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Why Apple skipped the M2 MacBook Pro at its spring event

The next MacBook Pro was highly rumored to launch at Apple’s annual spring event. But the show’s over, and a new MacBook Pro was nowhere to be found. And there are some people who were looking to update that will undoubtedly be bummed by the lack of news.

But here’s the thing: The M2 MacBook Pro is likely coming later this year, and when it does, it’ll make a lot more sense than it would have this week.

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The Apple spring event

Tim Cook on the stage at Apple's Peek Performance event.

This new MacBook Pro was reported to be an update of the current 13-inch M1 model that first launched in late 2020. It would swap out the M1 for an M2, but otherwise keep the same design — Touch Bar and all.

But when it comes to Macs at this year’s event, the focus of the show was still very much on the M1, even with the latest extension in the form of the new M1 Ultra configuration. That’s what the new Mac Studio is all about — showing off what those chips can do in a new form factor. If you remember, these are the chips that were first announced in the MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch in 2021, just around six months ago. These chips are not just the follow-up to the M1 — they introduced new graphics capabilities and showed just how far Apple could take its integrated graphics. They featured 16 graphics cores in the M1 Pro and 32 cores in the M1 Max. The M1 Ultra takes that even further, but as you can tell, Apple wasn’t about to introduce an M2 into the world until it was done milking the M1 for all it was worth.

Last sring, Apple took a very similar approach, except with the M1. Six months after the launch of the initial M1 in the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, Apple put that same M1 in the iPad Pro and the 24-inch iMac. Same chip, new devices.

These high-end M1 chips will end up being significantly more powerful than the M2, especially in terms of graphics, but introducing the M2 this early in the release cycle of the M1 Max still would have felt counterintuitive. All this is to say that it made a lot of sense for Apple to have kept its focus on the M1 Max and M1 Ultra — and leave the M2 for later this fall.

When will it be announced?

All signs point to a launch of the M2 MacBook Pro later this fall. The biggest Mac events are reserved for October or November, which is when Apple will likely outline the changes to the M2 over the M1. This is also when Apple will undoubtedly put the spotlight on its MacBooks.

There are at least two MacBooks still rumored to launch in 2022: The M2 13-inch MacBook Pro and the redesigned MacBook Air. The M2 MacBook Pro is rumored to be far less exciting, featuring some very familiar hardware that’s been around since 2016.

The white keyboard and bezels of the rumored MacBook Air redesign.
Image credit: Jon Prosser

This redesigned MacBook Air (or it may just be called the MacBook), however, is said to feature a superthin new chassis with white bezels and many color options. This may take the place of the current M1 MacBook Air, or it may slot in between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in terms of price. One thing’s for sure: Apple intends to make the range from $999 to $1,599 chock-full of different MacBook options.

Regardless of the details, it’s not hard to explain why it would make sense for Apple to wait to launch these new laptops alongside the M2 chip in the fall — not unlike the initial rollout of the M1 in 2020.

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