Apple's muted 2023 hardware launches to include Mac Pro with fixed memory

The New Mac Pro could look like the old one.

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Apple's 2023 lineup of updates will be muted and headlined by a New Mac Pro, one that will look just like the 2019 model but with a lack of user-upgradable memory.

The 2023 product catalog will include a number of typical updates to various lines, as usual, as well as the possible mixed-reality headset. However, one highly-anticipated update may be less of a change than users could expect.

The Mac Pro, the last Mac in the Apple product lineup to be offered only with Intel chips, has already been reported as not including a high-specification M2 Extreme chip. According to Mark Gurman's "Power On" newsletter for Bloomberg, that may not be the only disappointment for the model.

Equipped with an M2 Ultra chip, the Mac Pro will apparently "look identical" to the 2019 model, complete with its cheese grater motif and user-upgradable elements. However, it is claimed that the user-changeable elements won't include memory, as that is apparently tied directly to the motherboard and cannot be removed or changed.

Even so, there will still be two SSD storage slots and other slots for adding or altering the graphical, media, and networking capabilities. Whether this level of upgradability will be enough to draw users away from acquiring the powerful Mac Studio remains to be seen.

Other Macs and MacBooks

Alongside the Mac Pro, an updated iMac Pro has been previously rumored, but would be a surprise to Gurman if it does launch in 2023. A specification bump upgrade for the 24-inch iMac may not arrive until an M3 chip is ready, which won't be until late 2023 or early 2024.

The muted lineup will also include 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro updates, however it is reckoned the design and features will be static. What will change is the chips to M2 Pro and M2 Max editions, but Gurman offers they could be "marginal leaps" from the M1 equivalents.

As for new Mac models, Gurman refers to a 15-inch MacBook Air as a "saving grace" for the lineup, but at the same time says a 12-inch MacBook is "no longer on Apple's near-term road map."

iPad, AirPods, HomePod, Apple Watch

For the iPad range, there is speculation that larger models are being worked on, but won't arrive in 2023. Updates to the iPad mini, iPad Air, and entry-level iPad will apparently be standard spec bumps, "if they arrive at all."

The iPad Pro updates allegedly won't arrive until the first half of 2024. While a fair way off, a source claims the models will include a new design and will use OLED displays.

Similar disappointments are also proposed for other areas of Apple's empire in the newsletter. For the Apple Watch, Gurman doesn't anticipate major changes in 2023, "save for some minor performance boosts."

AirPods may not get "updates of note" this year either, while there are seemingly no plans for a new Apple TV launch either.

The return of the larger HomePod size is apparently still on the cards, but won't be revolutionary. Gurman says to expect a lower price point, an updated touch control panel, and the use of the S8 chip.