This update is recommended for MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, late 2013) models with NVIDIA graphics.The firmware update, which is 5.22 MB in size, can be downloaded either directly from Apple's support site or through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store for users on affected machines.
This update addresses an issue which, in rare cases, may limit the performance of the discrete graphics processor after a system wake or boot.
Archive of Retina MacBook Pro Rumors
According to users in a support thread spanning over 14 pages, the trackpad and the keyboard on the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro are reportedly locking up at random during use, with a hard reset through the machine's power button appearing to be the only present solution to the problem. Users are also reporting that a reset of the MacBook's System Management Controller (SMC) appears to be ineffective, and a small survey of users within the thread show that the problem is affecting all three configurations of the 13-inch model. Currently, it is unknown as to whether the freezes are a hardware or software problem, as Apple has not officially commented on the errors.
Meanwhile, users in another support thread spanning over 8 pages are reporting occassional failures when trying to install Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 on both the new 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. The errors appear to be with the partition that Boot Camp creates in order to install Windows 8, as users in the thread have reported freezes and copy errors with methods such as insallation through a USB drive and DVD installation via external SuperDrive.
However, a post in the support thread directing users to select specific options within Boot Camp Assistant has been marked as a solution to the issue, with users reporting successful installations of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 after using the method. It is also likely that Apple may issue an official EFI update to address these Boot Camp install errors in the near future, as one for the Late 2013 iMac addressing the problem was issued shortly after its release.
Apple unveiled the new 13 and 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros at its media event last week, which were updated with Intel’s latest processors for enhanced performance and significantly improved battery life. Apple also reduced the pricing of the new Retina MacBook Pros by $200, offering the entry level 13-inch version for $1,299 and the entry level 15-inch model for $1,999. The updated MacBooks are available from Apple's Online Store and at its various retail locations.
One of the more interesting changes relative to the new 13-inch model is that Apple has apparently reversed its decision to move the 13-inch model's battery away from the trackpad as seen in the previous generation of the laptop, instead choosing to glue the entire battery assembly into the case. This design is very similar to the battery of the original 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, which was heavily criticized by iFixit for being extremely difficult and time-consuming to remove without puncturing the cells.
As Apple stated during its press event, the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro now uses faster PCIe flash storage, but is still proprietary as seen in the previous generation and does not allow for easy replacement. Other changes to the new version of the laptop include Intel's i5 Haswell processor and Iris Graphics, the inclusion of only one fan as opposed to two in the last generation, a rearranged cabling system, and a slight update to the MagSafe 2 connector.
Meanwhile, the new 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro reveals a similar internal layout to the 13-inch model, but includes higher grade components such as Intel's i7 Haswell processor and Iris Pro graphics. The glued-in battery system and the soldered RAM as seen in the previous generation are also still included, which indicates that no improvements have been made to the accessibility of the new model.
Overall, the teardowns of both new Retina MacBook Pros otherwise yield few surprises compared to the previous models, and the similar challenges of proprietary pentalobe screws, soldered RAM, an integrated display, and glued-in battery system have led iFixit to award each of the new 13-inch and 15-inch models a repairability score of 1 out of 10. Compared to the teardowns of last year's models, the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro has scored one point lower than the last generation, while the 15-inch MacBook Pro scored the same as the previous model.
While several of the entries appear to be fakes, there are enough legitimate results to begin to get a sense of the new machines' performance, which arrive with the following 32-bit Geekbench 3 averages so far:
15-inch with quad-core CPU:
- i7-4750HQ @ 2.0 GHz: Single-Core 2844, Multi-Core 10887
- i7-4850HQ @ 2.3 GHz: Single-Core 3100, Multi-Core 11771
- i7-4960HQ @ 2.6 GHz: Single-Core 3379, Multi-Core 12813
13-inch with dual-core CPU:
- i5-4258U @ 2.4 GHz: Single-Core 2613, Multi-Core 5248
- i5-4288U @ 2.6 GHz: Single-Core 2856, Multi-Core 5954
- i7-4558U @ 2.8 GHz: Single-Core 3000, Multi-Core 6189
As is fairly typical for updated machines, most of the benchmarks come in at approximately 4-10% higher than their predecessors, while the increased efficiency of Intel's Haswell chips has allowed Apple to improve overall battery life. Apple has also made the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro thinner, matching the thickness of its larger sibling but at the cost of a slight decrease in battery capacity from 74 Whr to 71.8 Whr.
