Apple Rumored to Update 4 Mac Products at WWDC

| Rumor

The Apple Crystal BallApple will be unveiling refreshes on four of its five Mac product lines at next week’s World Wide Developer Conference, according to unnamed sources at 9to5Mac. The company will be announcing new MacBook Pro models, new MacBook Airs, new iMacs, and either a new Mac Pro or a a new Mac mini.

9to5Mac didn’t offer any details on its source for the story, but Apple has been rumored to be planning a refresh for its MacBook Pro line in late spring or early summer (where we are now). The company is widely expected to bring many of the form factors of its very popular MacBook Air to its professional portable, offering the same thin and light structure with more processor power, larger displays, and more storage.

MacBook Airs have also been the subject of much speculation, including the possibility of adding Retina Display-quality displays to the devices. Apple has been rumored to be planning on dropping the price of its entry-level MacBook Air to US$799.

The third Mac line that will reportedly be released is the iMac. Apple’s all-in-one was last update in May of 2011, and is considered due for an update. The company could bring new Ivy Bridge processors from Intel to the iMac, as well as more SSD storage options.

Which leaves the fourth Mac. Assuming the site’s sources know of which they speak, Apple will be updating either the long-neglected Mac Pro or its Mac mini. On the one hand, the Mac Pro was last updated in 2010, making it a dinosaur in PC terms. Many users have complained about the lack of a Mac Pro refresh, but at the same time, it’s long been known that the Mac Pro doesn’t actually sell that well.

On the other hand is the Mac mini, a device that was updated in July of 2011. That makes it technically ready for a refresh (Apple generally updates its Macs every 9-12 months). Many would argue that the Mac Pro has been all but killed off, making the smart money heavy on a new Mac mini.

Still, a fellah can dream, can’t he?

Apple’s keynote kicks off on Monday, June 11th, with Tim Cook delivering the keynote. In addition to hardware announcements, Mr. Cook is also expected to announce iOS 6, improvements to iCloud, and update us on Mountain Lion, the next major release of OS X.

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Comments

Lee Dronick

I hope that they update the Mac Pro. I don’t need one, but friends of mine do. Not needing one doesn’t mean that I don’t want one.

Peter

I’ve said this one before, but I’ll say it again…

Apple likes to stay “on message” at WWDC and I think that message will be Mac OS X Mountain Lion.  I don’t think you’ll see iOS 6 because that would be “off message.”  The point is to get those iOS developers excitedly working on Mac versions of their applications.  The point is to scare those Mac developers into supporting Apple’s new stuff for Mountain Lion before some iOS developer comes along and eats your lunch.  And the point is to let the press know that Apple is behind the Mac, even if it’s no longer the center of your digital world.

New Macs would fit into that message nicely.  To a lesser degree, iCloud might fit in.  iOS 6 would not.

If Apple showed off iOS 6, Mac OS X Mountain Lion would lose press coverage.  Apple wants everybody focused on one thing—Macs.  iOS 6 will not be available for the iPhone 5 so it’s kind of a waste to show it off now.

Sal Salerno

I think everyone is miscounting. Steve Jobs liked even numbers. MacBook Airs were called the future of laptops - all Laptops will be Airs probably MacBook Air & MacBook Air Pro but even if not they are still one category: Macbooks/laptops. Thus, leaving room and need for iMac, Mac Mini, and finally, Mac Pro upgrades.

Les Posen

@Peter: I like how you’ve reasoned your way through to your answer, but there are some false premises there.

Firstly, did you see the logo for the conference, made up of iOS apps shaped into the Apple logo?

Secondly, there will be thousands of engineers from Apple as pre previous years. You think they work exclusively in OS X?

WWDC 2011 covered iOS - why would they not do this again this year? They also showed of OS X, so the two can comfortably co-exist. The idea the latter would lose media coverage of iOS 6 was present is to misunderstand how the press treats Apple: they slurp up every tidbit and then regurgitate every last morsel again and again. IOW, they can’t get enough of Apple - witness the coverage achieved by Tim Cook at D10 last week and he confirmed nothing.

If either OS was not covered the media would be jumping up and down crying out something is really wrong at Apple, and they’re hiding some glitch.

I expect some hardware announcements - mainly ‘Books - perhaps some apps (I’m hoping against hope for iWork updates) and a surprise software to excite the developers.

Excitement builds, no?

Garion

Apple likes to stay ?on message? at WWDC and I think that message will be Mac OS X Mountain Lion.? I don?t think you?ll see iOS 6 because that would be ?off message.??

There’s no way Apple can NOT address iOS 6 at WWDC. That’s probably what 75-80% of the developers present have come to hear about.

How ever you are right that Apple likes to stay on message. But what if Apple’s message is this: OS X and iOS are just two sides of the same coin. I think Apple has already tipped its hand with OS X Lion and will pursue that OS strategy even further with Mountain Lion.

Tereora

WWDC is about D-evelopers

Apple is about to face the biggest onslaught onto its (iPad) turf as Windows arrives with touch built in. Now that hardware is powerful enough Windows on a tablet will not be bad at all- and in some instances it will eclipse iOS as it is essentially the “full bottle” with no compromise.

So what gives Apple the point of difference? The experience - the software. Hardware is becoming less of a unique selling point. Just look at Airs and Ultrabooks.

Tim Cook’s recent reference to Siri isn’t coincidental. It’s that kind of unique offering that will attract (and hopefully keep) users. Perhaps Apple will offer developers hooks into Siri, to really help underline the Apple experience.

But yes, updated hardware is always welcome. I’m waiting to update my old MBP.

geoduck

Next week after much fanfare Apple will announce
An updated Apple Thunderbolt Display
An updated Apple TV
New Smart Covers
New iWork software

And at that point my head will explode.

aardman

With Thunderbolt, couldn’t Apple come out with a Mini on steroids that has 16 CPU cores and killer graphics to replace the Mac Pro at a fraction of the price?

geoduck

a Mini on steroids

I like the idea of “modular” design where you could add Mini sized drive bays, card slot bays, and even CPUs as you needed. It would be a very customizable system that could be as small or as mongo-powerful as you want.

scott

Except the mini would need to be a LOT bigger to support any kind of cooling that would work.  Or, there could be a 16 core, 350 MHz mac mini.

PSMacintosh

Here’s an idea:
Apple will announce a MERGER of OSX and IOS in its new Mountain Lion and iOS6.
OSX machines will be able to run iOS6 Apps, as long as developer’s add the ability to navigate on non-touch screens.
And then eventually some OSX machines will be switched to touch screens (probably the Mac Airs first).

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