Apple discontinues Intel-based iMac Pro, mixed reality headset expected in 2022

Posted on Tuesday, Mar 09 2021 @ 10:21 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Apple logo
Time for another Apple news roundup as there's a lot of new information and rumors concering the fruity electronics maker.

iMac Pro gets discontinued

First up, Apple confirmed it's discontinuing the Intel-based iMac Pro all-in-one computers. These systems are no longer in production so if you want one you'll need to be fast as inventory will not be restocked. As a replacement, Apple recommends the 27" iMac.

The iMac Pro didn't receive a major hardware upgrade since the device's introduction in late 2017. According to the rumor mill, a new Apple Silicon-based version may be presented very soon. The Cupertino-based company is expected to introduce new hardware on Tuesday, March 23, 2021.

macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 fixes WebKit security bug

Another operating system update from Apple. The company just rolled out macOS Big Sur 11.2.3, which contains a security update for a WebKit vulnerability in the Safari browser.
Available for: macOS Big Sur

Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution

Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.

CVE-2021-1844: Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research

Early rumors about 64-core Mac Pro

Take it with a grain of salt, but there are some fresh rumors about future Apple Silicon based versions of the Mac Pro. The current M1 SoC found in Apple's MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13.3-inch is already quite impressive -- but future iterations for higher-end machines will be a lot more powerful. Apple leaker LeaksApplePro claims we'll see three configurations in 2022, including a 64-core model with 512GB RAM and 128 GPU cores. This model will reportedly start at $18,999.

If the rumor is accurate, one of the interesting observations here is that Apple is using quite a lot of small, energy-efficient cores for these high-end machines.
The first configuration, which will supposedly cost US$5,499+, delivers 64 GB RAM, 32 GPU cores, and a 32-core CPU that has 24 performance cores. The current top-end Mac Pro comes with a 28-core Intel Xeon chip. Moving on to the second alleged Mac Pro model, for US$11,999+ buyers can get a device with 256 GB RAM, 64 GPU cores, and a 48-core CPU stuffed with 36 performance cores. Last but not least, for a bank account-destroying US$18,999+, the top-end 2022 Mac Pro will be fitted with 512 GB RAM, sport 128 GPU cores, and boast a 64-core CPU that can offer 48 performance cores. Storage will apparently go from 512 GB to 8 TB, and a fully-specced variant will likely go for well over US$50,000, which is already possible with the current configuration options anyway.
Mac Pro, 2022.

1) 32 cores (24 performance).
64GB Ram
32 GPU cores

2) 48 cores (36 performance).
256GB Ram
64 GPU cores

3) 64 cores (48 performance).
512GB Ram
128 GPU cores

Storage from 512GB to 8TB

-- LeaksApplePro

iPhone to get periscopic telephoto leans in 2023?

One of the defining features of smartphones these days is the camera. Dedicated digital cameras barely get sold anymore as the general public relies almost exclusively on smartphones to capture memories. As such, it's obvious that a lot of resources are going to improving the quality of smartphone cameras. Big strides forward have been made over the past decade and a lot of improvement will still happen over the coming years.

Well-known Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from TF Securities claims the company will adopt a "periscopic telephoto lens" in 2023 -- which will enable higher optical zoom. At the moment, Apple's iPhone maxes out at 2.5x optical zoom, which is lower than what some rivals are already offering. Kuo also expects that the 2022 high-end iPhones will upgrade from a 6-element lens to a 7-element lens.

Apple mixed reality headset launching by mid-2022?

Next, Kuo expects Apple will be ready to reveal its mixed reality headset by the middle of next year. This device is expected to feature 15 camera modules. It's believed to be a "portable" device with its own computing power and storage -- but it will not be as portable as an iPhone. The headset is expected to feature high-end micro-OLED display technology and will be quite expensive, Kuo expects it will cost around $1,000.

MacRumors has some more info about this headset. It's expected to offer both AR and VR functionality:
Kuo said several prototypes of Apple's mixed reality headset currently weigh 200–300 grams, but he said that the final weight will be reduced to 100–200 grams if Apple can solve technical problems, which would be significantly lighter than many existing VR devices. Due to a complex design, Kuo expects the headset to be priced around $1,000 in the United States, in line with the price of a "high-end iPhone."
Looking further in the the future, Kuo expects Apple will be able to offer augmented reality glasses by 2025. Next, he almost moves into science fiction territory, by predicting contact lens type mixed reality products could be ready in the 2030-2040 timeframe.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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