The base 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro had shown up back in June in results from Geekbench 2 benchmarking software, which uses different baseline scores than the current Geekbench 3. A 15-inch model also showed up in early July, but with a chip that Apple ultimately elected not to use in yesterday's update. The chip in that early machine was Intel's i7-4950HQ at 2.4 GHz, but Apple bumped the high-end chip in the released lineup to the i7-4960HQ at 2.6 GHz, a new chip that was officially launched just last month.
TechCrunch says that the slightly slimmer 13-inch model is a "big change" compared to the older model and will likely be much easier to carry around.
The 13-inch version is a big change, however – the 3.46 lbs compared to the 3.57 of the last generation may not feel like much, but combined with a thickness of just 0.71 inches, it feels like a lot, and will probably be even more impressive if you’re carrying one around with you every day.The Verge echoed that sentiment, noting that its new processor is a large improvement over the previous model.
Where the old model would stutter and lag on web pages and while working with images, the new model's Haswell processor with upgraded Iris graphics was totally smooth. Obviously we didn't get to test it too harshly, but if it holds up when we review it, the 13-inch Pro just reentered the conversation in a big way — especially since the base price is now just $1,299.Unlike the 13-inch model, the 15-inch model doesn't seem to have a massive noticeable improvement on first impression. TechCrunch notes the new model seems "speedier" and "generally more responsive", while The Verge says the difference "isn't quite so clear."
Apple is offering the entry level 13-inch version for $1,299 and the entry level 15-inch model for $1,999. Apple's updated MacBook Pros are available today from its Online Store and at retail locations and come with Mavericks included.
While the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro retains the same form factor as its predecessor, the 13-inch version is now thinner, with both versions measuring in at 0.71-inches thick. With the new processors, the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will now have 9 hours of battery life, while the 15-inch version will have 8 hours of battery life.
“We’ve made the world’s best pro notebook even better by adding more performance and even longer battery life,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “MacBook Pro with Retina display continues to redefine the pro notebook.”The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro now features dual-core Intel Core i5 processors up to 2.6Ghz, with Intel’s integrated Iris graphics for 90 percent faster performance than the previous generation. At an added cost, the 13-inch version can be upgraded with 2.8Ghz dual-core Intel i7 processors.
The 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro features quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.6Ghz (via add-on), with Intel’s Iris Pro 5200 Integrated Graphics. A GeForce GT 750M discrete graphics card with 2GB of video memory can also be added on
In addition to improved Intel chips, the new MacBooks feature 802.11ac "Gigabit" Wi-Fi compatibility, which offers speeds up to three times as fast as existing 802.11n wireless networks. They have also gained dual Thunderbolt 2 ports and PCIe flash storage, which pushes peak read/write performance to nearly 800 MB/s, a 45 percent improvement over previous generation technology.
Apple has not updated its line of standard MacBook Pros, indicating that the non-Retina versions are likely to be discontinued in the future, though the company continues to offer the 13-inch non-Retina MacBook Pro.
Apple has reduced the pricing of the Retina MacBook Pros by $200, offering the entry level 13-inch version for $1,299 and the entry level 15-inch model for $1,999. Apple’s updated MacBooks are available today from Apple’s Online Store and at retail locations and come with Mavericks included.
The company should also be providing final looks at the redesigned Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks before their public launches in the coming weeks. Our expectations for these updates are summarized in the Roundups section of our site.
Apple will be providing a live video stream on its website for Mac and iOS users and via Apple TV.
Live Video Stream of Apple's October 2013 iPad and Mac Media Event
In addition, we will be updating this article with summary coverage and issuing Twitter updates through our @MacRumorsLive account as the event unfolds. Separate news stories regarding the event announcements will go out through our @MacRumors account.
Apple's online stores around the world are currently down in advance of the event.
We are also starting a regular email newsletter recapping Apple, Mac and iOS news, and this week's media event offers a good reason for those interested to get signed up. The newsletter will provide a less frequently updated but more curated view of the Apple world. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Apple is now readying a revamped iPad Mini with a high-resolution "retina" display. It’s also working on a thinner, lighter version of its standard 9.7-inch iPad, using a thin film instead of the glass found in existing models, based on information from the company’s parts suppliers.While a fifth-generation iPad with thinner side bezels and an overall smaller size has been widely expected, the release of the Retina iPad mini has been less certain, given multiple reports in the last few weeks suggesting serious supply chain issues.
