In hindsight, Apple’s decision to put the M1 chip into the base-level 13” MacBook Pro seems a little cruel.
It was never going to have a long shelf life, was it?
We should know this because the rumours have been telling us for many months that a new MacBook Pro design is on the way. And, despite what you may or may not think about the Apple rumour mill, it does at least provide some insight into what might happen next.
Despite this, lots of people have probably purchased the M1 MacBook Pro. If you were one of them, I’d love to know how you feel about that purchase now; do you have any buyer’s remorse given the increasing intensity of new MacBook Pro rumours?
If you’re yet to hand over your hard-earned for a new MacBook Pro, you’ve probably got one question on your mind: should you buy now, or wait?
I think I’ve got the answer.
When is the next MacBook Pro coming out?
For the uninitiated, rumours are suggesting that we will see a new MacBook Pro design unveiled at this year’s WWDC, which takes place between 7th and 11th June.
But that’s all we know. The exact details of this new laptop are still being pieced together by supply chain murmurs, old patent filings and best guesses. As always, only Apple knows what it’ll look like and which new features will make the grade.
Some of those best guesses are pretty educated, though. It’s looking likely that we’ll see the first chassis redesign since 2016, the return of the SD card slot and deletion of the maligned Touch Bar.
For me, this is all pretty exciting, because I really don’t want much from this new laptop.
However, what we don’t know is when the next-generation MacBook Pro will be available. Sure, it might be given a special spot during the WWDC keynote, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be able to get your hands on it the week after. It could take weeks – months, even – for the next MacBook Pro to finally hit the market.
So, if you want or need a MacBook Pro now and have no interest in the MacBook Air or any of the desktop options, what should you do?
Don’t buy the M1 MacBook Pro
This is now a bad purchase. Sorry. There are only three things that provide a meaningful upgrade over the MacBook Air: the fan for the M1, those two extra hours of battery life and a slightly brighter screen.
They’re not worth the upgrade price over the MacBook Air, nor the potential buyer’s remorse you’ll encounter once that WWDC keynote has finished.
If you want an Apple silicon Mac, there are far better options out there – particularly if you can opt in the shorter term for a desktop-based version and save your pennies for a new MacBook Pro once it becomes available.
The M1 MacBook Pro needed to exist; I can see why Apple decided to include it within the original Apple silicon Mac lineup. But it was never going to be particularly long for this world.
That doesn’t make it a bad purchase if you’ve already got one sat on your desk; indeed, you’ll have bought it most likely because the MacBook Air didn’t feel right for your requirements and those additional extras made sense. That’s cool – please don’t feel bad about it.
But right now, it’s not a good idea to buy an M1 MacBook Pro.
Advice for businesses
If you’re running a business that needs new MacBook Pros immediately, I think the advice is pretty simple, if a little surprising.
I wouldn’t go down the M1 route unless you can calculate a decent return on your investment. An Intel-based Mac might be your best option.
My assumption is that you need a MacBook Pro for its speed and versatility, and if that’s the case, you may want a little more RAM, more ports and potentially a bigger screen. You may even need a discrete graphics card.
It’s why the Intel-based 16” MacBook Pro still exists. It’s a great computer and one which will meet the demands of power-hungry professionals who need portability. It’s a far better buy at this moment in time than the M1 MacBook Pro – if the boring business calculations reveal it’ll help both your bottom line and productivity.
If you can wait, however, please do. WWDC is just around the corner. Then, you can make an educated decision.
But… what if you just want a MacBook Pro now?
There’s that word again. I know it’s hard when you’re lusting after a product like the MacBook Pro – particularly if you’ve never owned one before and have saved enough cash to buy your first ever Apple laptop.
Once that WWDC keynote has finished, we will hopefully have a far better idea of what happens next with the MacBook Pro. It might be available this summer, or we may have to wait until the tail end of the year to get our hands on it.
With that information to hand, you can make a far more informed buying decision. It may well be that, if there’s a lengthy waiting process for the next MacBook Pro, the 13” M1 version goes full circle and becomes a good buy. After all, do you really want to jump into the first iteration of a brand-new design, or would you rather wait for those inevitable kinks to be ironed out?
The M1 MacBook Pro is a superb laptop; one of the best Apple has created. But that’s only because it has the M1 chip nestled inside – just like the MacBook Air, 24” iMac and Mac mini. But unlike the others, its future is entirely uncertain, because something within the shadows is clearly breathing heavily down its neck.
Let’s see what WWDC brings, shall we?