Apple spring event: XR headset, Mac Pro, new HomePod, more | Digital Trends


Apple only held one event in the second half of 2022: its iPhone 14 launch show. That meant a bunch of expected devices, from Macs to a mixed-reality headset, never saw the light of day. But that could soon change.

That’s because rumors have been swirling that Apple is planning a product extravaganza this spring where it will unveil a host of new devices to the world. If that’s true, what should we expect to see? Well, you’re in the right place to find out, as we’ve collected all the latest rumors here. Wondering what’s next on Apple’s 2023 calendar? Read on to find out.

Mixed-reality headset

Apple AR/VR headset render Ian Zelbo

After years of delays, the rumors surrounding Apple’s mixed-reality headset are gaining momentum. With the launch of the Meta Quest Pro and the announcement of the HTC Vive XR Elite, now feels like the right time for Apple to step into the fray. And just in time, it seems that Apple is planning to reveal the secretive. long-awaited device in the spring or possibly just before its Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

The device is expected to come with a plethora of impressive specs, including high-resolution displays, hand- and eye-tracking capabilities, a large array of cameras, and a much more lightweight design than its competitors.

Given all that tech, a price of around $2,000 to $3,000 has been suggested. That would be expensive, but not too surprising given the niche, demanding audience the device apparently targets.

14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro

An Apple MacBook Pro 14 sits open on a table.
Apple MacBook Pro 14 Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Apple has a habit of releasing new MacBooks Pro models in the fall, but it broke the cycle in 2022 and didn’t release any Macs in the final quarter of the year for the first time since 2000. That means new versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro are overdue.

It would feel strange to see these devices updated in the spring, but it would not be without precedent. Apple revamped the 13-inch MacBook Pro in May 2020, for example, but that was done via a press release. Launching new MacBook Pros at a spring event, though? That’s almost unheard of. Still, with these devices due an upgrade and with rumors afoot, we can’t rule it out.

However, before you get too excited, news outlet DigiTimes has claimed the next MacBook Pro models have been delayed yet again. The publication hasn’t given an expected release date for the laptops, nor has it said how serious the delay is, and it has a mixed track record for Apple rumors. Still, it’s worth bearing in mind that the MacBook Pro is not yet nailed on for the spring event.

Either way, we’re not expecting huge changes to the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro. They’ll get new chips — the M2 Pro and M2 Max — but don’t expect much more. Things like chassis design changes and improved displays feel are unlikely to materialize so soon after the last redesign.

Apple silicon Mac Pro

apple mac pro 2019

Almost every Mac has at least one model powered by an Apple silicon chip — except the Mac Pro. We know a new version is coming because Apple admitted as much at its Peek Performance event in March 2021. With that show taking place almost a year ago, though, the Mac Pro’s upgrade must be imminent.

That means it’s almost a certainty for the rumored spring event. Yet after waiting so long, it could be a disappointing device. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple has abandoned its M2 Extreme chip that was made specifically for the Mac Pro, and will instead use an M2 Ultra chip, meaning the Mac Pro won’t be much more powerful than the Mac Studio. With no upgradable memory and no new chassis design either, the Mac Pro will be a hard sell given its sky-high price.

15-inch MacBook Air

The screen of the MacBook Air on a table.

Apple hasn’t strayed from the familiar MacBook Air formula of either 11-inch or 13-inch sizes. That could soon change, though, as there are strong rumors that Apple has a larger 15-inch model in the works.

More specifically, the 15-inch MacBook Air will supposedly get a 15.5-inch display, according to industry analyst Ross Young. Most of the other details are shrouded in mystery for now, but we’d expect the device to be very similar to the existing 13-inch MacBook Air in almost every way.

That means we should expect the same chassis design, the same display (only larger), and the same M2 chip. There’s a chance the 15-inch model will get an M2 Pro chip, but that’s still up in the air (sorry). The rumors are pointing toward this coming later in the year, but you never know — depending on what chip it uses, that could change.

M2 Mac mini

Apple Mac Mini M1 sitting on a desk.
Alex Blake/Digital Trends

While the Mac Pro hasn’t switched to Apple silicon chips at all yet, the Mac mini is in a kind of halfway state. It has Apple silicon models decked out with the M1 chip, for sure, but there’s still a version bearing a very outdated Intel processor. That just feels weird.

Luckily, there are strong rumors that Apple is going to put that right at the spring event by updating the Mac mini to M2 and M2 Pro chips. That means the anachronistic Intel model will finally be ditched.

The rumors are a little uncertain on what else we can expect. While Gurman and Apple leaker Jon Prosser have claimed a new design is in the works, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the chassis will remain the same.

Other than the M2 news, rumors about any other aspect of the Mac mini have been few and far between. That might suggest it’s going to be a small, iterative update — so don’t be surprised if it gets new chips and not much else.

New 27-inch display

The Mac Studio and Studio Display at Apple's Peek Performance event.

When Apple launched the Mac Studio, it also revealed a companion monitor called the Studio Display. While it’s certainly impressive, it’s missing a few features that would really take it to the next level. That could change at the spring event.

Young believes Apple has a new monitor up its sleeve that will boast both mini-LED and ProMotion technologies. Those features are absent in both the Studio Display and the much more expensive Pro Display XDR, and could make the new monitor an irresistible prospect for its target audience.

HomePod 2

Apple Homepod
Greg Mombert/Digital Trends

The original HomePod was a decent piece of kit, but it had one glaring problem: it was too expensive. Or rather, there was no cheaper option until the HomePod mini came out two years later. Apple seemed to have given up on the larger HomePod when it was discontinued in 2021, but rumors contend that it’s going to make a comeback at the rumored spring event.

According to Kuo, the HomePod 2 will take on a similar form factor to the first model. Gurman has chimed in too, saying we shouldn’t expect “anything revolutionary.” Still, he believes the device will get refreshed this year, with a new touch panel, the S8 chip from the Apple Watch Series 8, and a lower price. That last point alone might be enough to give it a better run than it had the first time around.

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