It was unclear whether the Retina iPad mini would be ready for Tuesday’s announcements, but in addition to The Wall Street Journal, two reliable sources, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and AllThingsD, have also indicated that the Retina iPad mini will make its debut on October 22.
Alongside a Retina screen, the iPad mini is expected to include an A7 processor, while the full-sized iPad will offer an A7X processor. Both iPads will include upgraded cameras, and could also offer Apple’s new M7 motion tracking chip. AllThingsD has also indicated that Haswell MacBook Pros will be unveiled during the event.
Finally, I’m told we’re likely to see a slate of new MacBook Pros upgraded with Intel’s latest Haswell processors. Apple brought Haswell to its MacBook Airs earlier this year, giving them a nice boost in battery life and graphics. It has been expected to do the same for its professional laptops ever since. Tuesday should see the announcement of that move.Aside from the iPads and the Haswell MacBook Pros, Apple is expected to announce a number of other hardware and software products, including Mavericks, revamped versions of iLife and iWork for both Mac and iOS, the redesigned Mac Pro, and possibly a new display to go with it. A minor update to the Apple TV may also be included, and it’s possible that the Mac mini could be updated as well.
In line with our previously summarized expectations, Kuo believes that Apple will be introducing a thinner and lighter fifth-generation iPad, as well as a new iPad mini with Retina display. The latter has been the subject of considerable debate, with some sources believing that Apple is not yet ready to bring Retina displays to the iPad mini, but while Kuo believes that Apple will indeed be able to introduce a Retina iPad mini, supplies will be highly constrained at first.
Kuo also weighs in on several other rumored additions for the iPad and iPad mini, claiming that "probably" neither a Touch ID fingerprint sensor nor a gold color option will be available in either line. He believes that production of components related to those features are still being prioritized for the iPhone 5s, which remains in very tight supply, and thus will not yet be able to make their way into the iPad lineup.
As for other upgrades, Kuo believes that the fifth-generation iPad will adopt a new A7X chip while the new iPad mini will be equipped with a slightly less powerful A7 chip like the one found in the iPhone 5s. Kuo also reiterates his earlier claim that the rear camera on Apple's new iPads will be upgraded to 8 megapixels. Finally, Kuo believes that both the fifth-generation iPad and the second-generation iPad mini will include Apple's new "M7" chip that debuted in the iPhone 5s, offering significant improvements for motion tracking.
Alongside the iPad updates, Kuo also believes that Apple will be introducing its Retina MacBook Pro on Tuesday, moving to Intel's latest Haswell chips for improved performance and battery life while also upgrading the FaceTime camera to 1080p quality, a claim he has made in the past.
Overall, Kuo unsurprisingly believes that the new fifth-generation iPad will drive a significant increase in sales for Apple's full-size iPad, while the new iPad mini will result in a more modest bump due to the very tight initial supplies. He also predicts a very strong bump for the Retina MacBook Pro, as pent-up demand for new Haswell models should lead to strong sales heading into the holidays.
Unaddressed is Apple's Mac Pro, which is expected to be given its full introduction on Tuesday in advance of a launch before the end of the year, but Kuo has generally not covered Apple's Mac Pro line in his report.
Kuo has been fairly accurate with his claims over the past several years, earning him significant attention from the rumor community. He has, however, had some misses, as seen with his prediction that the Retina MacBook Pro would be updated at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference back in June. That update had been widely expected, but did not come to pass and customers are still waiting for the new models to appear over four months later.
- iPad: Expect a new iPad mini-inspired design that is thinner, narrower, and lighter. [Read More]
- iPad mini: Retina display expected, but there have been questions about production and whether Apple be able to ship the new device in significant quantities, if at all, before the holidays. [Read More]
- OS X Mavericks: Reportedly due for launch before the end of the month, we should see a final unveiling next week. Other software updates including new versions of Apple's iWork and iLife suites, including iWork for iCloud, are also expected. [Read More]
- Mac Pro: Announced by Apple as launching "this fall" following a sneak peek at WWDC in June, Apple's radically redesigned professional desktop should get a thorough introduction next Tuesday. Some have speculated that updated displays may arrive to complement the new Mac Pro, but there has been no specific evidence of a display refresh. [Read More]
- MacBook Pro: An update for Apple's Retina MacBook Pro line has been expected for several months, moving to Intel's new Haswell processors for improved battery life. While it seems that Apple would want to feature the MacBook Pro improvements at its event, the list of products to be covered is beginning to get rather long and so it is unclear if the updated notebooks will make an appearance at or alongside the event or at a separate time. [Read More]
- Mac mini: There have been no specific rumors about the Mac mini, but it too is due for an update to Haswell processors. [Read More]
- An Apple TV wildcard: There have been some rumblings over the past several months that Apple is planning some sort of TV-related announcement for late this year, but there has been no concrete evidence of any imminent introduction. While Apple has been said to be planning its own connected television set product, that product may not be ready and the effort could continue to progress incrementally with an updated set-top box.
