by Jason Snell
Major spoilers for the Mac in 2021
If you like to be surprised about what new products Apple is planning, you might want to avert your eyes. On Friday there were two major reports about Apple’s forthcoming Mac plans.
First off, Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported about new Mac desktops.
Gurman reports that Apple will (finally) redesign the iMac, launching two new versions that are styled more like the Pro Display XDR, with small bezels and a flat back, and using a next-generation version of the M1 processor.
On the Mac Pro side, Gurman says that Apple is planning an update to the Mac Pro that might actually retain Intel processors, but is also designing a half-sized Mac Pro (he likens it to the Power Mac G4 Cube) that would run on souped-up Apple silicon chips.
And then Gurman drops this news:
As part of its revived Mac desktop efforts, Apple has started early development of a lower-priced external monitor to sell alongside the Pro Display XDR. Apple’s current monitor debuted in 2019 and costs $5,000 — before factoring in the $1,000 stand.
It’s hard to imagine Apple releasing a new Mac Pro mini without an external monitor, but it still boggles my mind that Apple only sells a $5,000 monitor right now.
In laptop news, supply-chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is at it again, with details about forthcoming Mac laptops, as reported by Benjamin Mayo at 9to5Mac.
Kuo’s report says that Apple will release two new MacBook Pro models in the second half of the year, both using those next-generation Apple silicon processors that more capable than the M1. He says these laptops won’t have Touch Bars, but will use a new version of the old-fashioned MagSafe plug to charge.
Kuo also says the laptops will offer more diverse IO options to reduce the need for dongles, which is a little perplexing—SD card slot? USB-A port? HDMI port? What does it mean?
In any event, 2021 is shaping up to be an eventful year for the Mac.