Report: Apple Could Launch Four Macs With New M2 Chips This Year

Posted on February 21, 2022 by Laurent Giret in Mac and macOS with 27 Comments

The Mac’s transition to Apple Silicon could soon accelerate as Apple is reportedly planning to launch four Macs with a new M2 chip this year. The news comes from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who expects Apple to announce some Mac news during the company’s first media event of 2022, which could happen on March 8.

According to Gurman, Apple’s Spring event should give some stage time to the new 5G iPhone SE and iPad Air models, but the company could also use the event to reveal “at least one new Mac.” Gurman saw three new Macs being listed in the database of the Russian equivalent of the FCC, and one of them is said to be a laptop.

Apple launched its first M1-based Mac Mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro in Fall 2020, which have been followed by new M1 iMacs in Spring 2021. Last fall, Apple also launched redesigned 14” and 16” MacBook models powered by new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which Gurman expects to see in more Mac models this year. In addition to a brand new M2 chip. A more powerful version of Apple’s M1 Max chips may also ship in the company’s first Apple Silicon Mac Pro later this year.

Here are all the new Macs that could be in the pipeline in 2022 according to the report:

Mac Mini: The most affordable Mac could get new two new variants with M1 Pro and M2 chips

MacBook Air: A redesigned model with an M2 chip is coming this year

MacBook Pro: A new 13” M2 model could replace the M1 version that launched in Fall 2020

iMac: The 24-inch iMac should be upgraded with an M2 chip, while the larger iMac Pro will get M1 Pro and M1 Max chip options

Mac Pro: A “half-sized” model is coming this year with the equivalent of “either two or four M1 Max chips.”

According to Gurman, Apple’s new M2 chips won’t differ significantly from the still plenty capable M1: Expect the same 8-core CPU architecture with slightly higher clock speeds, but the GPU part may get a bigger upgrade with the number of cores going from seven or eight to nine or ten.

The two new M1 Max chips that are expected to launch in the first Apple Silicon Mac Pro should be the most powerful chips ever seen in a Mac: One chip is expected to feature 20 CPU cores and 64 graphics cores, and the second one may double that to 40 CPU cores and 128 graphics cores.

“While we’ll get new Macs in March, I’m told Apple is already gearing up for another round of Mac releases around May or June,” Gurman said. Apple CEO Tim Cook said in Fall 2020 that it would take the company two years to move its whole Mac line to Apple Silicon, and it seems that the company is right on track to do just that.

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Comments (27)

27 responses to “Report: Apple Could Launch Four Macs With New M2 Chips This Year”

  1. Stabitha.Christie

    For Apple to meet its two year timeline they need to get the last of the Intel Macs moved by June. So the larger iMac, Mac Pro and high end Mac mini. I’m mostly curious about the Mac Pro. Not that I’m going to buy one but I want to see where they land performance wise.


    I’m also curious what happened with that Intel Mac plans. I’m the keynote where they announced that they were moving to their own processor Tim Cook clearly said there would be new Intel based Macs as well. It was prerecorded so it isn’t like he just fumbled his words. So what happened there? Did Intel piss off Apple with their ads? Did the chips Apple planed to use not pan out? So much potential drama!

    • wright_is

      There are rumours that a new high-end Xeon Pro might make an appearance, not because the Apple Silicon isn't capable at that level, but that several studios still have workflows that are purely x86 and the are unwilling or unable to move over as quickly as Apple can. So, it wouldn't be a mass market device, but it would be there to appease studios with bespoke software that can't run on M1 through Rosetta / loses too much performance.

      • Stabitha.Christie

        That is my guess. They will roll out one final Intel Mac Pro with the M series one to allow some high dollar customers more time to switch. That or the transition has gone better than expected and they just scrapped plans for new Intel based Macs.


        Mostly in just curious as there has been nothing in terms of leaks about a new Intel Mac. I get that it’s not that sexy of a rumor and the focus is all on the M series. It still seems odd that other than that WWDC there has been no mention anywhere.

        • Donte

          I think what will be more interesting, will be how long new MacOS will still come out for Intel Mac's and how long will Apple support the Intel versions.


          I would assume 13.x will come out for Intel this year. Will 14 be the first Apple silicon only version of MacOS. If so how long will 13.x Intel support last? There are a lot of Intel Mac's in the wild. If someone needs a new Mac Pro today its coming with a Intel Xeon.


