No Macs at the Apple iPhone 13 event, but the year isn't over yet
Should you buy a new MacBook now or wait? October or November may bring new Apple Silicon MacBooks just in time for holiday shopping.
Dan AckermanEditorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications.
"Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
ExpertiseI've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever.Credentials
Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
During Apple's annual September hardware launch event, the company focused on iPhone 13, new iPads and a new Apple Watch, but Macs were nowhere to be seen. That wasn't a huge surprise, given the leaks and analyst predictions, but it was still disappointing for anyone trying to decide between getting a new MacBook now or waiting.
Even if a new MacBook Pro or updated MacBook Air wasn't going to turn up at the iPhone 13 event, there was a rumor floating around that all seven colors of the 24-inch iMac would be available in stores -- some of the colors are currently online-only. But that didn't happen.
Here's where I stand right now on whether you should wait or buy if you're looking for a new Mac:
MacBook Air: At this point, I'd wait to see if October or November brings an updated model, maybe with a to-be-announced M2 chip.
13-inch MacBook Pro: Same, but unless there's a major change in the features and specs for the price, it will remain a tough sell compared to the similar (and less expensive) M1 Air.
Mac Mini: Historically, this small desktop only gets updated every few years at best. If you need one for home office or podcast studio use, I'd feel OK about buying now. Any CPU update won't radically change things.
16-inch MacBook Pro: If you're waiting for an Apple Silicon version or a new design, keep waiting. The 16-inch Pro has not been updated since 2019, so this could be part of the next update wave. Unless, that is, you're looking to nail down one of the last Intel-powered Macs, either for platform continuity or software compatibility, although the case for that's got thinner over time.
Now that iPhones, iPads and Apple Watch are out of the way, Apple's potential next event could be about MacBook laptops and Mac desktops (or AirPods and Apple TV). I'd expect it in October, giving just enough notice to the holiday shopping season.