Apple events like the current WWDC keynote are basically stupid things. They generate so much user engagement that the trade press goes all out. When it comes to reviews or traffic, Apple product news and related coverage are always a gold mine.
While we experts strive to be impartial, we know it too when it bleeds, it leads. In the world of tech journalism, the closest we come to a “bleeding” story is when we cover the latest tech announcements at an Apple product event. Even breaking news like when An oil pipeline is shut down due to hacking, doesn’t work as well as when Apple announces (or might announce) new toys.
As such, we tend to degrade it for whatever it’s worth. We publish Expectations and rumors before the event, and some journalists (ahem) even publish articles about products that weren’t announced, speculating about when they might eventually be available … not that I would do such a thing. No not me
For WWDC this week, product expectations were quite high. The rumor mill was full of expectations of one new MacBook Pro, possibly with actually useful slots Return after a long absence. Given the scarce evidence, speculation that a new one was also simmering M1X processor would be announced.
In fact, no new computers or processors were announced at WWDC. When then become are new Macs announced? You guessed it. I am about to speculate.
The graphic below shows the months that new Macs were released. I’m showing release dates here rather than announcement dates because the data was a little easier to come by. The announcement dates for characters (with the exception of the then-new iMac Pro and Mac Pro) take place a few weeks before the release.
There are some trends that are worth paying attention to. From 2007 to 2016, new Macs were released every October. This trend seems to have faded in recent years, but there were releases in November and December. One constant, however, seems to have remained stable from 2007 to 2020: new Macs become available in the last three months of the year.
Of the 64 product releases since January 2007, only nine took place in July, August and September. In July, August and September only 14% of all Mac versions took place. What is more interesting is that all but one of these summer versions appeared in 2014 or earlier. For the past six years only a publication occurred during these months: a spec hike for MacBook Pros that happened in July 2018.
Recent Mac release trends are a little spottier in winter and spring, especially March and May.
When then become new Macs appear?
Based on historical patterns and extensive analysis from Steve, our sentient global supercomputer hidden deep in ZDNet’s top-secret underground hideout, you are unlikely to learn anything new until November.
When Apple announces a new processor upgrade for the M1, rest assured that it will make a big fuss about it and not just release a press release in the middle of summer.
If there’s a spec upgrade, and I highly doubt it, it could be an increase in the maximum RAM available on M1s, which are currently capped at 16GB. This RAM limit is most likely present Chip Income, so there’s a slim chance Apple will roll out a 32GB option – but don’t rely on it.
If Apple is to bring out a new Mac Pro or iMac Pro based on Apple Silicon, or if Apple is to bring out the alleged MacBook Pro 16-inch device or even a Mac mini based on an Apple silicon chip of the newer generation, your best is Bet November.
Apple stopped making Mac announcements in October, leaving room for the annual blockbuster announcements for the iPhone. While Apple sometimes ships in December, announcements for December shipments are usually made earlier.
That leaves November. When you get new Apple Silicon Macs in 2021, it will be in November. Otherwise, wait for March or May 2022.
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