It has been almost two years since Apple announced the transition from Intel Macs to Apple Silicon, and while there are still two Intel-powered Macs in the lineup, the company is already working on the next wave of Macs with the new M2 chip. 9to5Mac has learned from sources that there are new MacBooks with the M2 chip coming later this year.
Rumors about the next-generation MacBook Air have been floating around the web for quite some time now, as multiple reports hint at a completely redesigned laptop. While analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the new MacBook Air will have an updated M1 chip, our reliable sources have told us that the machine is being developed with the new M2 chip.
Codenamed J413, the next generation MacBook Air is expected to be released in a single version featuring M2. As detailed in our article about the new Mac mini, the M2 chip (internally known as “Staten”) is based on the A15 chip. Although it has an eight-core CPU just like M1, M2 will bring a more powerful 10-core GPU.
It’s worth noting that the new M2 chip comes to replace the current entry-level M1, not the high-end M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra versions – so it won’t necessarily perform better than these premium chips. Of course, Apple will eventually introduce high-end versions of the new M2 chip, such as the M2 Pro (which will power one of the new Mac mini models).
Apple currently has M2 Pro, Max, and Ultra in the works, the latter being a 24-core CPU.
13-inch MacBook Pro
At the same time, rumors also suggest that Apple will keep the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro around for longer.
9to5Mac’s sources confirm that the 13-inch MacBook Pro will also get a new model with the M2 chip. Under the codename J493, the machine is based on the current 13-inch MacBook Pro, which means that it should retain the current design rather than getting the new one from the high-end versions.
Interestingly, Apple has been internally considering dropping the “Pro” name from this machine, which would become just “MacBook.” That way, it would be rebranded as an entry-level MacBook, which would make sense since a report last year claimed that the redesigned MacBook Air will be “slightly more expensive.”
However, this year’s 13-inch MacBook might still be branded as “Pro.” Similar to the MacBook Air, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro won’t have versions with M2 Pro or other high-end chips.
While a release date is unclear at this point, our sources have told us that both machines are in advanced stages of development, so it’s likely that they will be announced sometime later this year.
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