          I have not doubt their chips will better in terms of performance and Apple will set some kind of release cadence, like the base M chips, then the Pro/Max versions later down the road. So 1, 2, 3 etc of the M, Pro and Max. I would think the Mac Pro, and if they bring back the iMac pro could have some kind of "Ultra" chip that doubles the Max chip performance. Maybe 2 Max chips glued together like the did with the current pro/max.

          • Stabitha.Christie

            My guess is that it will be longer than that. The first Intel Mac came out in 2006 and Apple support Power PC Macs through to 2011. So, 5 years. That probably isn’t a randomly selected amount of time. Apple is legally obligated to provide hardware service for 5 years after a product is made, slightly longer in some locations. My guess is Apple will support Intel products through their five year lifespan like they did PPC Macs. That said, they will undoubtedly have features come into future versions of MacOS that are M series exclusives. They have already started to do that.

      • Donte

        I think Intel has responded pretty quick to the M series chips. Alder Lake and the new Xeons using “big/little” are impressive. At the laptop level Alderlake is is as good or better than the M chips.


        The M chips do have a power and heat advantage though which only matters in laptops and only in high power destop replacement laptops which is a tiny market.

        • wright_is

          Yes, c't had an Alderlake gaming laptop from MSI in to test, the MSI Raider GE76, with a Core i9-12900HK and the latest nVidia RTX3080ti mobile graphics as well.


          Excluding gaming benchmarks, which is not what the MacBook Pros are about, the MSI put in a decent 18,000 point score in CineBench R23 MT, in front of the MacBook Pro's 12,500, but using considerably more power (115W, compared to 34W of the MBP - and that is a CPU benchmark, not CPU+GPU). Both had similar (just under 100Wa) batteries, the maximum you can use and still take it on a plane, but the MBP would run at least 3 times as long as the MSI.


          It also set a record for the noisiest PC, let alone laptop, they have ever reviewed, making an astonishing 7 Sone, around about 60db!


          The Alderlake has the raw performance, but the efficiency is absolutely atrocious! You have a much thicker, heavier and less usable form factor and you need to keep within range of a power socket to take advantage of the available processing power, and you almost need to wear ear protectors, when you are using all that performance! The M1, on the other hand remains cool, with the fans not even spinning up, when running those benchmarks.


          Intel really need to work on the performance per Watt efficiency, compared to Apple. Given that the M1 produces 70% of the performance for 30% of the power draw makes the Intel chip look really old.


          Don't get me wrong, the Alderlake HK is a fast chip, but it really isn't a mobile chip any longer.

          • Donte

            They use case for demanding work that requires all the CPU you can throw at it, in a Laptop form factor is niche at best. It makes for great link bait benchmark articles and videos.


            I would bet that 95% of people doing this kind of work, do so at a desktop PC or Mac Pro. Yes the is a group of people that want that power out of a laptop. Until the M1 it was assumed you would NOT do this on battery if you chose a laptop to do this with. You would have it plugged in to get the most power. I bet there are more PC gamers wanting this kind of power in a Laptop, then there are content creators (video work).


            Most Mac owners I know, could use a Macbook Air with the M1 to get their "computing work" done. Which consists of surfing the web, email, getting rid of red eye in a single photo and imessage on the desktop. The do NOT need a M1 Pro or Max.


            I am also sure Intel will come out with the U model of the 12,000 generation, which will be maximized for battery life and heat/fan control. Basically your corporate thin and lite PC laptops that far, far outsell the big gaming laptops.

        • Stabitha.Christie

          Adler Lake certainly caught up and is a bit ahead in raw performance but Apple didn’t leave Intel over performance. I also don’t imagine either Apple or Intel will ever really leave the other in the dust when it comes to general processions power. Apple left because they want to do things with the Mac that they cannot currently do with Intel chips. For example, there are features in The most recent MacOS that are M1 only because the require a neural processing unit, Apple’s “neural engine”. That just doesn’t exist on the Intel side at the moment. There are rumors that Meteor Lake will add an NPU so they will certainly gain some functionality if that is true. But also somewhat irrelevant, Apple wants clearly wants processors that support specific functionality and Intel processors won’t work because they are designed for broader use cases. It’s not a good or bad situation, There is nothing wrong with intel’s chips or business model. It just doesn’t meet Apple’s specific needs.

