Apple MacBook Pro laptops for 2023 could be disappointing

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The rumor mill is spinning once more concerning Apple, and this time we’ve heard spillage on the topic of what Macs will be coming out in 2023 – and to prepare for some disappointments.

This all comes from a renowned source on all things Apple, Mark Gurman. In his latest Bloomberg (opens in new tab) newsletter he touches on what’s next in terms of MacBooks, the Mac Pro, and the iMac (or what isn’t next – at least not this year – in the latter case, as you’ll see). As ever, treat rumors with plenty of caution, even those from more reliable sources.

According to Gurman, we will see new MacBook Pros in the first half of 2023, but they will have exactly the same design and features as the existing 14-inch and 16-inch models, with the only real upgrade being the inclusion of M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. However, even on that front, the performance boost will be “marginal” Gurman asserts.

What could be more exciting is Apple’s apparent plans for a MacBook Air 15-inch laptop, which could be the “saving grace” for the entire Mac range this year, though Gurman doesn’t say what it’ll pack. He also tells us that a previously rumored MacBook 12-inch isn’t coming, or at least it isn’t on the roadmap for the near future.

There will be a new Mac Pro for 2023, but that also disappoints in some respects. Gurman believes that a high-end Mac Pro spin, with a 48-core CPU (toting 152-cores for graphics) has been canceled, and Apple is instead simply pushing out a model with the M2 Ultra chip. That throws some question marks over how it’ll compare to the Mac Studio in terms of value, Gurman notes, and the new Mac Pro will supposedly look the same as the 2019 version, too.

There’s further disappointment in an apparent change that means the system RAM won’t be upgradable by the user, because the memory will be soldered directly onto the motherboard.

To round off the rather lackluster state of affairs, a larger iMac Pro which has been mulled by Apple as a possibility – popping on and off the product roadmap, according to Gurman – now looks unlikely to appear. Gurman observes: “I would be surprised at this point if it arrives in 2023.”

As for a revamped iMac 24-inch, that won’t go ahead until the M3 SoC is ready apparently, so that’s likely to be 2024 or perhaps at the end of this year.

Analysis: A rather bleak but not unexpected rumor dump

If all this makes for somewhat bleak reading – which it does in the main – then we must remember that this is just informed speculation, and Gurman could be wrong on some (or many) counts. Even if he’s right, what Apple is thinking now may change going forward.

At any rate, assuming the above rumors are correct, it’s no real surprise to hear the MacBook Pros won’t be much of a change from the current incarnations. Although the way Gurman couches the step up in performance from current models as “marginal” doesn’t exactly spark excitement.

We were expecting those refreshes to arrive late in 2022, if you recall, and when it became clear that wasn’t happening, the rumored launch timeframe became Q1 of 2023. Now, Gurman is saying the first half of the year, which seems to indicate that a first quarter release may not happen – another slight disappointment.

We didn’t see the Apple silicon-powered Mac Pro at CES 2023, as we hoped to do, and perhaps we now know why – things are still up in the air with the machine, maybe. However the Mac Pro turns out, presumably Apple must make it fit and seem like a sensible proposition within its own line-up – though the mention of a possible step back in terms of non-upgradable RAM is an unwelcome thought. With a pricey PC like this, restrictions on component upgrades are a frustration to say the least.

Still, we do have that MacBook Air 15-inch still potentially inbound for 2023, which could make up for much of the rest of the Mac range hitting the shelves this year being light on differences compared to existing models, or underwhelming in other respects. A bigger MacBook Air has long been rumored, and never actually appeared, but perhaps now is the time – there are certainly some big fans of the idea of a 15-inch version of the laptop (and equally, some folks who are more cautious about it).

Via Apple Insider (opens in new tab)

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