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What’s Coming in Macs This Year?

This year ought to be the year that we see major refreshes across all the product lines: Mac Pro, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, MacMini.

That is, the convergence of USB and Thunderbolt into one unified standard means the PC world will make Apple look old and stale if things don’t start shipping by early fall—and that is getting rather late. So MPG expects to see at least one product line announcement by June, with the MacBook Pro line most likely to appear first. But a surprise could come, and it could be the Mac Pro. The iMac perhaps, but since it as bumped up last November, it may well be the last to come. Or maybe not—only Apple knows for sure.

Already it appears that current stocks of 2015 MacBook Pro models have been blown out with deep discounts, so MPG expects the MacBook Pro to come first. An ideal upgrade would include Thunderbolt 3 (presumably with 2 ports, but 2 ports on each side would be much better), a wide-gamut DCI P3 display, and a 32GB memory option.

CPU speeds are not going to magically jump a lot higher; modest gains are in store at best. The real story is to equalize product lines in terms of storage and devices, via Thunderbolt 3, thus reducing the awkward tradeoffs that have long been an issue for non-Mac-Pro systems. As well, we may see strong gains in graphics performance in some models.

In terms of age in the market, the Mac Pro is most due for a makeover. But will Apple make it even less “pro” than its current semi-pro disappointment? Or not carry it forward at all? That’s always a risk.

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