Apple Just Broke a Tradition It Held for 21 Years
Apple has broken a tradition it maintained for 21 years, releasing no new Macs in the fourth quarter of the year for the first time since 2000, as previously anticipated devices like the next-generation MacBook Pro and Mac Pro models have apparently been pushed out to this year.
Historically, Apple launched at least one new Mac model every year in the fourth quarter that runs between October and December, starting in 2001 with the launch of the iBook G3. This means that there has been a new Mac toward the end of the year for the entire lifespan of product lines including the iPod, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. The last Mac that Apple released is the M2 MacBook Air, which launched on July 15, 2022. Depending on how long Apple waits to launch its next Mac, the time following the launch of the MacBook Air could be among the longest periods with no new Mac models at all.
It was initially rumored that new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models would emerge before the end of 2022, a time frame seemingly supported by some mass production forecasts. It is now almost certain that these devices have been substantially postponed. The MacBook Pro delay first became apparent when Korean blogger "yeux1122" cited a supply chain source saying that the updated 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models will not launch until around March 2023. The picture became clearer when Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said in October that the next wave of Mac releases will now take place in the first quarter of 2023, including updated versions of the MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and Mac Pro. Overall, this constitutes a delay of up to six months over what was originally expected for the next-generation MacBook Pro models.
The Mac Pro is another device that was once strongly believed to launch before the end of 2022, not least because this would have aligned to Apple's wish to transition the entire Mac lineup to Apple silicon within two years. At its "Peek Performance" event last year, Apple even directly teased the launch of the Apple silicon Mac Pro, saying "that's for another day." While Apple reportedly had an M1-variant of the Mac Pro ready to launch earlier in 2022, the company appears to be waiting for an even bigger performance and efficiency jump this year. Most recently, Gurman said that Apple had likely scrapped plans for an "M2 Extreme" chip, but M2 Ultra configurations of the new Mac Pro still seem to be on track for launch in 2023.