With the recently announced MacBook Pros and Mac minis, this leaves only the Mac Studio (besides the Mac Pro) to be updated with the M2-class chip. However, according to Mark Gurman’s latest report, we might not be seeing an update to that machine sometime soon. Instead, Apple could skip the update to the M2 series and wait until the M3 series.
Furthermore, Gurman also indicated that the upcoming Apple Silicon-based Mac Pro would be “very similar in functionality to the Mac Studio”. Last month, Apple was reportedly working on the “M2 Extreme” chip for that machine. However, it was proven to be too ambitious for production, and Apple had to scale back its plans. Consequently, the upcoming machine would feature non-user-upgradable memory and the same design as the current Intel-based Mac Pro. With that said, it’s most likely that the M2 Ultra would make its way to the Mac Pro first. That way, it would further differentiate the Pro from the Studio.
Just like with the current M1 Ultra, the M2 Ultra will most likely double up the capabilities of the recently introduced M2 Max chip found on the higher-end MacBook Pro models. Therefore, the lineup of desktop Macs will consist of the Mac mini with M2/M2 Pro, the iMac with M1, the Mac Studio with M1 Max/M1 Ultra, and the Mac Pro with M2 Ultra. Since the Mac Pro will feature the same chip that the Mac Studio would logically feature, it feels like the Mac Studio has been a stopgap for professionals who could not wait for the next Mac Pro update, similar to the situation with the introduction of the iMac Pro in 2017. When Apple introduced the redesigned Mac Pro in 2019, the iMac Pro was eventually discontinued in 2021. With the anticipation of the next Mac Pro, the future of the Mac Studio remains to be seen.
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