Apple's next-gen M2 MacBooks, Mac Mini and Mac Pro could be here sooner than you think

MacBook Pro on colorful orange background
(Image credit: Future)

It looks as though Apple has some big plans for its freshly unveiled M2 chip in the coming months, with a recent batch of predictions suggesting we could get a full range of M2-powered hardware, including MacBooks, Mac Mini and Mac Pro within the next 12 months.

As reported by MacRumors, this comes from trusted Apple analyst Mark Gurman via the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, in which he outlines the predicted product release roadmap. 

A range of Mac hardware was included alongside non-computing products such as the iPhone 14 (which will allegedly include four models), and updated versions of the Apple Watch, Homepod and even Apple TV, which suggests that Apple is going full-steam into 2023 with essential its entire catalog.

We’ve already seen the base model M2 chip released within both a new MacBook Air and a refreshed 13-inch MacBook Pro, though if the M1 chips timeline is anything to go by then we can also expect the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro to contain M2 Pro and M2 Max versions of the new silicon, just as they were released with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips

Gurman claims within the blog that there are also plans to release a refreshed Mac Pro alongside the M2 Ultra as an upgrade from the M1 Ultra, as well as an entirely new chip dubbed the M2 Extreme, though no additional information was provided about the planned architecture of anticipated performance.

In fact, there’s very little information about… well, any of these new SoCs (system-on-a-chip) so while Gurman has a good reputation behind him, don’t take any of these rumors as gospel. He does mention, however, that “these M2 products are likely to come in much quicker succession than the M1-based Macs did” so we can assume a shorter release timeline is in the works.

The newsletter also contained some familiar-sounding leaks, such as plans for a new iMac, an unnamed 12-inch laptop, a 15-inch MacBook Air and plans to redesign the 13-inch MacBook Air, though according to Gurman, these will all contain Apple’s next-generation of in-development silicon, the M3.

Analysis: should I wait, or should I buy now?

Apple MacBook Air (M1,2020) Rear Lid

(Image credit: Future)

There are a lot of product names being thrown around here and very little substance. Again, Gurman is a typically reliable source for these kinds of leaks, and it’s unlikely that Apple won’t be releasing new hardware within the next 12 months, but we should take it with a pinch of salt as Apple loves to be especially tight-lipped about its product development. 

In all, the timeline looks reasonable, though the inclusion of M3-powered hardware within the lineup could indicate that anticipated releases such as a colorful redesign of the MacBook Air won’t make an appearance during the lifespan of the M2. 

This also suggests that given the current MacBook shipping delays, you might actually be better off waiting a few months to see if more powerful models of the M2 chip are released before snapping up a current model of the larger MacBook Pro laptops.

If the timeline is accurate, there’s a good chance that refreshed versions of the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro will be released by Q4 2022, just in time for Christmas, and even if that window is a little shaky, it’s very likely that if you did snap up a new MacBook for the holiday season it might be surpassed by the next generation of hardware within a few short weeks.

That said, this should only concern you if you like to be an early adopter of technology, or if you crave having the latest generation of hardware. 

The current versions of the MacBook Pro lineup won’t be any less capable if an updated M2 model does make an appearance in the next few months, after all, and there are plenty of other portable workstation laptops on the market if you wanted additional variety outside of the Apple ecosystem.

Jess Weatherbed

Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.