There are several signals that suggest Apple may be updating other Mac lines later this year, with the company expected to launch a 2013 MacBook Pro refresh in October. Even a 2013 Mac Mini update could be in the cards.
However, nothing is official, and we’re looking at speculation and educated guesses at this point.
Apple has only updated two Macs this year, the MacBook Air and the Mac Pro, with the 2013 versions of these computers being unveiled at WWDC 2013 back in June. The new MacBook Air versions are already available from Apple and other retailers, while the Mac Pro will launch later this year.
A new report from China Times based on details obtained from supply chain sources indicates that Intel Haswell-based MacBook Pro models could launch at some point in October.
The new Haswell chips from Intel offer superior performance while consuming less power than their predecessors. Accordingly, Apple has managed to significantly improve the battery life of the 2013 MacBook Air models, which have Intel Haswell chips inside – Apple lists battery life at up to 12 hours for the 13-inch model and up to 9 hours for the 11-inch model.
In addition to the new reports from China, there are other indirect signs that suggest a product refresh may be in order. As MacRumors points out, there are several retailers that are offering noteworthy discounts on current MacBook Pro models including Best Buy and Amazon.
The two retailers have special back-to-school promotions that include Apple’s laptop, with the 13-inch base model being priced at $999, compared to the Apple Store list price of $1,199. Best Buy is offering the same model for just $899 to students.
Discounts for existing MacBook Pro models aren’t offered only in the USA, with Amazon UK also listing the same MacBook Pro model for almost £90 less than what the laptop sells for in UK Apple retail stores (£904.95 instead of £999).
Finally, an analyst who initially expected Apple to launch new MacBook Pro models (Retina version included) at WWDC 2013 has corrected his forecast mentioning a mid-September launch for the 2013 MacBook Pro models.
The ultra-portable Mac Mini desktop could also receive its own 2013 product refresh later this year, as it looks like ship times for the product has slipped from “within 24 hours” to 5-7 business days in the Apple online store, according to the same MacRumors.
This isn’t a clear indication that a new Mac Mini model is coming, but considering that the MacBook Air and Mac Pro have been refreshed, and that a new MacBook Pro model is also rumored to be launched later this year, it makes sense to assume that the Mac Mini will receive a similar treatment.
During Apple’s recent quarterly earnings conference call, the company revealed that it sold less computers than in the year-ago quarter, although it did beat internal expectations and the declining PC market. Furthermore, CEO Tim Cook hinted at a “very buys fall” for Apple when it comes to new products, and while most people are looking forward to new iPhone and iPad models, some Apple buyers will definitely appreciate a product update for the MacBook Pro and the Mac Mini.