2012's Biggest Mac Leaks and Rumors

mrlogoThe iPhone and iPad tend to dominate the rumor scene for a number of reasons. Most signficantly, the total audience for iOS devices is larger and growing more rapidly than for Macs. Apple's Mac line has of course also been growing, but at a much slower pace. Also, given the maturity of the line, changes in the Mac line tend to be more incremental.

Still, looking back, we've seen a fair number of Mac-related leaks that preceded each product launch.

Perhaps the most reliable leaks have been from benchmark suites such as Geekbench, as we've seen benchmark leaks of unreleased Mac products several times now. These have all turned out to be accurate predictors of final Mac releases, sometimes with a several month lead time.

Here are some of the photo leaks we saw in 2012 for the Mac:

13" MacBook Pro


This pre-WWDC 13" MacBook Pro leak revealed that the 13" MacBook Pro would see little in the way of upgrades. Despite many comments about the easy fake-ability of the leak, the image turned out to be accurate. The 13" MacBook Pro wouldn't see Retina upgrades until later in 2012.

15" MacBook Pro


This 15" MacBook Pro logic board shot showed that Apple was switching to NVIDIA GPUs ahead of the launch. It also showed hints that Apple was keeping the current MacBook Pro design around, as the layout was identical to existing models.

iMac


This was the first we heard of the newly redesigned iMac, which was described as "considerably thinner than the current form factor".

The redesigned iMac is said to be considerably thinner than the current form factor, with the machine's thickness almost impossible to gauge when viewed from the side. The curved rear shell is also said to appear more like a water droplet than the squared-off design seen in the current model.

13" Retina MacBook Pro


This was our first look at the thinner 13" Retina MacBook Pro and showed the various ports and 2560x1600 resolution of the new machine.

MacBook Pro and Retina Lineups

From an informational perspective, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has shown that he has had a clear view of Apple's timeline and has been able to report accurately on that topic. Kuo was the first to suggest in June that Apple was going to create a separate line of MacBook Pros with Retina displays while keeping the existing product line in place.

Some of the responses in the discussion thread at the time were of disbelief:

That's stupid.

If the new Macbook line is as powerful as the Pro line, WHY keep the Pro line? What advantage does the Pro offer? A CD drive? Not exactly tempting in today's day and age. I'd rather take thinner and retina over a stupid CD drive, especially since it looks like it will be priced cheaper than a pro.

Just Axe the old Pro line and rebrand the new Pro line as this thinner/Retina one.

Of course, Apple did splinter the line by introducing a new (more expensive) "Retina" line of MacBook Pro products. Kuo also predicts that Apple will reintegrate the line in 2013, offering a single 13" and 15" MacBook Pro line with Retina displays and doing away with the non-Retina Macbook Pros that are currently being offered.

Mac Pro: Not Dead Yet

Finally, perhaps the most encouraging bit of news from the year for some was the promise that the Mac Pro will see an update in 2013. Tim Cook even responded to a an email from a concerned Mac Pro user. In the email response:

Our pro customers are really important to us...don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year.

Top Rated Comments

Santabean2000 Avatar
123 months ago
Funny that the "most encouraging" rumor is the most nebulous and tagged "not dead yet." I'd love to see Apple come out with a new computer that's in between the iMac and current Mac Pro.

Not gonna happen, I think.

Personally, I'd love to see a full-blown MacPro on steroids. I can see them scaling down the overall form factor tho.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SmokyD Avatar
123 months ago
Is it time for a return of the Cube?

A silent workstation class computer in between the current Mini and Pro, with easy expandability, running silently. If they make one, count me in.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
windels Avatar
122 months ago
It seems to me that the lower price is the main selling point of the non-retina. I imagine Apple likes having that price point, and so they'll be nixing the non-retina as soon as they can sell the retina at those price points and still have a comfortable margin.

I was hoping for someone to say that :p
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
inscrewtable Avatar
123 months ago
That wasn't what the poster asked for. He said "Discrete". Don't move goalposts on me.
Hang on.

He said, in reply to your assertion of 2011 mac mini having a radeon 630m, that he meant a desktop GPU.

And desktop clearly means in this case a non mobile model otherwise what does a 'desktop' gpu mean otherwise once he has rejected your proposed mobile model, other than a non mobile model.

That's one point where the goal post are not moved and you have been caught out.

Now a completely separate issue that also indicates your disingenuousness is your coincidental[!] reference to the 2011 mac mini, knowing full well that even the mobile gpu has been removed from the 2012 mini, ie the current model is even worse than a mobile model as it's is an integrated gpu.

And there's no way to slice your way out of this.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArchAndroid Avatar
123 months ago

Mac Pro: Not Dead Yet

...but in a permanent vegetative state :(
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iphone495 Avatar
123 months ago
Let's not forget, the year is not over, there COULD be more leaks to come.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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