Apple Filings Show Three New Macs Are on the Horizon

Apple Filings Show Three New Macs Are on the Horizon
Photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo

Apple will likely release refreshed iPhone and iPad models at its rumoured event next month, and now newly unearthed paperwork suggests they could be joined by Macs.

As spotted by Consomac (via 9to5Mac), the Cupertino tech company registered a trio of Macs in the Eurasian regulatory database as model numbers A2615, A2686, and A2681. The products are described in those filings as laptops and desktops, and if rumours are accurate, we could be looking at a refreshed Mac mini, 27-inch iMac, and MacBook Pro. The database has two separate entries for three total products.

  • Personal Apple computers of A2615, A2686 (macOS 12 software version) and their spare parts.

  • Apple portable A2681 (macOS 12 software version) and its parts.

Apple’s first major event of the year will take place on March 8, according to a Bloomberg report that also predicts a new Mac with Apple-designed chips arriving as soon as March.

The filing for these mysterious Macs was uncovered just a few weeks after iPhone and iPad models appeared in the same database, signalling the imminent launch of the oft-rumoured next-gen iPhone SE and iPad Air. As 9to5Mac notes, these sorts of filings typically appear a few months before they are unveiled, so the timing here suggests the iPhone, iPad, and Mac could debut at the same spring event. We wouldn’t carve anything in stone just yet considering some products aren’t revealed until a year after being spotted in regulatory documents.

Along with new phones, tablets, and laptops, Apple is expected to debut a high-end Mac mini, according to several reliable tipsters. It will supposedly run on the same M1 Pro and M1 Max chips found in the current MacBook Pro 14 and 16, which should give it a significant performance edge over the current model.

Tim Cook said in Apple’s M1-series chip announcement that the tech giant would complete its transition away from Intel within two years. It is well on its way toward achieving that goal, with only three products — the iMac Pro, high-end Mac mini, and the Mac Pro — standing in the away. Last year’s spring event, which took place in mid-April, saw the launch of colourful new iMacs. Bringing a new high-end iMac on stage a year after updating the iMac would continue Apple’s typically predictable release cadence. As for the Mac Pro, an ARM-powered model probably won’t arrive until later, though we could see an updated Intel version in the meantime.

Our best guess is that these filings are for a new high-end Mac mini desktop with M1 Pro chips, a 27-inch iMac with M1-series processors, and a refreshed MacBook Pro 14. That said, we might not see all, or even any, of these devices in March, as the spring event is rumoured to focus on a new iPhone SE and iPad Air. Also, it would make sense for Apple to hold off on revealing a new Mac Pro until its WWDC conference in June, and for those who are wondering: the new MacBook Air with M2 processors is rumoured for the second half of this year.