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Apple has big plans for the Mac in 2022

Published Dec 20th, 2021 4:21PM EST
Apple MacBook Pro 2021 laptop featuring an Apple M1-series CPU
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

For years, Apple critics were quick to point out that Apple was too reliant on the iPhone as a revenue source. Fast forward to today and Apple’s business is far more robust and diversified than it was even three years ago. Sure, the iPhone still accounts for nearly 50% of Apple’s annual revenue, but the company has impressively managed to generate growth across several other product categories. Most notably, Mac sales are currently at an all-time high thanks to new designs and, of course, Apple’s astonishingly fast and unrivaled M1 processor.

As usual, Apple has no intention of resting on its laurels and the company is already planning to roll out new Macs with next-gen M2 processors later next year. What’s more, there are reports that we’ll likely see an M2 Pro processor ship in new Macs by 2023.

Apple M2 processor is coming soon

According to a report from the Chinese-language outlet Commercial Times, Apple has a relatively ambitious roadmap for its series of M-x processors. As it stands now, Apple is planning to introduce its M2 processor sometime during the second half of 2022. Apple originally introduced the M1 in November of 2020 and, it stands to reason, we’ll likely see the M2 debut around the same time later next year. Notably, the M2 will reportedly be produced with TSMC’s 4nm process. And going forward, the report adds that Apple is planning to update its processor line every 18 months. This is welcome news given how long Mac users had to wait for new processor upgrades back when Apple was reliant upon Intel.

All told, we’ll likely see the M2 make its way into the entirety of Apple’s Mac line, including the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro, the iMac, and the Mac Mini. Of course, the Pro versions of the Mac will offer users M2 Pro and M2 Max options as well. And given the breakthrough performance the M1 delivered, it will be fascinating to see what type of performance gains the M2 line brings to the table.

By the end of next year, the entirety of the Mac line will house Apple silicon. This timeline aligns well with Apple’s initial stated goals. Recall, when Apple first announced Apple silicon at WWDC in 2020, it said the transition away from Intel would be a two-year process. It’s worth noting that Apple at the time emphasized that it will continue to roll out iterations of macOS with support for older Intel-based Macs for years.

A redesigned MacBook Air is in the pipeline

Given that Apple finally redesigned the MacBook Pro — and mercifully did away with the TouchBar — rumor has it that a redesigned MacBook Air is in the works as well. While nothing is set in stone just yet, there are rumblings that the wedge design of the MacBook Air may be on the way out. Still, the machine will remain markedly thinner and lighter than its MacBook Pro counterpart and even the current iteration.

And naturally, the next-gen MacBook Air may boast thinner bezels similar to the MacBook Pro. One rumor that I hope doesn’t come to pass claims that Apple’s new MacBook Air models may feature white bezels, seemingly borrowing a design cue from Apple’s entry-level M1 iMacs. And speaking of the MacBook Pro, the new Air models will likely feature a notch design as well.

Additionally, the new MacBook Air may feature a Mini LED display but may lack ProMotion for smoother scrolling. And lastly, we can likely expect the new MacBook Air to feature an improved FaceTime camera. Whereas the new MacBook Pros have a 1080p FaceTime camera, the current MacBook Air still uses a 720p FaceTime camera.

And lastly, there’s even a rumor that the MacBook Air moniker may be on the way out. Even though the MacBook Air branding is perfect as-is, there’s a chance Apple may simply drop the “Air” and call it the MacBook.

Yoni Heisler Contributor

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 15 years. A life long Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW. When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.