Apple surprised iMac fans with an iMac Pro launch in June 2017. The all-in-one desktop looked just like traditional iMacs but featured a new Space Gray finish and black accessories. More importantly, the iMac Pro delivered significantly improved hardware compared to the basic iMac versions. The iMac Pro hit stores six months later, and Apple discontinued it in early March 2021. That’s to say that an upgrade might be due for this all-in-one, particularly concerning Apple’s move to custom System-on-Chips (SoC) for its Macs. And an insider with an accurate track record reporting on unreleased Apple hardware claims the company will launch a new iMac Pro version in 2022.
Before we get to the iMac Pro 2022 refresh rumor, it’s important to remember where we’re currently at when it comes to Apple’s Mac upgrade. Apple said in late 2020 that it would need a couple of years to replace all Intel chips with its own M-series SoCs. And Apple delivered no fewer than three distinct M1 chip versions since then for several Macs and iPads.
Apple unveiled the 2021 iMac (above) more than a month after discontinuing the iMac Pro last year. The new all-in-ones featured the same M1 processor that Apple unveiled in November 2020. That SoC also powered the late 2020 MacBook Pro and Air models and the 2020 Mac mini. Apple also used the M1 in the 2021 iPad Pro tablets it launched last spring.
Apple then followed with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in mid-October 2021. The two SoC are available for the 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. It’s likely that other Macs will make use of these M1 SoC versions, including the 2022 iMac Pro whose launch Apple is reportedly readying.
The iPad Pro 2022 launch rumors
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman is widely known for his accurate Apple predictions. He penned a new edition of the Power On newsletter, where he addressed the future of the iMac line. That’s where he said he expects Apple to launch a 2022 iMac Pro version:
My expectation is that we’ll get a new model this year that is bigger than the current 24-inch design and branded as an iMac Pro. That would mean it has similar chips to the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors inside of the MacBook Pro. I’d also expect the new iMac Pro to have a similar design to the current M1 iMac.
The move to Apple M-series chips wasn’t the 2021 iMac’s only new big feature. Apple released a redesigned all-in-one last year that brought back the colors that made the iMac famous. It’s unclear what sort of coloring scheme the iMac Pro 2022 will get. But if Gurman’s information is accurate, the new all-in-one might look like a bigger iMac. Space Gray seems like the kind of color option you’d expect for the new iMac Pro, but that’s just speculation at this time.
That said, it’s unclear when Apple will launch the 2022 iMac Pro. Rumors claim Apple will unveil new hardware in spring, with an event likely to drop at some point in mid-April. That’s where Apple will launch the iPhone SE 3 and the iPad Air 5. Gurman mentioned these devices in previous reports.
Separately, the screen experts at Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) said in mid-December that Apple was working on a 2022 iMac Pro refresh. The device will feature a 27-inch mini-LED screen with 120Hz variable refresh and oxide backplanes, DSCC said. The new iMac Pro will launch in spring 2022, they added.