Every year, Apple has its conference focusing on Developers across the globe; appropriately called the World-Wide Developers Conference. Generally, it’s a showcase for Apple’s new technologies and software, with a focus on programming for Mac OS X and iOS. While there have been a number of hardware releases at WWDC over the years, including the Xserve, the iSight camera, and the original Mac Pro, the focus has generally been on software; in recent years, iOS has predominated the scene, with OS X taking a bit of a back seat.
This year, though, Apple is rumored to be putting a big focus on hardware by refreshing a large portion of its product line all at once. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s speculated to be making an appearance.
First, we’ve got the Mac Pro, which hasn’t seen an update since 2010. This is nearly a given, especially amid rumors that Apple has been recalling current Mac Pros from their retail stores over the last couple of weeks. As the only model currently lacking Thunderbolt, a refreshed Mac Pro would certainly see that added. USB 3.0 has been rumored to be making an appearance, though we’d give that one a 50/50 chance. The rumor mills are also split between whether we’re going to see Ivy Bridge processors or Xeon E5s due to power concerns.
As you may guess, we’ve been following this one pretty closely. Obviously, we can’t make direct statements regarding these Mac Pros and their specs, as we don’t have them in-house to test yet. However, suffice it to say that we’re prepared for just about every possibility on this front and we’ll have the memory that these new machines will require.
The key word on this front is “thinner.” The new MacBook Pros are expected to be considerably thinner, may be lacking an optical drive, and even have the possibility of sporting a Retina Display. Conspicuously absent from the projected upgrade list, though, is the 17” MacBook Pro. Rumor has it that the largest ‘Book will be dropped from the line.
The thinner MacBook will affect a number of internal accessories, especially the internal drive. However, we’re on top of that, too, and have an SSD announcement in the works that’ll address just that.
We’ll also be likely to see a MacBook Air refresh. Not a lot to report on this except for the potential bump up to Ivy Bridge processors and maybe even a Retina Display.
iMacs and Other Rumors
There’s been a handful of other rumors floating around, as well. We’ll probably see a bump to the iMac line, with an outside chance of Retina Displays on those, too. You probably shouldn’t hold your breath on that last part, though. There have also been rumblings of the new iPhone, an “iPad mini,” and a release of iOS 6, but since the focus this year seems to be on OS X and the new hardware, iOS announcements will probably wait until later in the year. An exception to this may be the opening up of the Apple TV for development, as there seems to be a growing push for the former “hobby” product.
Like everybody else, we’re anxiously awaiting the upcoming official announcements. As soon as they’re available, we’ll be getting the new models in and running them through our battery of tests and will be passing our findings on to you right here on the OWC Blog, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, what rumored upgrades are you most interested in? Let us know in the comments below. And lastly, as we’ll be deep in unboxings, benchmark testing, etc., answers to specific questions here on the blog may be delayed a little. Thanks in advance for your patience!