Many of Apple’s devices are now more than 18 months old, and with new devices that could bring valuable improvements to them on the horizon, many of which are already in other devices, here are five important products that seem to be overdue.
While some devices like the Pro Display XDR and HomePod mini are also due for an update, there are at least five major Apple devices that appear to be overdue — where the new model could yield big improvements. Likewise, as time goes on, it becomes increasingly difficult for Apple to justify leaving these devices in its lineup without updating the hardware.
Be sure to refer to Mac rumors Buyer’s Guide for continuous updates on the age and condition of all Apple products released, as well as when updates can reasonably be expected based on when new models appeared in previous years.
The current model was introduced in April 2021 (one year and seven months old).
While there’s some disagreement over whether Apple will reintroduce a larger iMac, the current model with a 24-inch display features an M1 chip — meaning it’s outdated compared to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, redesigned MacBook Air, and iPad Pro . Apple announced the M2 chip in early June this year at WWDC, and since three different devices now have the chip, the iMac is ready for the chip update.
So far reports from bloombergThe iMac’s Mark Gurman points out that an iMac with the M2 chip is not on the horizon. Following the M2 series of Macs, Gurman said the new iMac will be among the first M3 series of Macs, which will include an updated 13-inch MacBook Air, an all-new 15-inch MacBook Air, and potentially a new 12-inch. Notebook “still in early development”.
The M3 chip is expected to be built on TSMC’s 3nm process, unlike the M1 and M2, which are built using a 5nm process. The more advanced manufacturing process is expected to lead to significant improvements in performance and efficiency.
The device is expected to be the successor to the current M1iMac and may not launch until late 2023 at the earliest, according to Gurman, which means it may be some time before a new iMac appears. It’s not clear why Apple would cut out the iMac from the M2 chip and wait for the M3 chip to become available, especially since that would mean the current M1 model would be around for a significant amount of time.
4. AirPods Max
The current model was introduced in December 2020 (1 year and 11 months old).
AirPods Max launched nearly two years ago, and are the oldest AirPods still in Apple’s lineup. Despite being the most expensive AirPods at $549, the AirPods Max loses out on a significant number of features that came to the second-generation AirPods Pro earlier this year.
With H2 chipset, greatly improved Active Noise Cancellation, Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, adaptive transparency, skin detection sensors, U1 chip, and Precision Search, there are a slew of notable features yet to be introduced in AirPods Max. The headphones could also benefit from an updated set of color options, MagSafe or USB-C charging, enhanced conversation, and sweat and water resistance.
The status of the next generation AirPods Max is currently unclear. In May 2021, Gorman said that Apple is not actively working on a second generation AirPods Max, but it is not known if this is the case. Since Apple seems to release a new AirPods product every year, AirPods Max might be next to update.
3. Mac mini for beginners
The current model was introduced in November 2020 (2 years old).
The M1 Mac mini is the latest generation of Apple silicon Mac, and like the 24-inch iMac, it could benefit from upgrading to the M2 chip.
Although adding the M2 chip to the Mac mini is supposed to require limited internal changes, Apple has so far neglected to do so. Reports earlier this year indicated that Apple originally “had plans” to introduce new “Mac mini” models in 2022, but those arrangements “may have been canceled” in favor of the all-new Mac Studio. A new Mac mini with the M2 chip is allegedly still in the works to launch sometime in 2023.
2. Mac Pro
The current model was introduced in December 2019 (2 years and 11 months old).
The Mac Pro is one of the newer Intel-based Mac models still on sale and the only remaining Mac line that doesn’t feature Apple’s silicon chip options. An all-new model that finally brings Apple silicon to the company’s top-tier Mac professionals has been anticipated for over two years. At its “Peek Performance” event earlier this year, Apple directly teased the launch of the Apple silicon Mac Pro, saying “that’s for another day.”
Previously, reports about a smaller Mac Pro model positioned somewhere between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro made it hard to know what to expect from the future of the high-end Mac Pro line, but it is now clear that many of these rumors relate to the Mac Studio, he explains. Pretty much what can be expected from the next generation Mac Pro.
Multiple reports from bloombergMark Gurman’s take on Apple’s Mac Pro silicon chipset options and specifications gives a fairly straightforward picture of what to expect from the new flagship Mac. According to Gorman, users will be able to configure the new Mac Pro with “M2 Ultra” and “M2 Extreme” chip options.
However, beyond its core specifications, little is currently known about the device’s design, ports, performance, model capability and customization, in real terms. Apple silicon Mac Pro is expected to be released next year, and it may come alongside a “Pro” version of the studio monitor with a small LED panel and ProMotion support.
1. Intel Mac mini
The current model was introduced in October 2018 (four years and one month old).
While the M1 Mac mini introduces an entry-level model into the lineup, the high-end Mac mini still features an Intel processor. The theoretically advanced Mac mini was updated in 2020 when Apple doubled the storage on the device, but otherwise it’s identical to the 2018 Space Gray unibody.
It’s been believed that Apple has been working on a new Mac mini for some time. The possibility of replacing the old high-end model with Apple silicon has been at the center of rumors regarding new Mac minis, but now it looks like both the entry-level and high-end model may be updated simultaneously. Apple is believed to be working on two versions of the next-generation Mac mini, one with the standard “M2” chip and the second a higher-end model with the “M2 Pro” chip.
The new high-end “Mac mini” with Apple silicon can get huge performance and efficiency advantages over the current model, and it features more Thunderbolt ports than the base model. There is also the possibility of re-design. As a machine more than two years ago before Apple began migrating to its own custom silicon chips in the Mac, and two years after refreshing the entry-level Mac mini, the high-end Mac mini appears to be Apple’s most unique device in desperate need of a hardware update.