Apple's going all-in on AR/VR this year – but new MacBooks and a Mac Pro are coming too

Apple's biggest product this year will be its AR/VR headset – but bigger and better Macs are on their way too

MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's AR/VR headset is set to dominate Apple's 2023: according to well-informed Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, the focus on what Apple hopes will be its next killer product means key staff are being borrowed from other departments to work on its hardware and software. 

Despite this, however, we should see some fun new Macs this year including faster MacBook Pros, a larger MacBook Air and possibly a new Mac Pro too.

According to Gurman, Apple now plans to reveal the headset – possibly called Reality Pro and running an OS called xrOS – well before its annual WWDC conference this summer. Other hardware releases will be spread throughout 2023.

New Macs in 2023: what to expect

The next upgrade to the speedy MacBook Pros will be useful if unsurprising: the current 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro will be available with M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, with the rest of their specs largely unchanged. That's not a huge shock: Apple tends to speed-bump its pro models every year without making massive changes to their designs or expandability.

Gurman reports that the planned 12-inch MacBook Air is no longer in active development, replaced by a 15-inch model that should go on sale in late 2023. He also says that while the high-end Mac Pro has been cancelled, a new model will still come out later this year with an M2 Ultra inside – but it'll be bigger and cost more than the Mac Studio and won't have user-upgradeable RAM, so it could prove to be a tough sell. 

If you're thinking of buying an iMac Pro but were waiting for a newer model, Gurman says he'll be "surprised" if that makes it to the Apple Store this year: the next speed-bump for the iMac isn't expected until the M3 chip is ready, which probably won't be until at least late 2023 or early 2024. iPads aren't expected to get any serious updates this year either, and neither is the Apple Watch: Gurman says to expect "minor performance boosts" and not much else.

The good news from all of that is you can buy current models with confidence that they're not suddenly going to be replaced by massively better versions – although as ever it's worth shopping around for Mac deals to get the best possible price. And longer product lifespans should mean more refurb models becoming available too, which is always nice: I've bought tons of refurb Macs over the years and saved loads of cash as a result.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).