Intel's Broadwell chips are designed to be the successor to its existing Haswell chips, manufactured on a 14-nanometer process as opposed to Haswell's current 22-nanometer process.
Intel ran into some problems with the 14-nanometer process used to manufacture the chips and will have to fix them before it can resume production, CEO Brian Krzanich said during Intel’s earnings call on Tuesday.The Broadwell chips, which will eventually find their way into Apple's line of MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros, are said to be 30 percent faster and more power-efficient than Haswell, leading to even greater increases in battery life and performance. The inclusion of Haswell chips in Apple's MacBook Air boosted battery life to 12 hours on the 13-inch version and nine hours on the 11-inch version.
Intel normally releases new chips like clockwork on an annual basis, and the manufacturing problems are a rare misstep for the company. Krzanich said there were problems with the "yield"—or the number of good chips the company gets per silicon wafer.
Based on Intel's prospective timeline with production beginning during the first quarter of 2014, Broadwell MacBooks could make an appearance at next year’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which is where the Haswell MacBook Airs debuted.
It is unclear whether Apple had planned to introduce Broadwell updates earlier, and whether Intel's delay will affect its future release plans. Apple's scheduled desktop updates, for its iMacs, will not be affected as they will incorporate updated Haswell architecture rather than Broadwell chips.
Apple has yet to release a Haswell Retina MacBook Pro, which is expected to come before the end of 2013 and should bring significant improvements to battery life.
According to Intel, the delay of Broadwell will not affect the company's next line of processors, Skylake, as the chips are based on new architecture. Broadwell, however, will have a shorter lifespan due to Intel’s manufacturing issues.
The website's projection for a new line of MacBook Pros is somewhat likely, with both the 13-inch and 15-inch models showing up in benchmarks over the past couple of months as a release has seemed inevitable. The new line of laptops is expected boast improved battery life due to Intel's power-efficient Haswell processors, along with the more powerful "Iris" integrated graphics found in the chipset. Other potential features for the upcoming laptops include faster PCI Express-based flash storage, as well as faster 802.11ac "Gigabit" Wi-Fi.
Meanwhile, an expected release of the fifth-generation iPad and the second-generation iPad mini seems less likely on the given days of Ocotber 30 or 31, due to the iPad 4 and iPad mini launching on Friday, November 2 last year. Traditionally, Apple's major iOS devices have launched on the Friday of the week after the initial announcement, and thus it would appear more likely that the iPad 5 and iPad mini 2 would launch on Friday, November 1. The next-generation iPad is expected to feature a thinner design, while the upcoming iPad mini is set to feature a high-resolution Retina display.
The projected November 15 release of Apple's radically redesigned Mac Pro does seem probable, as the company announced the device back in June at WWDC for a Fall 2013 release, with the expected day of release coming two weeks before the "Black Friday" holiday shopping date across the United States. The new Mac Pro features a compact cylindrical design, along with Ivy Bridge E Xeon processors, dual AMD FirePro graphics chips, and fast PCI Express-based flash storage among other professional-grade internals.
Apple is expected to unveil both the fifth-generation iPad and the second-generation iPad mini during an October 22 event that will also showcase other Apple products such as OS X Mavericks, the Mac Pro, and potentially may also include the announcement of a refreshed MacBook Pro line.
It should be noted that MacGeneration has a mixed track record on its rumor claims, although the site claims that the source for this report had previously accurately shared word of the 16 GB iPod touch released earlier this year. But one recent high-profile miss for the site was a September claim [Google Translate] that Apple's iPad and Mac media event would take place today, October 15.
With the new iPhones and iOS 7 now launched, we're continuing to update those articles with information to help site visitors stay on top of the latest developments, but we're also launching a number of new roundups today to address Apple's upcoming iPad and Mac product launches expected over the next several months.