          • Donte

            Apple first and foremost left Intel so they can maximize the profits. They do not actually make the chips but they can and do use their financial might to get the premium stock of chips out of the likes of TSMC and Samsung and at a price they basically dictate. Using their own designed chips and maximizing the supply chain equals more profit margin for them. This is the Apple way. Whenever, eliminate the middle man and control it all for maximum profit. They will dump Qualcomm modems once the 5 year contract is up, using their own modems (own design).


            Yes they are adding custom tech to those chips they design, like the hardware encoders/decoders that help it with video work.

            • behindmyscreen

              If you think it's profit maximization and not "Intel repeatedly dropped the ball and put us in bad situations with design" then you're making stories up in your head.

            • Stabitha.Christie

              "Apple first and foremost left Intel so they can maximize the profits."


              I have seen this idea floated but I have yet to see anyone actually provide any evidence that it is true other than a steaming pile of conjecture.


              On the other hand they do have a history of using their SOCs to bring features to their products that they otherwise would not have been able to do. We even saw them bring their chips to the Mac to support features they couldn't implement with Intel chips alone.



              • Donte

                Lol, this is the Apple MO. Nothing wrong with it, they are a for profit company.


                Apple sells an image as much as it sells technology. They are the BMW/Mercedes of consumer tech. Panos is trying to do the same thing with Surface. People want to be seen with that Apple logo. The ecosystem is pretty solid as well. Joe/Jane users like their simple Apple world. The wrap the whole thing up with a wholesome privacy (completely fake) persona. Tim with this mainstream media interviews talking about how Apple cares. Some people buy that bs I guess.


                I think their hardware is generally very good. I am typing this on my 16inch Macbook M1 Pro (work purchased). That said I find their software just meh. I use hardly anything native on this Macbook, save for iMessage and Photos. Everything else is third party, the majority of it Microsoft (Edge, Office 365, etc).


                They are know to maximize profits whenever possible. They do this by eliminating the middle man, buying out companies like the PA semi, microLED companies, Intel's modem business, all so that can cut out, Qualcomm, Intel, Samsung etc. With Tim's supply chain background its a smart move but it does increase profit margins big time.


                Lastly the fact they paid the CCP 275 billion (in various ways) to gain access to the Chinese markets to sell more Apple devices and services shows you how much they want those profits. All that privacy talk and they sell out to one of the biggest abusers of human rights, so they can have access to sell more of their products. It is said that they even gave over the iCloud encryption keys for the iCloud data centers that were built in China.

                • Stabitha.Christie

                  Like I said, a bunch of conjecture.


                  If your hypothesis "They are know to maximize profits whenever possible." Were accurate then we wouldn't find instances where Apple gave up revenue right? But they have, here is a short list off the top of my head.


                  Major MacOS updates used to cost around 150 dollars, Apple dropped that and provides updates for free.

                  iWork (Keynote, Pages, Numbers) was 80 bucks and now costs nothing.

                  iLife (iMovie + Garageband) was 80 bucks and now is free

                  Final Cut Pro was over a grand for ever Majorel revision and is now 299 with updates included.

                  Logic Pro was 700 dollars and is now 199 with updates included.

                  Customer tech support used to cost money after 30 days and now done complementary.


                  None of these decisions make sense under "maximize profits whenever possible." They do make sense when you look at making the eco system more attractive and generating repeat business.


                  What you are describing on the hardware side is known as the Tim Cook doctrine. It's the idea that you own core technologies that make your product what it is.


                  Again, designing processors is about owning the future of the products and making a more attractive ecosystem. That is a profit related decision but not some nickel and dimming component suppliers way that you are thinking of. If that were the case they would take over glass design from Corning, RAM and storage from whomever they buy that from.

              • anoldamigauser

                Apple is a corporation. To be clear, everything they do is meant to maximize profits. Not paying another company for the chips is certainly one way to do that. That it dovetails with other goals is just gravy, but to be clear, profit drives every decision.

                • Stabitha.Christie

                  That’s a fairly simplistic view but I get how you got there. Yes, any for profit company is going to consider ROI in their decision making. But to get from there to assuming the component price is less doesn’t necessarily follow. The chip price could be identical with the gambit being that the features they can add with their own chips will drive sales and subsequently revenue.


