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Apple testing several M2 Macs with third-party apps, insider says

Published Apr 15th, 2022 7:31AM EDT
Apple Mac Studio Top
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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Apple has just added a new member to its Mac lineup, the Mac Studio desktop that brings over the best version of the M1 System-on-Chip (SoC). But several reports claim that Apple will launch different M2 Macs in 2022, including a big MacBook Air redesign.

Meanwhile, a trusted insider has obtained more details about Apple’s M2 plans for the next-gen Macs. The company is already testing the M2 chip with third-party apps, which means some developers have been able to log the increased M2 activity.

The Apple M2 upgrade

The M1 series has been a massive success for Apple, frightening Intel in the process. The basic M1 model arrived in late 2020, powering that year’s MacBook Air, Pro, and the Mac mini. Apple saw wide praise for the performance and battery life the M1 SoC delivered. The company then used the M1 in the 2021 iPad Pro and redesigned the iMac.

The first big M1 upgrades arrived last year as well. The M1 Pro and M1 Max are equipped with the redesigned MacBook Pro. Then Apple dropped the M1 Ultra that powers the Mac Studio. But Apple never made the jump to the M2 series.

The first Macs with M2 processors will arrive this year, with Bloomberg’s Marc Gurman claiming that Apple has started widespread internal testing of the M2 processors.

Apple is testing at least nine new Macs running on four different M2 chips. These are the successor of the current M1 variations that power Apple’s existing MacBooks and Macs.

The report says that Apple is testing the M2 Macs using third-party apps from the App Store. That’s a key move in the development processes, indicating that some of these computers might be nearing release. This sort of testing is also the reason why developers can trace the M2-related activity in their logs.

16-Inch MacBook Pro
16-inch MacBook Pro launched in late October 2021. Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

The unreleased Macs

As a result, Bloomberg can detail the various M2 flavors that will power the upcoming Macs.

The M2 is Apple’s base next-gen SoC. It will feature 8 CPU cores and 10 GPU cores. That’s two extra graphics cores for the chip compared to the M1.

The base M2 will power the next-gen MacBook Air (codenamed J413), new Mac mini (J473), and entry-level MacBook Pro (J493).

The M2 Pro will power the 14-inch MacBook Pro (J414), the 16-inch MacBook Pro (J416), and a Mac mini (J474). Apple’s Pro laptops will also get an M2 Max SoC, featuring 12 CPU cores and 38 GPU cores. Comparatively, the M1 Max in current Macs features 10 CPU cores and 32 GPU cores. The M2 Pro will also support 64GB of RAM.

Finally, the M2 Ultra chip will power the next-gen Mac Pro (J180).

Apple won’t release all these new M2 Macs at once, even though it’s testing several models. The redesigned MacBook Air, cheap MacBook Pro, and new Mac mini will launch this year. They might hit stores in the coming months, according to the report. The other M2 Macs that Apple is testing with third-party apps might roll out at later dates.

More Mac coverage: For more Mac news, visit our MacBook Pro guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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