Expect an Apple ‘Back to the Mac’ event this year

Big Mac releases loom, apparently

Apple, oS X, macOS, Mac, Macintosh, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro

Reports of the death of the platform have, it seems, been exaggerated and Apple is about to answer the prayers of millions of Mac users with a rash of significant hardware improvements, announcing some of these this year.

Mac attack

It can’t come soon enough. Mac users have become anxious concerning Apple’s commitment to its PC platform. They feel that the company hasn’t been focusing on innovation and improvement for its machines. With no significant improvement made since 2013, how else should the company’s Mac Pro users feel?

There has also been lots of speculation concerning any Apple plans to deploy Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors, with some reports going so far as to claim the chip may not appear in Macs at all.  

With no significant upgrades across most Mac models, there is no surprise that Mac sales have dropped in response. Apple has left Mac users wilting on the vine.

Time for change

Time is money for Apple’s pro users, particularly those of us whose tax liability exceeds the estimated 0.005 percent the world’s most profitable company thinks it ethical to pay. Performance and productivity demands mean Mac pros have wanted their Macs to be pro, and some have begun migrating elsewhere on strength of the company’s perceived lack of innovation in recent years. Things are about to change. Apple is preparing to introduce a range of new Macs this year, with major improvements across its iPad range planned for 2017.

“The refreshed Mac hardware line includes new versions of the iMac desktop, MacBook Air laptop, and a 5K standalone monitor in collaboration with LG Electronics Inc., in addition to a thinner MacBook Pro laptop,” Bloomberg reports. This is also where we can expect to see the new MacBook Pro with a touchstripe controller.

Late 2016

“The Macs are expected as soon as late 2016,” Bloomberg explains. That’s great news for Mac users, as it means we can get a little reassurance as to the value of the Mac platform to Apple and its future strategy. And we may even see these machines ship with more memory than before.

That Apple plans to introduce these products before year’s end opens up an interesting possibility in light of recent claims concerning the Intel Kaby Lake processor. Speaking at the Intel Developer Forum, Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich promised the first systems containing these new chips would ship this fall. However, it has previously been claimed Kaby Lake chips suitable for use in iMacs, Mac minis and portable Macs won’t appear until next year.

This may still be true – Apple may simply announce new models of these machines promising to ship them in the new tax year. It may also be true that Kaby Lake chips suitable for use in Mac Pro systems will be available.

A new Mac Pro seems possible

So, will Apple introduce a new Mac Pro this year? It seems possible, given Bloomberg’s claim that Apple is developing a 5K monitor with LG. Why wouldn’t you want an amazing monitor with your new and amazing pro Mac? You already have a 5K monitor in your iMac.

Hopefully Apple will use this event as an opportunity to put the latest and greatest processors inside of Macs. The company hasn’t really kept pace in this. “The only Apple laptop computer with the sixth generation Skylake processor is the 2016 12-inch MacBook. The Mid 2015 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro uses the fourth generation Haswell processor. The late 2015 iMac has Skylake desktop-class processors,” says AppleInsider.

Apple’s macOS illustrates its continued commitment to the OS, but putting the most powerful processors inside its most expensive Mac seems a no brainer. Just make sure you don’t spend all your money on new iOS kit this September.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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