An Apple Silicon Mac Pro might not be released this year — falling short of Apple’s original expectation of transitioning its entire product lineup to in-house silicon by 2022 — noted Apple leaker and reporter Mark Gurman said in an interview. The Mac Pro is the company’s most expensive computer by a long shot. It starts at $5,599 for the base model, and as soon as a few of the components are upgraded, the price can compare to that of a new car. The computer remains in a strange place following the switch to Apple Silicon, as the computer’s most compelling feature is its modularity. Since Apple Silicon is powered by a system-on-a-chip, no M-series chip can be swapped quite like the original computers.
Another consequence of Apple’s shift to its own, in-house silicon is that the Mac Pro is nearly an impossible buy in 2022. It has exorbitant pricing, and since the M1 family was unveiled, it isn’t even the most powerful computer in Apple’s lineup. In many cases, the M1 Ultra inside the new Mac Studio will best the Mac Pro at a fraction of the cost. Only a tiny fraction of the company’s audience is looking for the most powerful Mac with an Intel processor, and it’s safe to assume that most customers are starting to switch to Apple Silicon. The Mac Studio is essentially a compact version of the Mac Pro.
When Apple first announced the transition to silicon in 2020, the company’s executives boasted about the performance gains it could deliver while reducing power consumption and heat output. No one doubted that Apple could make great laptop chips — it had made mobile silicon that beat low-end laptop chips for years — but some questioned how the company could scale this up to the most powerful computers in the Mac lineup. Regardless, Apple promised to switch its entire Mac lineup to in-house silicon by the end of 2022. However, new reports reveal that this target might not be reached, as an Apple Silicon Mac Pro likely won’t be released by the end of this year.
Apple’s strategy to create more powerful chips, to this point, has been to simply make them larger. The M1 was powerful and cool enough to run inside a MacBook Air without a dedicated cooling system, but that wasn’t the case for the more powerful options. The M1 Pro, Max and Ultra are essentially just multiple M1 chips connected on a single chip. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, this will likely be the case for the upcoming Mac Pro. The noted Apple leaker was interviewed in a YouTube video by Vadim Yuriev and said that the most powerful Apple Silicon chip — “M2 Extreme” — will include more interconnected chips to power the new Mac Pro.
Though he thinks an Apple Silicon Mac Pro won’t be available until early 2023, Gurman has heard that the company could have shipped a new Mac Pro at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. “They also had an M1 Mac Pro ready to go months ago,” Gurman said. “But they scrapped that to wait for the M2 version.” Instead, the reporter expects the company to announce a new Mac Pro with an M2 Extreme chip at the end of this year with availability in early 2023. In addition to the new Mac Pro, there will be a more powerful Mac mini, but no redesign is expected. Apple teased the development of an Apple Silicon Mac Pro at WWDC this year, but it’s currently unclear when the last product to switch to the company’s in-house silicon will be released.