New roundups include:
- iPad 5
- iPad mini 2
- MacBook Pro
- Mac Pro
- Mac mini
As with the original set of iPhone and iOS roundups, the goal of each of the new roundups is to simply answer the question of "What are you expecting" for any given product. That opinion is certain to change over time as new rumors are revealed, and the roundups will be updated regularly to reflect that. Roundups for recently updated products will also include details on the new models to help bring visitors up to speed on what they have to offer.
Our roundup index page continues to include a full list of our available roundups ordered by most recently updated. Roundups are also accessible directly through the "Roundups" tab in the navigation bar on all MacRumors pages. We will continue to update the existing roundups and add new ones for other products over time.
It is unclear whether both Retina and non-Retina MacBook Pro models will be updated in this round, as Apple has been rumored to be phasing out the non-Retina models.
Prior to this news, additional recent reports have suggested that the Haswell MacBook Pro would arrive in the fall after they did not make an appearance at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) back in June. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo originally predicted new MacBook Pros with Haswell processors at WWDC back in June, but later updated his prediction to suggest a mid-September release for the refreshed MacBook Pros.
Apple could presumably launch updated MacBook Pro models at any time, as Intel's power-efficient Haswell chips have been available for several months now, and low-power versions of the chips were included in Apple's June refresh of its MacBook Air lineup. Many have assumed, however, that a launch would not come until October in order to allow Apple, its customers, and the media to focus on the iPhone in September.
There is also evidence that suggests Apple vendors may be trying to run down existing MacBook Pro stock, with Best Buy and Amazon currently offering significant-back-to-school discounts on the MacBook Pro. Data from U.S. research firm NPD released last month also indicated that U.S. Mac sales were down in June compared to the previous June, despite the introduction of the new MacBook Airs, with the lack of a refreshed MacBook Pro lineup cited as a primary contributing cause.
A new Geekbench result posted earlier today now appears to reveal Apple's next-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro, carrying a code name of "AAPLJ45,1". As with the 13-inch model, it is not clear whether this machine is a Retina or non-Retina model, although Apple has been rumored to be leaving the non-Retina models without any further updates as it seeks to phase out the line in favor of an all-Retina lineup.
The benchmarked 15-inch MacBook Pro, which carries one of Intel's new Haswell processors and 16 GB of RAM, received a Geekbench score of 12497, roughly in line with the current generation of the machine. But as was seen with the MacBook Air released last month, Haswell's biggest benefit comes in efficiency, with Apple being able to boost the battery life on those machines to up to 12 hours.
The chip included in the benchmarked machine is a Core i7-4950HQ running at 2.4 GHz and offering Intel's new high-end Iris Pro 5200 integrated graphics. Intel's promotional materials for Iris previously showed graphics performance gains of 2-2.5x for this i7-4950Q with Iris 5200 compared to the i7-3840QM with HD Graphics 4000 found in the current stock high-end Retina MacBook Pro.
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro has, however, historically also included a dedicated graphics chip for improved performance, although it is unclear exactly what Apple's plans are in this regard for future generations. With Intel's integrated graphics seeing significant increases in performance, it is possible that Apple could, at least on some models, forego a dedicated graphics chip in order to push battery life even higher.
As with the 13-inch model benchmarked earlier, this 15-inch model is running a custom build of OS X Mavericks, in this case 13A2052. The machine is also running a Boot ROM dated June 24.
Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro currently offers 7 hours of battery life, and while Apple may not be able to duplicate the 80% increase in battery life seen with the MacBook Air's switch to Haswell due to other power-hungry components such as the MacBook Pro's Retina display, the company may still be able to offer substantial battery life improvements in its new machines.
Update 8:53 AM: Primate Labs' John Poole tells MacRumors that Geekbench does collect GPU information, and that this machine does NOT appear to have a discrete GPU in addition to the integrated Iris 5200 graphics from Intel. Poole notes that it is possible that Geekbench could have failed to pick up the presence of a discrete GPU, as Primate Labs is still working out issue with that feature of the software, but that all testing so far has indicated that Geekbench should see the discrete GPU if it is present, even if it has been turned off for the benchmarking run.
But just like with Apple's upcoming Mac Pro, benchmarks for an updated MacBook Pro have begun appearing in the Geekbench results database. The result was posted two days ago, and was noticed by pikeralpha (via forum member Sneakz) yesterday.