                  We see this kind of thinking in other areas. Apple consistently uses premium materials for product cases. If the goal was simply to eek out more profits per device sold they would make them out of plastic. That would certainly allow for larger profits but it would likely hurt overall sales as they would loose their reputation as a premium device maker. Customer support is another area, Apple doesn’t charge its customers for phone or chat support. They could follow the industry and provide a window of free support followed by paid support and drive up profits but it would also mean fewer repeat buyers and a potential net loss.


                  So, yeah they are profit sensitive but is much larger picture than simply calculating the cost of components.

  2. L Gilles

    In a recent interview, VP of hardware at Apple said, before with Intel, the software guys looked how they could use the x86 of the moment.

    Now the software guys go to the hardware guys and say : we want to do that and that in the next OS, (please) build a cpu/gpu that can do it.

    I would appreciate a dedicated chipset to accelerate encode/decode of h265 on the next M2 though.

  3. ebraiter

    You mean four over-priced computers that few can afford unless you are robbing a bank or stealing money from your employer. :-)

    • SvenJ

      If you do something for a living, you buy the tools you need to do your job. They are a business expense.

      • ianbetteridge

        And of course for the same level of performance, design and features, you're really not paying much more for Apple compared to a Window PC. Of course, you can get cheaper Windows PCs - but Apple just doesn't compete in that market.

  4. vernonlvincent

    Something that confuses me is what the M2 is supposed to me. My understand of what Rene Ritchie said on a somewhat recent MacBreak Weekly is that the M1 is meant to be the 'flagship' line, with M2 and so forth indicating lesser lines of Macs. He didn't use those words, but that was my takeaway from what he said.


    This article seems to suggest that the M2 will be a more capable implementation than the M1 (with more cores and/or better graphics).


    Is there something more definitive on what the M2 is supposed to represent?

    • Greg Green

      M1 was never to be there flagship, it was their entry level chip, and an astounding one at that. Every subsequent chip was going to be better.

    • wright_is

      M1 is the first generation, M2 is the second generation.


      Pro and Max (as in the M1 Pro and M1 Max) are the high-end workstation chips.


      The M2 is a slightly faster version of the stock M1, uses a smaller structure and is slightly more efficient. When production volumes can increase (fewer dies are thrown away), it will be scaled up for Pro and Max variants.


      According to René, the M1 will remain at the low end, the M2 should come in just above it, meaning the M1 is the cheap entry, the M2 a little faster and more expensive and the M1 Pro and Max at the high end - probably replaced with M2 Pro and Max towards the end of the year or the start of 2023.


      The Pro and Max bring more cores, and more importantly, more neural cores and graphics cores for specialised tasks.


      If you go to his YouTube channel, he does some really excellent deep dives into what exactly each processor is supposed to bring to the mix.

      • vernonlvincent

        Thanks! I get the Pro/Max designations - it follows iPhone naming and, to an extent, previous Mac naming conventions. The only thing that confused me was the M1/M2 thing - I really thought Rene said something about the M2 having fewer cores.


        I'm not invested enough in the Mac ecosystem to really care about a deep-dive, but I do want to make sure I understand thinks generally. Appreciate the assist.

        • wright_is

          The M2 has fewer cores than the M1 Pro and Max, is what he said (or meant) on MBW. As I said, he explains it much better on his YT channel.


          I think a lot of people were expecting the M2, M2 Pro and M2 Max to all come out together, but I think we will see it continue to lock-step, with the new generation base model coming out and 6 months/1 year later, the Pro and Max variants coming on stream.


          René was trying to show that the M2 isn't a replacement for the Pro & Max, when he said fewer cores.


          The vanilla M1/M2 are for normal users and the M2 brings performance enhancements to normal users, over the M1. But it won't trounce the M1 Pro and Max variants in benchmarks (with the possible exception of single core benchmarks), they will continue to be way more powerful and have the extra neural and graphic cores needed by professional video, audio and image editors.

  5. Donte

    They must need to make their next CCP payment.

  6. nbplopes

    Very curious about the iMac Pro and Mac Pro performance. Been using the MBP M1 Pro for the last two weeks and I am awed by its battery life. For the first time in 40 years of my software development career I can go from 0700 to 2200 without charging and no slow downs. I currently have the iMac Core i9 on the desk ...


    PS: The iPad Pro 12.9" was for me a total failure for a productivity tool on the go. Close but no cigar for that matter.

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