There’s no doubting the first slate of Apple Silicon Macs has made a real impact. Everything from the MacBook Air to the new 24-inch iMac have been miles ahead of their Intel-based predecessors. While they have been an undoubted success, Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman believes some devices, including the 27-inch iMac, could just barely make Apple’s own two-year time window for the transition to Apple Silicon.
In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman explains that the latest update to Apple’s custom chip, dubbed the M1X, is on track to make its debut in a revamped MacBook Pro in the “coming months.” That will be followed soon after by a new high-end Mac Mini that will give more options to pro users who want plenty of power in a small device.
As for the MacBook Air, Gurman believes it will get new chips, plus a new-look redesign and a MagSafe port, at some point in 2022, although the exact timing remains unclear. Previous rumors have claimed the MacBook Air will come in a range of bright colors much like the 24-inch iMac, which would chime with Gurman’s redesign assertion. Various leakers and analysts have also cited 2022 as the launch date for the new MacBook Air, including industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Twitter leaker dylandkt.
Intel lives on … for now
Intel chips will live on a little longer in Apple devices, though, according to Gurman. Currently, only the smaller iMac has been outfitted with Apple Silicon chips, while the larger 27-inch version still runs on Intel processors. Gurman believes this will change next year, although it could take until the end of the year to fully switch to Apple’s own chips.
The Mac Pro, meanwhile, could take even longer to finally ditch Intel processors for good. Gurman’s newsletter explains that Apple is planning a final Intel update to the Mac Pro, potentially to give developers more time to get their apps ready, and to also allow Apple the chance to nail down the high-end Apple Silicon chips that are needed to make the transition seamless for pro users.
It’s unclear if the updated Intel Mac Pro will launch before Apple reveals the rumored half-sized Mac Pro that supposedly will offer huge power in a tiny package. The chip powering this micro machine could come with 32 high-performance cores, which could well hit the target Apple is aiming for in order to make the Intel transition painless for the most demanding of its users.
Back when Apple first announced the shift away from Intel in November 2020, CEO Tim Cook said the process would take around two years. With several devices not expected to make the switch until late 2022, Apple could be cutting it fine to hit its own target for the transition.