As with the Mac Pro, this MacBook Pro appears under a code name of "AAPLJ44,1" and appears to correspond to a 13" MacBook Pro, and while it is not exactly clear whether it refers to a Retina or non-Retina model, the two machines would perform roughly equally when using the same processor. Apple has, however, been rumored to be phasing out the non-Retina models, and if true this result would seem to point to a new Haswell-based Retina MacBook Pro.
The machine shown in the benchmark results is running a dual-core Intel Core i5-4258U processor running at 2.4 GHz with 8 GB of RAM and a Boot ROM dated June 5. Like the Mac Pro, this MacBook Pro is running a special build of OS X Mavericks, termed Build 13A2050.
Primate Labs' John Poole has put together a graphic showing how the Geekbench performance of this new machine compares to that of other recent 13-inch MacBook Pro models, revealing a 5-8% boost in performance compared to the previous low-end models while running at a lower clock speed.
As seen in the MacBook Air released last week, one of the major benefits to Intel's new Haswell platform is reduced energy consumption, with Apple choosing to offer only a modest boost in performance while bringing massive increases in battery life that see the new 13-inch MacBook Air reaching 12 hours or more of battery life.
It has been unclear exactly how Apple will prioritize battery life and performance in the MacBook Pro, but it appears that the company may be pursuing a similar strategy to that seen in the MacBook Air, boosting performance only slightly while pushing much of the energy savings into increased battery life.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro currently offers 7 hours of battery life, and while Apple may not be able to duplicate the 80% increase in battery life seen with the MacBook Air's switch to Haswell due to other power-hungry components such as the MacBook Pro's Retina display, the company may still be able to offer substantial battery life improvements in its new machines.
So the question for many now is: Where are the new MacBook Pros? Kuo's note prior to WWDC indicated that Apple was likely to leave the non-Retina models without an update as part of an effort to continue pushing consumers toward the Retina line, so the primary focus is really on new Retina MacBook Pro models.
One potential explanation comes from a late April note from Kuo in which he suggested that updated Retina MacBook Pro models may not ship for some time after WWDC due to production bottlenecks on the displays used in the machines. Depending on when those updated models might be ready, Apple may simply have felt that the gap between WWDC and their availability would be too large to make an announcement at WWDC.
If that is the case, Apple could simply introduce new Retina MacBook Pro models in the coming weeks while having avoided putting an additional damper on sales of current models by pre-announcing the launch at WWDC.
Despite the lack of new Retina MacBook Pro models at WWDC, many of the circulating rumors still stand, and some of the developments seen in the new MacBook Air will likely also apply to the MacBook Pro, offering a better picture of what we can expect from Haswell-based MacBook Pro models. Among the expectations:
- Better battery life: With the new MacBook Air based on Intel's energy-efficient Haswell processors, Apple was able to boost battery life by up to 80%, with the 11-inch model's runtime increasing from 5 hours to 9 hours and the 13-inch model's moving from 7 hours to 12 hours.
While the Retina MacBook Pro may not see quite as dramatic improvements in battery life given the more power-hungry Retina displays and the 15-inch models' dedicated graphics chips, the Haswell platform should still offer some battery life benefits for the Retina MacBook Pro line. The current models are rated for 7 hours of battery life at both 13-inch and 15-inch sizes.
- Haswell processors: Intel has a well-stocked lineup of mobile Haswell processors in both dual-core and quad-core varieties now available, so Apple will have no problem incorporating the latest chips into its MacBook Pro models. Intel's advanced "Iris" integrated graphics should bring significant performance improvements to the line, although it remains to be seen just how Apple will balance performance and power draw.
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi: With the new faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard making its way into the updated MacBook Air and Apple releasing updated AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations, it is clear that Apple will be rolling out 802.11ac support across its lineups as they are updated.
- Faster PCIe-based flash storage: The new MacBook Air takes advantage of PCIe-based flash storage, pushing peak read/write throughput to nearly 800 MB/s. Apple announced that the same technology is coming to the Mac Pro later this year, and it will presumably also be coming to the MacBook Pro and other Macs.
- Slimmer 13-inch model?: Ming-Chi Kuo has claimed several times that Apple is planning to slim down the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, despite the fact that the machine was just introduced last October. It is unclear how much thinner Apple is planning to make the machine, but the current design is slightly thicker than that of the 15-inch model: 0.75 inches vs. 0.71 inches.
- Full HD FaceTime camera: Kuo has also claimed that the next-generation Retina MacBook Pro models will see upgrades to 2.0-megapixel 1080p FaceTime cameras for improved video quality on the machines' high-resolution displays. The Retina MacBook Pro models currently use a 720p camera.
