The next Macs: what we expect

By now, the fact that Apple is holding a press event on 23 October is old news. It's widely agreed that the long-rumoured smaller iPad will finally be unveiled. But it's also likely that the iPad Mini isn't the only thing that Apple will have up its sleeve. Expect to see at least one new Mac grace the stage during this event.

There are a couple of reasons for why we're confident that we'll see new Macs. First off, they're overdue — Apple refreshed MacBooks mid-year, but the desktop models are still running 2011 Intel chips. Secondly, this is a great time for Apple to play spoiler — Microsoft is launching Windows 8 next Friday. It makes plenty of sense for Apple to try to dampen some of that thunder with news for the Mac stalwarts.

Of course, the rumour mill is far from a consensus as to which model will receive an update. Rather than try to predict what Apple might do, following is the status, rumour-based or otherwise, of each Mac system that has not yet received an update this year.

iMac

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Last update: 3 May 2011
Latest rumour: "Details of redesigned 21-inch iMac surface in China"

Apple has traditionally updated its flagship desktop line on a fairly-regular annual basis. Now approaching 18 months between updates, the iMac is due for a refresh to Intel's new Ivy Bridge CPU family. A Chinese forum post claiming inside information said that we'll see a new 21.5-inch iMac soon, followed later by a new 27-inch model. Fans are clamouring for a Retina screen on Apple's signature desktop, though it's unclear if such a large, high-res screen will result in an impossibly high price.

Mac Mini

(Credit: CNET)

Last update: 20 July 2011
Latest rumour: "New Mac Minis said to join rumoured iPad Mini debut"

9to5Mac cited unnamed sources in its prediction of a new Mac Mini next week. Right now, Apple is 14 months between Mac Mini renewals. That might seem like a long time, but it's only the second-longest gap between models for Apple's slim budget desktop.

Mac Pro

(Credit: Apple)

Last update: 9 August 2010 (minor CPU update 11 June 2012)
Latest rumour: (more like a confirmation) "Apple CEO says Mac Pro update to come 'next year'"

Apple could always move up its production time table, but CEO Tim Cook went on the record earlier this year, citing 2013 as the date for the new Mac Pros.

MacBook Pro

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

Last update: 11 June 2012
Latest rumour: "13-inch Retina MacBook Pro due with iPad Mini, report claims"

9to5Mac and NPD analyst (also CNET alum) Richard Shim both think that we'll see a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display soon, if not officially during Tuesday's event.

Via CNET.com



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