- Apple refreshed every Mac in its lineup, marking the first time it updated every Mac in the Apple Silicon era. This showcases Apple’s control over its product development timeline without relying on Intel.
- Frequent updates may frustrate buyers, but it benefits consumers. Apple’s ability to update its products regularly ensures buyers are always getting the best machines available.
- While not every Mac received a redesign, incremental updates to their specs are still valuable. Updating internals keeps the Macs competitive and ensures they perform like newer models, even if their designs remain the same.
Apple recently held a late-October event centered around the Mac, and refreshed the MacBook Pro and iMac. However, the updates to the Mac had a bigger significance than a typical product launch. With the M3-equipped MacBook Pro and iMac, Apple managed to refresh every single product in the Mac category. From the Mac mini to the Mac Pro, each Mac got an update, and that’s a big deal.
It’s the first time Apple updated every Mac in the Apple Silicon era, and it represents the best part of Apple making its own chips. The company can now fully control its product development timeline without needing to wait for Intel to innovate. Although it can sometimes be frustrating for buyers, Apple frequently updating its products is a win for consumers. Apple finished the Apple Silicon transition this year, and it’s clearly hitting its stride.
Every Mac updated by Apple this year
Some were big, others were small, but they all got updates
First, let’s go over every Mac that was updated this year. It starts with the MacBook Pro and Mac mini, which were both refreshed to include the M2 series of chips in January 2023. Then, Apple updated the Mac Studio and Mac Pro in June at WWDC. It also announced a 15-inch MacBook Air at the same conference, which covers that product line. Just in late October, Apple updated the iMac and the MacBook Pro lineup again. That’s right. Apple refreshed the MacBook Pro twice this year.
Make no mistake, frequent updates are a good thing
No matter when you upgrade, you’re always getting the best machine
It can be a little frustrating to buy a Mac and have it quickly become replaced. People who bought the M2 Pro or M2 Max MacBooks Pro in January of this year already have an outdated machine, technically. However, these frequent updates are absolutely a good thing for consumers. When Intel was making Mac computers, Apple had to plan its release schedules around Intel’s production processes. That meant we could see periods of multiple years between Mac refreshes, even just for spec bumps.
During that time, planning Mac upgrades was something of a science. If we were two years into a release cycle, you might as well wait another year for the next refresh. After all, buying a new machine at that point didn’t feel all that new. Now, whenever you buy a new Mac, you can rest assured it’s the absolute newest and best Mac you can get. That’s because with Apple Silicon, the company has proved it will push out updates as soon as they’re ready.
Incremental updates are a good thing, too
Apple can’t redesign Macs every year, but it can at least bump their specs
I’ve seen some criticism shown towards Apple for releasing spec bumps to recent Macs, and I can’t figure out why. When you think about it, the only Macs that haven’t gotten a full redesign in the Apple Silicon era are the Mac mini and the Mac Pro. On the other hand, the iMac and the MacBook Pro got redesigns back in 2021. That means it hasn’t even been three years since Apple debuted its new form factors for the most popular Macs. I hate to say it, but if you’re looking for more frequent redesigns, you’re going to be out of luck. It’s just not practical for the company to redesign sooner than every few years.
Plus, it’s not like the iMac or MacBook Pro look old or out-of-date in 2023. The iMac is still the thinnest all-in-one computer you can buy, and it looks incredibly sleek. The same goes for the MacBook Pro, which has all the right ports, a stunning display, and an overall great industrial design. So, if there’s no need to update the Macs’ design, Apple can at least update their internals. That’s a good thing, because even if your iMac looks like one from 2021, it performs like one from 2023.
Is this release schedule sustainable?
Probably not, but it still bodes well for the future of the Mac
All this brings up whether this kind of pace is sustainable for Apple, and it’s hard to say. Apple’s performance growth has slowed down with recent M-series processors, but it’s still gaining roughly 15% year-over-year. We’re not going to see the massive leaps from Intel to M1 again, but we could see this kind of consistent growth. We also probably won’t see Apple upgrade every Mac each year, but it’s likely that Apple will continue to refresh Macs a lot more often in the Apple Silicon era.