While Apple has major software announcements planned for the upcoming World Wide Developers Conference – including iOS 6, an updated version of iCloud, and OS X Mountain Lion – Apple is also planning some incredible hardware announcements. Not iOS hardware, but Mac hardware. We have already reported that Apple will introduce a brand-new 15-inch MacBook Pro at WWDC with a thinner design, high-resolution Retina Display, and faster I/O, and now we’re hearing that the new MacBook Pro will only make up one component of Apple’s hardware announcements.
In fact, WWDC 2012 might be the biggest simultaneous launch of new Macs in Apple’s history…
According to sources, Apple is planning to update at least four out of their five Mac lines at the June 11 WWDC kickoff keynote. Apple’s current Mac lines are the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro. We are hearing that Apple will release two configurations of the redesigned 15-inch MacBook Pro, but it is unclear what will happen to the other MacBook Pro screen sizes. We previously reported that Apple is working on a version of the 11 inch and 13 inch MacBook Airs with Retina Displays, and we are led to believe that these new ultra-thin notebooks will serve as the second Mac update announcement at WWDC. Apple will likely release two new configurations of both MacBook Air screen sizes.
The third new update will likely be a refresh to the iMac line. Apple last updated the iMacs in May 2011 with faster processors, a vastly-improved graphics system, Thunderbolt, and a FaceTime HD camera. However, the last complete iMac industrial redesign was launched in late 2009. While it appears that a new iMac is coming at WWDC, its feature-set is thus far unclear. We reported in May that sources said that Apple is at work on a new, much higher-resolution iMac, but it is unclear if that Retina Display iMac refresh will be coming next week or as another future iMac refresh.
Apple is also planning to refresh a fourth piece of their Mac line, and this leaves the Mac mini and the Mac Pro. We are currently unsure whether or not the Mac Pro or Mac mini will be the fourth Mac updated at the conference, but both Macs are due for a refresh, especially the Mac Pro. The Mac Pro has not seen an update in a couple of years, and as Apple’s Pro desktop, has not even seen a refresh with Apple’s next-generation Thunderbolt I/O system. On the other hand, the Mac mini was updated last July with improved internals. While Intel does make new Ivy Bridge processors that would fit into a Mac mini, the Mac Pro uses a different chip technology altogether. Apple not updating the Mac Pro for sometime leads us to believe that it may stay un-updated, so perhaps a new Mac mini is in the cards for WWDC.
Our sources also believe that Apple will use the developer conference to debut some new accessories. These accessories may range from new cases or cables, all the way to refreshed keyboards, mice, trackpads, AirPorts, or something else altogether. We aren’t yet able to specify which accessories will actually be updated, however.
Apple updating most of their Mac line in one sitting is uncustomary for the company, and this may mark a transition to yearly Mac updates; similarly to the yearly iPad and iPhone update cycles. On the other hand, it appears that Apple is moving towards higher-resolution displays on Macs in a big way this summer, so perhaps Apple wants to push out their new Retina Macs simultaneously.