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Apple M2 chip reportedly appears in 9 new Macs — what you need to know

MacBook Pro 2021 (16-inch) on a patio table
(Image credit: Future)

We’re nearly a third of the way through 2022, and so far Apple has only graced us with one new Mac — the Mac Studio, announced back at the company’s Spring event.

We’re expecting many more Apple laptop and desktop computers over the next eight months, however, and now we have some hard evidence that the company is putting the unreleased hardware through its final paces.

Bloomberg reports that Apple is testing “at least nine” new Macs with four different configurations of the upcoming M2 chip

The evidence comes in the form of developer logs from third-party apps on the App Store, which have been good predictors of imminent hardware in the past, and suggests Apple is actively testing its upcoming computers against real-world software. Bloomberg adds that this has been “corroborated by people familiar with the matter.”

As with the M1, it seems Apple is testing four flavors of M2. Alongside the regular M2, there are what appear to be Pro, Max and Ultra variants.

The entry-level vanilla M2 appears to be being tested in a MacBook Air 2022 (J413), a Mac mini 2022 (J473) and an entry-level MacBook Pro 2022 (J493). You may get a sense of deja vu at this point, as these are the three bits of hardware Apple debuted the original M1 chip with, so a pattern does appear to be forming.

Across all three, the M2 chip has the same specs: the same eight CPU cores as the M1, but with an additional two-to-three graphics cores, for a total of ten.

Then there are computers powered by M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. As with last year’s equivalent M1 silicon, these souped up chips appear destined for 14-inch and 16-inch versions of the MacBook Pro (J414 and J416 respectively), but there’s also an M2 Pro powered Mac mini (J474) being put through its paces.

Bloomberg doesn’t provide specifics for the M2 Pro, but the M2 Max appears to have 12 CPU cores and 38 graphics cores, which is up from ten and 32 in the current version. It will also reportedly pack 64GB of memory.

Wrapping up the M2-powered Macs is a Mac Pro 2022 with the codename of J180. This appears to pack the M2 enhanced follow up to the M1 Ultra which debuted in the Mac Studio. 

Finally, Bloomberg mentions that Apple is testing yet another Mac mini with the current-generation M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. We’ve heard similar before, but it was widely assumed that the Mac Studio might have made such models redundant — although the firmware of the Studio Display seems to reference new models, so perhaps not.

While Bloomberg clearly states that not all of these models will necessarily be released, it does look like Apple has a busy year ahead. But the symmetry in distribution between the various versions of M1 and M2 (Pro and Ultra for high-end MacBook Pros, Ultras for high-end desktops and basic M2s for entry-level MacBooks and Mac minis) suggests that Apple may have found its Apple Silicon groove for the years ahead.

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.