According to a new leak, Apple has commenced testing its upcoming range of Macs powered by the next-generation M2 chip. The company is testing nine different machines powered by the successor of the M1 chip that pioneered the transition to Apple silicon.
Citing information obtained from developer logs and people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said Apple’s testing has already advanced to the stage of compatibility verification with third-party apps on the App Store. The nine devices reportedly being tested are a MacBook Pro, a MacBook Air, two Mac Mini models, the desktop Mac Pro, and two models each of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro powered by M2 Pro and M2 Max chips.
To recall, Apple clarified that the M1 Ultra would be the last of the M1-series chips when it launched the Mac Studio earlier this year. This adds credibility to Gurman’s report that the company is now testing Macs powered by a new chip. However, he says that an M2-powered variant won’t replace the Mac Studio.
The report claims that Apple will refresh the MacBook Air with the M2 chip. This Mac, codenamed J413, will have eight CPU cores and 10 GPU cores compared to the current-generation model’s eight GPU cores. This contradicts the previous speculation that the updated MacBook Air will retain the M1 chip. An entry-level MacBook Pro codenamed J493 will sport a similar specification. The M2 Mac Mini codenamed J473 is another upcoming Mac sharing the same configuration. However, there is an M2 Pro-powered variation being tested as well.
Moving on to more powerful hardware, the report says Apple is developing variations of the 14-inch and 126-inch MacBook Pros powered by the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. The 14-inch notebooks are codenamed J414, while the larger counterparts are codenamed J416. The report specifies that the M2 Max chip will have 12 CPU cores and 38 graphics cores — two CPU cores and six GPU cores more than the M1 Max chip. Additional details such as the configuration of the M2 Pro chip and the split between “efficiency” and “performance” cores remain shrouded in mystery.
Apple also seems to be working on a beefy replacement for the Intel Xeon-powered cheesegrater Mac Pro. Codenamed J180, this machine is expected to be powered by the M2-series equivalent of the M1 Ultra that powers the recently-released Mac Studio.
Interestingly, Apple doesn’t seem to have an M2-powered 24-inch iMac or a replacement for the recently discontinued 27-inch iMac in the works.
Nonetheless, Gurman believes we won’t need to wait very long before these new Macs make it to the market. He says at least two Macs could launch “around the middle of the year,” tacitly suggesting that Apple could have Mac-related announcements to make at WWDC 2022 in June.[Via Bloomberg]