- Timing: With the predicted WWDC keynote timing having come and gone, there is now considerable uncertainty about just when a Retina MacBook Pro update might occur. It seems unlikely that a launch would come within the next week or two given the proximity to WWDC, but any time after that would seem to be reasonable.
It also makes sense for Apple to target a launch before September, as the company is reportedly aiming to launch new iPhone and iPad models beginning around that time, with the new Mac Pro also presumed to be coming relatively late in the year. While Apple did stack up a number of hardware releases in the fall of 2012, ideally the company will be able to spread them out a bit more in 2013 to maintain public interest and smooth out sales spikes.
In announcing the conference back in late April, Apple unsurprisingly revealed that it will be delivering "new versions of iOS and OS X" to developers, undoubtedly referring to iOS 7 and OS X 10.9. And as has become tradition since Apple moved its iPhone launches later in the year starting in 2011, WWDC 2013 is indeed expected to live up to its developer focus with an emphasis on software.
iOS 7 will almost certainly make its consumer debut alongside updated iPhone hardware later this year, but WWDC will offer the first glimpse of the upcoming software and Apple should spend a fair amount of the keynote walking through the changes. Apple will also begin seeding versions of iOS 7 to developers at WWDC, giving them time to help test the operating system itself and to build and update their own apps to take advantage of new features coming in iOS 7.
The big discussion surrounding iOS 7 has been regarding a new "flat design" driven by Jony Ive, who took over control of Apple's software-focused Human Interface team late last year in addition to his longtime role as head of Industrial Design. Prominent rumors for iOS 7 include:
- Image of 'Flat' Redesign From Early iOS 7 Build Reportedly Leaks
- iOS 7 May Include AirDrop Wireless File Sharing Capabilities
- More Details on Jony Ive's Flat iOS 7 Design: Heavier on Black and White
- Apple to Expand Social Network Integration in iOS 7 with Support for Flickr and Vimeo
- Surge in Apple's iOS 7 Usage Revealed in Web Traffic Stats
- Apple Engineers Working Overtime on iOS 7's 'DeForstallization'
- Apple Looking to Boost In-Car Integration of Maps and Siri in iOS 7
- Details on Jony Ive's 'Very, Very Flat' Design for iOS 7
- iOS 7 Running Behind, Rumored to Have Significant Visual Makeover
OS X 10.9
For this year's OS X 10.9, many had been expecting Apple to mirror its 2012 OS X Mountain Lion schedule with developer previews beginning around February ahead of a late summer public launch, but despite a evidence of the next version of its Mac operating system showing up in web blogs late last year, the company has yet to make any public announcements about the update.
Back in April, Daring Fireball's John Gruber reported that with iOS 7 having been running behind schedule, Apple had been pulling engineers from OS X 10.9 in order to assist with the iOS work. The report was later confirmed by AllThingsD and The Loop, although it seems unclear whether the shift had any effect on Apple's internal timeline for OS X 10.9. Details on what to expect in OS X 10.9 have been relatively scarce, but rumors have included:
- OS X 10.9 to Bring Enhancements to Finder, Safari, Multiple Monitor Support, and Multitasking
- Apple Job Posting Hints at Siri for Macs in OS X 10.9
- OS X 10.9 to Include Siri and Maps Integration
Apple has been rumored to be working on a Pandora-like streaming radio service for quite some time, but difficult negotiations have reportedly slowed the effort considerably. Just weeks ago, it was reported that continued difficulties with record label and publisher negotiations might result in Apple being unable to unveil the service at WWDC, but just this past weekend Apple signed Warner Music in what appears to be a last-minute push to secure deals in time for a WWDC announcement. The service would not, however, launch until later this year alongside iOS 7.
The service, informally dubbed "iRadio", is said to be free to users, relying on advertising support through Apple's iAd team to generate revenue. Apple is reportedly seeking to deploy a service similar to that offered by Pandora but with additional flexibility for users.
With Intel having announced a series of new Haswell chips yesterday, Apple's Mac lineups may be ready for updates. Apple's notebook lineup appears to be the primary target for updates at WWDC, with reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo calling the notebook refresh the hardware highlight of WWDC. Leaked model numbers have hinted at notebook updates for WWDC, although the identities of the products associated with those numbers have not yet been confirmed.
