Are New Macs Coming To WWDC This Year?
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com
With WWDC less than a week away, the excitement for any possible pending Apple announcement has officially reached a fever pitch. Now, the only thing we have left to do is read and re-read those tech blogs, wait patiently for Monday to roll around, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Of course, when tech blogs continue to release news and updates to their current rumor offerings, it doesn’t make the waiting any easier.
With that in mind, 9 to 5 Mac — which, by the way, has been on a hot streak lately — is not only saying Apple will be releasing a slew of new Macs next week, but that this release will be the largest simultaneous launch of Macs in Apple’s history.
Not only will this launch set records for Apple’s logistics team, but it could also hint at an even larger launch for something later in the year.
Apple is already expected to launch and/or announce iOS 6, a new version of iCloud, and OS X Mountain Lion next week.
Mark Gurman, writing for 9 to 5 Mac, says his sources are saying Apple will release new hardware as well, refreshing 4 out of 5 of the computers in their Mac line.
The MacBook Pro has been rumored to be refreshed for several months now, as many people expect these laptops will be given the “Air” treatment, making them slimmer and lighter and possibly even removing the optical drive in favor of an extra SSD or larger batteries, depending on who you ask.
Gurman says his sources are expecting 2 such 15-inch models, equipped with Retina displays, to be released next week, though he doesn’t know what will happen with the 13- and 17-inch MacBook Pros. Gurman also writes that Apple has been rumored to be working on Retina displays for the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Airs, and believes these ultra-portable PCs will act as Apple’s second Mac announcement next week.
Third, Apple is expected to update the iMac line, which hasn’t seen a redesign since before the iPad was released. Gurman’s sources say they expect the iMac to be refreshed, though they don’t have any specifications on how it might be refreshed internally. If Apple is going All Retina All the Time, it’s likely they would spread the love to the iMac, though it’s uncertain if this will happen next week or further in the future.
The fourth Mac line to be refreshed presents a challenge. Neither the Mac Pro nor the Mac Mini are the best sellers like the other Macs are. Blame it on a lack of a unified package, blame it on price (Mac Pro) and lack of expandability, (Mac Mini) for whatever reason, these 2 computers aren’t Apple’s top sellers. The Mac Mini got the Thunderbolt treatment last year, while the Mac Pro has been rumored to be on the outs for well over a year. After all, it hasn’t seen a proper update since July 2010. Currently, we’re on day 678 of a 348 day average product refresh cycle for the Mac Pro. As talk heats up about the death of the Pro market, it’s not known if Apple cares to refresh the Thunderbolt-less Mac Pros. According to Gurman, it sounds as if the Mac Minis are the most likely candidate for that fourth Mac refresh.
Perhaps less sexy and less exciting, Gurman also writes that Apple is expected to release new accessories at WWDC as well, though they weren’t able to specify what these could be, be it mice, Keyboards, trackpads or something completely different. It is important to remember, however, that the Cinema Displays could also be considered an accessory, and with all this Retina Screen love going on, maybe we could get a Retina Cinema Display for a Mac Mini or for connecting to a MacBook Air?
One only needs to read the tea leaves to figure out exactly why Apple would want to refresh 4 out of 5 of their Macs all at once, in addition to their OS X and iCloud.
Safe to say, this summer could be an exciting one for Apple.