New Macs with Apple Silicon are coming, but when and which ones?

MacBook (Image credit: iMore)

One doesn't need to look at a calendar to realize the year is coming to an end. As I'm typing this, the wind is blowing, and most of the leaves in my Pennsylvania neighborhood are now firmly on the ground. Pretty soon, the political signs will be gone, and holiday decorations will start twinkling.

Though the 2020 calendar is winding down, Apple's almost certainly going to hold one more press event in the coming weeks. This one, perhaps on November 17, is expected to focus on Mac and macOS Big Sur.

New Macs being released at the end of a calendar year isn't new. It was only last December, for example, that the current-generation Mac Pro was finally released after months of hype. This year will take on added significance since we're certain to see the first Apple Silicon Mac make its debut.

First announced in June, Apple Silicon is slowly going to replace Intel processors on new Macs over the next two years. When fully implemented, the switch will mean developers can write and optimize apps for the entire Apple ecosystem.

Which Macs will be the first to get the Apple Silicon treatment has been open to much debate.


Apple only may announce one new Mac with Apple Silicon at next month's event. The most likely candidate, in that case, would almost certainly be a new MacBook.

Apple could also announce an Apple Silicon MacBook Pro at the event. The company already released a new 13-inch MacBook Pro in March, which suggests the 16-inch model could be the one to get the Apple Silicon treatment first. The current 16-inch model was released in November 2019.

Shipping times for both of the current MacBook Pro models have been slipping recently, which suggests new models are coming soon.

We're probably going to have to wait a little longer for the first iMac with Apple Silicon. A report earlier this month suggested a redesigned iMac won't arrive until the first half of 2021. The most likely candidate would be the smaller of the two iMac models, as the larger 27-inch iMac was updated earlier this year. This model might have been the final Intel-based Mac Apple plans on releasing.

Beyond this, Apple could also elect to release an Apple Silicon-based Mac mini next month, even though an Intel-based model was released earlier this year. The flexible Mac mini is popular within technology industries, and offering at least one model with Apple Silicon wouldn't come as a surprise.

Final thoughts

I expect Cupertino to announce two new Macs in November, a redesigned MacBook and an updated Mac mini. Both will feature Apple Silicon. It's less likely a new MacBook Pro or iMac arrives with Apple Silicon next month, although it's more possible with the former.

We should know soon enough. Tuesday, November 17, is probably going to be the date for Apple's final press event of 2020. If correct, the Mac-centered event would occur five weeks after the iPhone 12/iPhone 12 Pro event and nine weeks after the iPad Air 4/Apple Watch Series 6 event.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.