The first Macs powered by Apple Silicon caused quite a stir when they were released. Now that 2022 is here, we’ll welcome Apple’s second-generation chipsets. When will we see them in the products and what performance improvements can we expect?
This year’s new Apple Silicon chipset, the allegedly named M2, is based on Apple’s family of first-generation ARM-based systems with the M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max. The latest are the most recent releases, appearing on the higher-end 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros. These can be considered ‘upgraded’ versions of the M1 chips released in MacBook Air and mac Mini in late 2020.
Given Apple’s prized pace of releases, it would be safe to assume that the next M2 will be the ‘entry-level’ M2 chipset, likely debuting in the same MacBook Air and mac Mini combinations (the jury is still out on a mid-range MacBook short). Pro also carries the M2).
With the expectation that Apple will release a new MacBook Air during 2022, we should see the first M2 processor in the near future.
Two notable issues remain. The first is the exact timescale. While Apple has traditionally held an event at the end of March primarily aimed at the education market, but has seen MacBook launches in the past, a love of regularity and predictability of your own schedule should be considered. Does an 18 month cycle work between products? How does that fit into the macOS release schedule?
After all, in the iPhone world you see the new Axx chipset released in September, along with the new iPhone and the new version of iOS. Personally, I think Apple is more likely to move into a 2-year cycle, with the MacBook Air debuting with the lower-end Mxx chip in October of even-numbered years, and the MacBook Pro debuting with the top-end Mxx Pro and Mxx Max chip. high in the even number. years. Not only does that suggest more longevity for each laptop, but it also lines up with the macOS release (following a developer release of the desktop operating system at WWDC in June).
The other question will be about the specifications. There’s no question that the M1 chip’s benchmarks were higher than the competition from Intel and AMD. Can the M2 maintain that advantage in a market that does not stand still for long? It’s a pretty good guess that it will be a step up from the M1, and reports suggest that it will have a small but noticeable advantage over the M1 Pro and M1 Max.
It remains to be seen how that will translate to the MacBook Air and how it compares in the real world to higher-end MacBook Pro laptops. As is the interesting question of whether the average user needs that amount of untapped energy at their fingertips.
That is a more complicated question.
Now read the latest iPhone, iPad and Mac headlines in Forbes’ usual Apple Loop column …