Get ready for the next big thing in Macs and the iPad Pro

Businesses plotting investment in new Macs or iPads should delay the spend for just a few weeks more as Apple’s refresh announcements are imminent.

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Businesses plotting investments in new Macs or iPads should delay their plans for a few weeks ahead of Apple’s refresh announcements, which are expected soon. While the company doesn’t seem to be planning a special event, the new product updates will still matter to IT purchasers.

What to expect

Apple will introduce new Macs and iPads equipped with some variant of the recently introduced M2 processors. The company is expected to bring new versions of the 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros equipped with the chip, which is the same processor used in Macs, including the brilliant M2-based MacBook Air.

Introduction of the new processor should mean higher performance iPads that are even more computationally capable than the previous Pros. GPU improvements should also feature in these new tablets. There is speculation the new iPads will be introduced this month with Macs scheduled to begin shipping in November.

The new product announcements will be accompanied by the release of new operating systems for both Mac and iPad.

What about iPad OS and macOS Ventura?

The introduction of the new iPads is likely to happen alongside the release of the iPad OS 16.1 update. This both reflects the growing link between iPads and Macs, and also mirrors problems Apple has had in developing a robust implementation of its Stage Manager user interface, which is shared between iPad and Mac.

As of today, developers haven’t yet been equipped with a release candidate of the new operating systems. Bloomberg believes Mac and iPad operating system updates won’t ship until next week at the earliest.

It’s reasonable to imagine that the company will want to introduce Stage Manager support alongside the new edition of macOS and new iPads before it introduces new Macs along with a subsequent bug-squashing update, if required.

What to expect in the newest iPad

At least one report claims the company will introduce the new pro tablet “within days," probably via a press release.

  • The 11-in. model is expected to deploy the same Liquid Retina XDR display technology present in the current 12.9-in. model, according to display supply chain consultant, Ross Young.
  • The 12.9-in. model is expected to host a Mini LED display and improved camera — and there have been persistent claims the tablets will provide reverse wireless charging to keep your other Apple devices souped up.

What to expect in the new Mac

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman expects Apple will introduce the latest iteration of macOS, "Ventura," in the final week of October.

The release should include support for upcoming updates to the 14- and 16-in. MacBook Pro, equipped with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. The Macs likely won’t ship until November, but we have heard rumors that production of the new models began in September, though there have been lockdowns to contend with since then. The biggest change in these systems will be the updated Apple Silicon. Apple also has an M2 Mac mini in the works.

For the Mac, the next big shift comes with the move to 3nm chips, most probably when the M3 series processors begin to appear in late 2023.

About the M2 chip

Apple introduced the M2 processor at WWDC on June 6. It also introduced the first Macs equipped with the chip, the MacBook Air and 13-in. MacBook Pro.

The M2 steals yet another march on the chip industry, offering a CPU 18% faster and GPU 35% faster than the previous M1 processor. The chip delivers industry leading performance per watt, and offers 50% more memory bandwidth than the last chip. You also get an 8-core CPI and 10-core GPU.

We don’t yet know what to expect from the Pro and Max iterations of M2, but hope will be relatively high, given the leap in performance Apple managed to unlock across the M1 range. At the same time, Apple’s (presumed) decision to introduce the new products via a press announcement rather than special event could hint at a slightly less vast improvement; the future 3nm M3 chips promise a much more significant upgrade.

What about a launch event?

Apple is no longer expected to host a launch event, but Apple’s senior vice presidents Craig Federighi and Greg Joswiak will speak at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Tech Live conference on Oct. 25. They will appear in a session called "Products, privacy, and power at Apple."

Two days later, Apple will report its fiscal results for its last 2022 fiscal quarter.

What to expect in 2023

We think Apple will begin moving its platforms to 3nm chips starting next year, when the first M3 Macs (and, presumably if tablets remain in step) iPads appear. These should deliver significant gains in processor performance and battery life. With the exception of the Mac Pro, Apple’s silicon transition is almost complete. The company is seeing the benefit of that migration in growing consumer and enterprise Mac sales, and while the industry is creaking, Cupertino appears somewhat more resistant to overall PC market trends.

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