Mac Studio and Mac Pro fans jealous of the iPad Pro's M4 chip may have to wait for another year

Mac Studio and Studio Display on a desk
(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Mac Studio and Mac Pro were updated during last year's WWDC with the M2  Max and M2 Ultra chips. Considering we just got M4 iPads and M3 MacBooks, it’s fair to say that the Mac Studio and Pro need to be updated to newer M-series silicon. However, if rumors are true the desktop PCs probably won’t get another upgrade until next year. 

According to Mark Gurman, a reliable Apple leaker and expert, we’re likely not going to see a refresh of the Mac Pro or Mac Studio in 2024. When the M3 Pro and M3 Max chips debuted, I was certain we would see them packed into one or two of Apple’s most powerful computers, though it looks like we’ll be waiting for a while longer yet.

That being said, Apple may be holding off on M3 models, instead introducing the new Mac Pro and Mac Studio fitted with M4 chips, similar to the one inside the new iPad Pro. Since we haven’t yet seen any M4 variants (like the M4 Pro or M4 Max), it would make sense for Apple to wait to upgrade its most powerful desktop system with the most powerful chip it has available.

Skipping generations

It wouldn't be too unusual for Apple to skip chip generations between products here - the 24-inch iMac skipped a generation and jumped from M1 to M3 rather than following direct successions like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. While there could be many reasons behind this, it’s probably because more people just aren’t upgrading their desktops as often as they do their laptops. 

Similarly, the desktop Mac models don’t sell as many units as MacBooks, especially considering that the Mac Pro and Mac Studio are much more expensive and powerful than what the average user actually needs. So why would Apple rush to keep slotting new chips into the products it sells the least? 

Personally, I do wish Apple would take this same approach to its other products across its lineup, like iPhones or MacBooks. The company consistently puts out new products when in reality it could hold back and avoid overproduction, wastefully producing more hardware and using up valuable resources. We all love new things, and in the world of computing the rule is often faster is better, newer is better. But we have to keep an environmental lens in mind when considering new stuff. 

All in all, we’ll have to wait and see if Gurman's prediction is correct and if the Mac Pro and Mac Studio are swept under the rug at this year's WWDC. If they are, we can likely expect them to crop up next year instead - sorry, desktop Mac fans!

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Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison. Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place. Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).