In some respects, this isn’t too surprising, as when the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), which saw the debut of Apple’s M1 chip, launched, Apple also released a new Mac mini (M1, 2020) which also came with the M1 chip.
So, if Apple is indeed planning on releasing a new MacBook Air, it makes sense that it would also show off a Mac mini as well to help showcase the new M2 chip.
The M1 chip was Apple’s first attempt to create a chip for its computing products, after ending a long-running partnership with Intel. It ended up being a huge success, with Apple’s experience in making chips for its iPhones and iPads translating well to computers. M1-powered Macs and MacBooks offered excellent performance and battery lives, and sales have been some of the best the company has seen. We were so impressed with the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), that it has remained at the top of our best laptops list since it was released.
So it’s little surprise that Apple is working on a successor to the M1, as well two popular products to showcase it. What is surprising, however, is that rumors (reported by Notebookcheck) suggest they’ll be shown off at WWDC 2022.
While we had heard that Apple was readying two M1 Macs for WWDC 2022, the LeaksApplePro Twitter account, which often posts accurate Apple leaks, suggests that the M2 Mac mini and M2 MacBook Air will be the two Macs in question.
Hearing the M2 MacBook Air and the M2 Mac mini at WWDC.April 21, 2022
Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) is, as the name suggests, primarily aimed at developers working on software and apps for Apple’s devices. It’s not usually associated with big hardware reveals.
Apple usually has its own events to launch brand-new iPhones, for example, and the last MacBook Air and M1 chip launched at a special event on November 10, 2020. So, in some ways, Apple’s decision to showcase it as WWDC is perplexing, especially for people who think a dedicated event later in the year would give any new Mac or MacBook more of a chance to shine.
There’s also the fact that a new and improved M2 chip will have big repercussions for developers, so announcing the M2 at WWDC 2022, and showing off its improved performance and new features, and explaining how developers can make use of them, does make sense.
If Apple is going to reveal the M2 at WWDC 2022, then it also makes sense to show off some devices that will be using it. After all, Apple’s not the kind of company to have someone come on stage and wave a chip around (unlike AMD or Intel).
Analysis: the Mac mini could steal the show
If the new MacBook Air and Mac mini are indeed shown off at WWDC 2022, I actually think the Mac mini could be the star of the show. Most devices shown off at WWDC are aimed at professionals, and while the new MacBook Air would no doubt be a fantastic laptop, it’s a much more mainstream device.
A souped-up Mac mini with Apple’s latest tech, however, could really interest WWDC attendees. Without the constraints of having to be battery-powered and portable, the new Mac mini could really show off what the M2 chip can do.
Of course, there’s something else to consider. The M1 MacBook Air and Mac mini were launched alongside a third device: the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1, 2020). While we’ve not heard any rumors, could Apple also release an M2 MacBook Pro at WWDC? If it does, then that may be the device that generates the most excitement by far.
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Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.