New Mac news
February 4, 2023
The new Macs bolster a product line that generated $40.2 billion last year, accounting for more than 10% of the tech giant’s revenue. The company also plans to bring a variation of the M2 chip to its high-end Mac Pro desktop computer later this year. And Apple is working on new versions of the MacBook Air, including a larger model with a 15-inch screen.
Features of the new Mac generations
The chips in the latest models offer modest performance improvements and continue Apple’s shift away from using Intel Corp. processors inside its Mac computers. The M2 Pro will now feature up to 12 main processing cores, a performance indicator, up from a maximum of 10 cores. Graphics capabilities will now reach up to 19 cores, up from a previous maximum of 16. The M2 Max doubles graphics performance, going up to 38 cores from a previous maximum of 32 cores.
The laptops also get a memory boost, up to a maximum of 96 gigabytes on models with the higher-end M2 Max chip. That’s up from 32 gigabytes on the Pro model and 64 gigabytes on the Max. Storage still exceeds 8 terabytes. Battery life has increased slightly, from 17 hours to 18 hours on the 14-inch model and from 21 hours to 22 hours on the 16-inch variation.
Apple said the new MacBook Pros get Wi-Fi 6E, which can offer faster wireless performance in some circumstances, plus a more powerful HDMI port for driving more advanced external displays. The MacBook Pro and Mac mini will also get Bluetooth 5.3, which improves overall performance and latency.
The Mac mini also looks the same as the previous model and arrive more than two years after the last refresh of the machine. The Mac mini adds the same M2 chip as the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, while the M2 Pro version includes the same chip as the new high-end MacBook Pro.
Notably, the launch of a Mac mini with a faster M2 Pro chip has allowed the company to discontinue one of its last remaining models with Intel chips. On Tuesday, the company also stopped selling a high-end Mac mini with a non-Apple processor. The only Intel machine in Apple’s lineup is now the Mac Pro desktop computer.
The updated 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at $999, while the 16-inch version is still priced at $2499. The Mac mini is $599, $100 less than the previous version. All new Macs will begin shipping on Jan. 24, Apple said.
Bloomberg first reported Apple’s plans for the new MacBook Pro and Mac mini last year, including the expectation that they would launch in early 2023. Apple originally aimed to launch the new machines in 2022, and the delay is expected to affect its most recent quarterly results. The company warned investors that the lack of an updated MacBook Pro would negatively affect its holiday sales, which Apple will release on Feb. 2.
In addition to new Macs, the Cupertino, California-based company plans to use 2023 to unveil a mixed reality headset, it’s first major new product category since Apple Watch went on sale in 2015. It is also working on the iPhone 15 line, a new HomePod speaker, and Apple Watches with updated processors.
Longer term, Apple is aiming to bring touchscreens to the MacBook Pro starting in 2025. The move would give Apple’s high-end computers better parity with devices from Microsoft Corp, Dell Technologies Inc., and other laptop makers. It will also help Apple deliver a more unified software experience across all of its products.