New Mac Studio could launch at WWDC 2023

Mac Studio on a desk plugged into a Studio Display
(Image credit: Future)

While a new 15-inch MacBook Air and Apple’s first mixed-reality headset seem locked in for WWDC, there may yet be a surprise for desktop fans.

In a tweet yesterday, Bloomberg’s well-connected tech reporter Mark Gurman wrote that Apple will begin to accept trade-ins on three recent Macs as of June 5: the M2 MacBook Air, the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro and the Mac Studio.

“Read into that as you will,” Gurman tweeted. “I’m expecting new Macs at WWDC.”

Gurman has previously predicted that the Mac Studio will see a refresh, despite speculation that it was merely a stopgap solution until Apple finalized a new Mac Pro.

But when Gurman last made that prediction, he declined to provide a launch window. The assumption was that it wouldn’t be revealed at WWDC, since M3 chips aren’t expected until later.

Now, to be clear, Gurman doesn’t explicitly state that the Mac Studio will be refreshed at WWDC. The tipster merely states that followers can read intent into a trade-in change if they like. 

It’s also entirely possible that Apple just wants to give consumers the option to trade in more hardware against its rumored $3,000 headset.

But if the simplest explanation is the correct one, and Apple is allowing trade-ins with a new model incoming, then there’s an obvious way of upgrading the Mac Studio without the M3. 

The current model uses either the M1 Max or M1 Ultra chip, and while we are yet to see an M2 Ultra, the M2 Max exists, powering the top-end 2023 MacBook Pros. It has 10 billion more transistors than the M1 Max, two additional CPU cores (12, rather than 10) and six additional CPU cores (taking it to 38). 

Admittedly, that’s still not as many as the M1 Ultra (20-core CPU and 64-core GPU) and it shows in the benchmarks. But that’s still an appealing option for those eying up the entry-level model, and it’s always possible Apple could surprise us with the M2 Ultra unveiling too.  

We’ll know soon enough. WWDC 2023 kicks off a week today, on Monday 5 June. It’s shaping up to be an extremely interesting one.

Alan Martin

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.