Apple is Working on New Chips and a Pro Display XDR Refresh: Report

While the M1 Ultra is the last M1 chip Apple is making, it certainly isn’t going to be the company’s last ever. A new report alleges multiple new chips in the pipeline as well as a refresh of the Pro Display XDR.

In his most recent Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says he expects multiple new chips in development at Apple as well as further investment in new displays. Gurman has a very good record with his rumors when it comes to Apple products, and he was spot-on with his report of what to expect from Apple’s first 2022 hardware event, correctly predicting the Mac Studio in both name and market position, as well as the iPhone SE 5G and iPad Air refresh.

Apple’s Probable New Chip Lineup

While Apple said that the M1 Ultra was the last chip that it was making in the M1 family, the company also said that the Mac Pro was the only computer product that it had not transitioned to Apple Silicon. Gurman argues that these two things can both be true and that the future Mac Pro, which he argues is still a long ways off, could be running on one of two chip configurations.

The first is that the Mac Pro will have dual M1 Ultra chips, which would double the performance of the M1 Ultra with 40 CPU cores and 128 graphics cores. The other possibility, especially given the timeline he believes the Mac Pro is on, is that Apple will hold on releasing the new Mac Pro until after its M2 Ultra and dual M2 Ultra (which he refers to as M2 Extreme) are ready.

Apple M1 Ultra

Gurman believes that the latter of these two situations is more likely since he doesn’t expect the Mac Pro to debut ahead of the new M2 refresh of devices later this year and it would look strange to see another M1 product come out after M2 has dropped. Gurman expects at least two or three new Macs to be launched by the summer of 2022 and a refresh of the current Mac mini, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 24-inch iMac to come across this year and next. That would mean the Mac Pro wouldn’t show up until after that, perhaps midway or later through 2023.

With that in mind, Gurman expects the five following M2 chips to come next from Apple:

  • M2: eight CPU cores and nine or 10 graphics cores
  • M2 Pro: 12 CPU cores and 16 graphics cores
  • M2 Max: 12 CPU cores and 32 graphics cores
  • M2 Ultra: 24 CPU cores and 48 or 64 graphics cores
  • M2 Extreme: 48 CPU cores and 96 or 128 graphics cores

Apple has, for now, discontinued the 27-inch iMac. While it’s possible that the iMac Pro will make a return, that’s not likely to happen any time soon. Apple has already positioned the Mac Studio as the 27-inch iMac replacement, and the 27-inch iMac isn’t mentioned as part of Apple’s M1 refresh of its product line.

The Pro Display XDR is Getting a Refresh

Apple appears to be back solidly back in the display game. Gurman reports that an update to the Pro Display XDR is already in development and he believes it could see a jump to 7K. That said, he expects it to be launched alongside the new Mac Pro, which means it might not make a public appearance until next year.

While Gurman says that more displays are on the way, those who were hoping for more diversity in Apple’s lineup beyond the Studio Display and the Pro Display XDR should not get their hopes up. There is no indication that Apple will release more displays beyond these two, at least not for the next couple of years. That means those who want a pure monitor without a webcam and speakers from Apple won’t have any option other than the Pro Display XDR.

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