With the year almost in the rear-view mirror, attention on the Mac front now turns to 2022. Like 2020 and 2021 before it, the new year should be huge for all things Mac, thanks to the continued transition to Apple silicon. So here's a look at what I want to see next year — and what we'll probably get.
For months, the tea leaves had suggested Apple would soon replace the 27-inch Mac with something much larger, just like this year's 24-inch model replaced the 21.5-inch iMac. Recently, however, the rumor mill has changed considerably. It now looks like Apple will keep its largest iMac at 27-inches. Additionally, despite earlier rumors, the next iMac won't feature mini-LED, but once again include LCD only. The new model is also expected to feature a few new colors and, of course, feature Apple silicon, which will retire Intel-based iMacs.
One persistent rumor is that Apple will introduce an all-new iMac Pro. The previous version, which started at $5,000, was retired in March 2021. I'm not convinced Apple will go down this road again, although I wouldn't be surprised one way or another.
When to expect it: Most likely, Apple will announce the new iMac in March or April. The biggest question left unanswered is whether the machine will feature the M1 Pro/M1 Max chips found on the 2021 MacBook Pro or be the first to include an "M2". If it's going to happen, a new iMac Pro is likely to be announced at the same time.
Colorful MacBook Air
The best Mac for most people, the MacBook Air, is expected to get replaced in the first half of 2022. The new MacBook Air should come in multiple colors, an updated form factor, and almost certainly an "M2" chip. Like the 2021 MacBook Pro, the new MacBook Air should feature multiple inputs and MagSafe.
When to expect it: Apple should reveal the next MacBook Air alongside the new iMac. And yet, a lot will depend on supply issues. My bet: this is the one product Apple will announce at next year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.
The Mac mini will join the iMac lineup in being revamped to do away with Intel. As a result, we're likely to see a souped-up version of the Mac mini that probably will feature a choice of M1 Pro or M1 Max chips.
When to expect it: We could see a new Mac mini arrive in June at WWDC, or Apple could wait until the fall, which is when every new Mac mini in the past decade has been announced.
By the end of the year, Apple should at least announce an Apple silicon version of the Mac Pro. And yet, recent rumors suggest there could be one more Intel-based offering here.
When to expect it: I'll go out on a limb and predict the next Mac Pro will get a WWDC announcement, although its release date might not be until late in the year.
2022 MacBook Pro
A new entry-level MacBook Pro could replace the 2020 13-inch model in fall 2022. This model will probably include a few bells and whistles not on the new MacBook Air to justify its higher price. The new MacBook Pro will likely come with an "M2" chip get priced at around $1,300 like the current model.
When to expect it: October 2022 sounds about right for a new MacBook Pro model.
macOS Monterey successor
The next version of macOS will be announced in June and released to the public in September or October. It's too early to tell how this version will differ from macOS Monterey, but it should bring Mac and mobile ever-closer once again. The 2022 macOS version should be more significant than macOS Monterey, but still nowhere as substantial as macOS Big Sur, which essentially changed the Mac operating system as we knew it.
What won't change
The 2021 24-inch iMac, 14-inch MacBook Pro, and 16-inch MacBook Pro should stick around for another year and not get replaced in 2022. One change that could happen is the introduction of a new color or two for the iMac. Adding new colors is a move Apple often pulled with the iMac two decades ago and one that could be repeated here.
What are your hopes and dreams for Mac in 2022? I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below! Until then, happy computing!