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WWDC might be hardware-less again this year

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Apple hasn’t revealed new hardware at a WWDC event since the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR made an appearance in 2019, so we were hoping this year would bring a similar sneak peek at the new M2 chip, redesigned MacBook Air, or new Mac Pro.

According to the latest rumors, that’s not likely. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman reports that the new MacBook Air, which was expected to arrive in the first half of 2022, is now likely to land in the fall, about two years after the introduction of the original model. That echoes an earlier report from Ming-Chi Kuo that said Apple is likely to begin production of the new machine in September.

We were also hoping to get a look at the new 27-inch iMac at WWDC, but now that Apple has released a 27-inch Studio Display and discontinued the iMac, it’s very much in doubt whether we’ll ever get an iMac larger than the 24-inch model that launched last April. And even if we do, it’s not coming this year.

There’s also the 13-inch MacBook Pro refresh, which will presumably get an M2 processor alongside the launch of the MacBook Air later this year. The same goes for the 24-inch iMac, which will likely get an M2 boost next spring, putting Apple silicon on a 24-month cadence, a bit longer than we originally expected. However, production and supply issues have thrown Apple’s plan into upheaval, so that time frame could be shortened with the M3.

So what’s left? The higher-end Mac mini, which is now pegged to get an M2 Pro processor sometime in 2023, and the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro, which will also presumably get M2 Pro and M2 Max processors sometime in 2023.

The only wild card is the Mac Pro. We’re still not sure what the machine will look like or what chip will power it, but Apple said at its “Peek Performance” event that the M1 Ultra was the last chip in the M1 family. So Apple could use WWDC to unveil a new workstation processor that doesn’t carry the “M” name and give us a peek at a new Mac tower. After the Mac Studio arrived just last week, however, that seems unlikely as well.

In fact, Gurman speculates that the Mac Pro could use a new “Extreme” variant of the M2 chip that HyperFuses two M2 Max chips together, which wouldn’t arrive until next year. That would mean Apple doesn’t quite meet its two-year Apple silicon transition deadline, but with the Mac Studio and MacBook Pro, as well as a redesigned MacBook Air on the way, there are plenty of Macs to tide us over.

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