Upgrades will primarily be internal with the shift to Haswell, although Kuo believes that the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro may see a slimmer design. Other rumored upgrades include a shift to full HD (2.0-megapixel) FaceTime cameras on the Retina MacBook Pro models and adoption of a dual-microphone system on the MacBook Air to improve sound quality. Kuo believes that Apple will continue to offer the non-Retina MacBook Pro, but handicap the line by continuing to offer Intel's older Ivy Bridge chips in a bid to push consumers to the thinner and more expensive Retina MacBook Pro models. Apple may also be upgrading to faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi in its next-generation machines.
Following a disappointing update for the Mac Pro last year, coming approximately two years after the previous update, Apple took the unusual step of confirming that the company would have a redesigned Mac Pro for "later" in 2013. Some rumors had suggested that Apple might launch the new Mac Pro this spring, but the update failed to come to fruition. Apple has even been forced to halt sales of the current Mac Pro in Europe over non-compliance with certain safety requirements.
WWDC represents a reasonable opportunity for Apple to update the Mac Pro given the developer and professional focus for the conference, and stocks of the workstation are said to be running low. Timing may not, however, be in Apple's favor, as at this point the Mac Pro would be expected to adopt Intel's Ivy Bridge E processors, the full line of which is not expected until around September of this year. Still, it is possible that Apple could announce a new Mac Pro at WWDC with availability scheduled for the future.
Live Keynote Coverage
The WWDC 2013 keynote kicks off at 10:00 AM Pacific Time on Monday, June 10, and we will be providing live updates here. We will also be issuing Twitter updates through our @MacRumorsLive account. Separate news stories regarding the event announcements will go out through our @MacRumors account.
The new chips offer significant improvements in integrated graphics performance, as well as modest CPU performance improvements and a major effort toward increasing battery life in notebooks.
Delivering Intel's largest generation-over-generation gain in battery life enablement in company history, 4th generation Intel Core processors can bring an 50 percent improvement in battery life over the previous generation in active workloads when watching movies or surfing the Internet, and two to three times improvement in standby battery life. For some systems coming to market this year, over 9 hours of active use battery life or 10 to 13 days of standby with fresh data on a single charge is expected.Ars Technica has been providing overviews of the new chips, beginning with the quad-core desktop and notebook chips that were unveiled over the weekend. That group included six Core i7 and six Core i5 chips for desktop machines, as well as ten varieties of Core i7 notebook chips.
All of the mobile parts being announced today belong to the i7 family and, like their desktop counterparts, they're all quad-core chips with Hyperthreading enabled. The differences here come in the suffixes: the MX and MQ parts (reversed from Ivy Bridge's QM and QX suffixes) come with the Intel HD 4600 GPU, while most of the HQ parts come with the faster Iris Pro 5200 GPU.With today's announcement of dual-core Haswell chips highlighted by AnandTech, the picture for Apple's notebook lineup comes into more focus. Intel has emphasized mobile chips for this round of dual-core launches, a move that will likely see the chips showing in updated MacBook Airs and 13-inch MacBook Pros as soon as next week.
A notebook refresh is expected to be the hardware highlight of WWDC alongside previews of OS X 10.9 and iOS 7. The latest rumors suggest that Apple may even be able to slim down the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro, which is currently slightly thicker than its 15-inch sibling. Less substantial tweaks are expected for the MacBook Air, although the move to Haswell should offer significant performance improvements in certain areas.
The first series of codes that we have received are:While the identities of the products corresponding to the four model numbers is unknown, the pattern showing two sets of two models suggests that they may be either MacBook Air or Retina MacBook Pro models at two different screen sizes, corresponding to Apple's current stock configurations. Apple's non-Retina MacBook Pro is currently offered in only a single stock configuration at the larger 15-inch size, suggesting that these model numbers may not represent that line.
MD711LL/A — Better — USA
MD712LL/A — Best – USA
MD760LL/A — Better – USA
MD761LL/A — Best – USA
A second set of model numbers have also leaked, but it is unclear to what products they refer:
ME177LL/A — Better — USAA notebook refresh is expected to the hardware highlight of WWDC, although Apple is likely to introduce a number of new products once accessories and configuration options are accounted for.
ME182LL/A — Best — USA
ME918LL/A — Good — USA
9to5Mac also notes that, beyond the notebooks, supplies of the Mac Pro and Mac mini are also somewhat constrained, although not to the same level as seen for notebooks. As a result, desktop updates may come somewhat later in the year.