The chances for another big Apple event before the New Year are pretty much nil. That’s because head honcho Tim Cook has indicated as much, saying on a recent investor’s call that the product line is “set” for the year. So, we’ll have to wait until early 2023 for any upgrades to the Mac lineup and whatever other surprises (hint: it could be a headset) Apple has up its sleeve. But that won’t stop us from speculating on what’s to come from Apple Park in the new year.
In years past, Apple has typically hosted three fall events, but this year was different. Per usual, Apple hosted a September event to announce the new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, Apple Watch Series 8, and Apple Watch Ultra. But then a month later, Cook broke tradition and pulled a surprise move by sparing us the livestream extravaganza and opting instead for a low-key series of press releases announcing an M2 iPad Pro, colorful entry-level iPads, and Apple TV in 4K.
November is typically when Apple unveils new Macs, but that announcement has now reportedly been pushed back.
With new iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches crossed off our end-of-year Apple launch bingo card, all that’s left of the company’s tentpole products are the new Macs and that elusive XR headset. We don’t know the exact timing of these leftover anticipated announcements, but we do know what details to expect.
M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pros
According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman and Apple insider Ming-Chi Kuo, we can expect Apple to launch new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros powered by the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips in the new year. The current 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros come with M1 Pro and M1 Max configuration options, so upgrading these laptops with Apple’s second-generation silicon would be a natural progression.
M2 Mac mini
A new version of the Mac mini is also reportedly on the way, and it seems like it’s getting that M2 glow-up, too. The Mac mini, Apple’s most affordable device (starting at $650), is a small-but-mighty desktop computer that’s popular for its compact design and performance. This will be the first upgrade in two years for the product line which currently runs on an M1 chip.
A headset and a different kind of iPad
Will this finally be the year Apple steps into the metaverse?
A mixed-reality headset from Apple has long been in the works and experts say 2023 might be the year that Apple’s XR headset becomes a reality. The headset was originally expected this year, but was reportedly delayed due to overheating and software issues, as well as supply chain constraints. That said, Gurman reported back in May that its development was at “an advanced stage.” Now that Apple’s product lineup is locked for the year, the device — considered to be a “game-changer for the headset industry” per Kuo — might come to light early next year.
Given Apple’s notorious secrecy on major product developments like this, it’s mostly speculation at this point. But a report from The Information revealed that Apple’s headset might have iris-scanning technology for identity verification and payments, and could ship with a “ski-goggle” design that’s markedly different from Meta’s Quest 2 and Quest Pro headsets.
Last but not least, will the Apple embrace the fold? Reports from The Elec and CNBC predict the tech giant getting into the foldable game in 2024. Reportedly, Apple will test out folding technology with the iPad line. This would be in contrast to its rival Samsung which is all in on foldable smartphones. It’s uncommon for Apple to jump on any kind of trendy bandwagon, but the foldable form factor appears to be gaining in popularity and now might be the perfect time for the company to try its hand.
Will 2023 be the year we finally see Apple get back to its innovative roots? Only time will tell. Here’s hoping it’s all worth the wait.