'Holding Onto The Hope' Of An Apple Mac Launch This Fall

This week, Apple used its hotly anticipated "Gather Round" event to make announcements in just two of its product lines—the iPhone and Apple Watch.

Notably absent were announcements of new Macs or iPads, which several well-known Apple analysts have been predicting for this fall.

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This fall, a new Mac notebook has been expected to launch and take the place of the MacBook Air, along with expected updates to the iMac, Mac Mini and iPad Pro, according to Ming-Chi Kuo of TF International Securities, who’s had a strong track record on Apple product predictions.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook and co. didn't veer into Mac or iPad territories on Wednesday, instead spending the event unveiling three new iPhones—the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR—as well as the fourth-gen Apple Watch.

"We are holding onto the hope that there will be other product announcements this fall," said Jerry Zigmont, owner of MacWorks, a Madison, Conn.-based Apple consultant that focuses on Mac desktops and notebooks. "Some of these [Mac] products are in desperate need of a refresh."

At the top of Zigmont's list for updates are the iMac and a new MacBook Air-type notebook, both of which are in high demand among his firm's customers in education and small business.

Apple released a minor processor update to the MacBook Air in June 2017, but the laptop has stayed mostly unchanged for years. The iMac was last updated at the same time, with updated processors and improved storage and display.

Zigmont said that the MacBook Pro and iMac Pro, which have been getting a higher degree of attention from Apple, are out of the price range and have more computational power than needed for many of his customers.

"For a lot of business users, that type of product doesn't make sense for them," he said.

But advising clients to buy "old inventory" such as the MacBook Air or iMac is out of the question, Zigmont noted.

Ultimately, “the refresh times between [Mac] products are just too slow," he said.

As for the Mac Mini—Apple's low-priced, compact-sized desktop—it was last updated in October 2014.

However, Zigmont said he doesn't see much demand among customers for the Mac Mini, which he said in most cases is a worse value than buying an all-in-one iMac.

"I don't think Apple really should be putting their focus on [the Mac Mini], because it's a dead product," he said.

Based on past precedent, there's a chance Apple could still hold a second event to announce new Macs and iPad Pro tablets in the coming months. In 2016, Apple held a second fall product event, in October, to unveil the redesigned MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.