest report shares good news: “Apple has started volume production for new MacBook Pro, with monthly shipments of the notebooks expected to arrive at 600,000-800,000 units during the period from August to November, according to sources from the upstream supply chain”
  • The new MacBook Pro models have been long-rumored, and are expected to launch between September-November of this year

Our take: It’s finally happening. The MacBook Pros we have all been thirsting for are officially in mass production which means a launch is just around the corner. I still don’t think these will be launching in September, but October/November feels incredibly realistic.