Does the release of macOS Ventura 13.3 mean a new Mac Pro is finally on the way?
Assuming Apple follows the same schedule it has for as long as we can remember, macOS Ventura 13.3 will arrive on all supported Macs on Monday or Tuesday. It’s not a huge release—the most notable new feature is a handful of emoji—but it could mean something else that is huge is on the horizon.
Back in January, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the Apple silicon Mac Pro was running macOS Ventura 13.3 while the rest of the world was still on 13.1. It’s not surprising that the Mac Pro would be running a newer version of Ventura in testing, since there are likely several hardware features that are exclusive to the machine and require optimization and compatibility tweaks to macOS.
Nor is it surprising that Apple used macOS 13.3. The point-3 version of macOS has typically been the biggest mid-cycle release, so it makes sense for Apple to test it on the Mac Pro since it’s likely that future Ventura updates will be focused on bug fixes, performance improvements, and security updates. So now, with that version set to release in just a few days, does that mean the new Mac Pro could arrive at any moment? Possibly.
Even if it arrives running macOS 13.3, however, the next Mac Pro will almost certainly have its own initial version of macOS. For example, when the M2 MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro arrived last June, they were running their own build of macOS Monterey 12.4, which had arrived for existing Macs on May 16. Then, when macOS 12.5 landed on July 20, the M2 Macs were updated with the rest of the Ventura-compatible devices as normal.
So if the Mac Pros in testing are indeed running macOS 13.3, Apple could launch a new model sometime between when macOS 13.3 launches next week and the arrival of macOS 13.4. Following Apple’s usual timeline, that would give Apple until mid-May to unveil the new model.
So it’s not a stretch to say a new Mac Pro will arrive sooner than later, probably before WWDC. Even without the Apple silicon transition, the Intel model would be ancient by now, and if Apple hopes to convince its highest-end users of the advantages of Apple silicon, it needs to start yesterday.
As March rolls along, we’re still on the lookout for any sign of a spring event. While last year’s event was held in March, the 2021 event wasn’t until April 20, so Apple could still send out invitations over the coming weeks.
But is there enough to fill a full keynote? What was once expected to be a major unveiling of Apple’s next big thing now appears to have been pushed back to WWDC or the fall. We already got the new spring iPhone color, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and a 2nd-gen HomePod. And it’s unlikely that the Mac Studio and iMac, 2022 and 2021’s big spring announcements respectively, will be updated before 2024.
But the Mac Pro could still make a splash this spring along with the other rumored products that aren’t an AR headset. On the Mac side, there’s the 15-inch MacBook Air. Just this week, a surprising reference to an unreleased AirPods model number and case was spotted in iOS 16.4. And a new Mac Pro will almost certainly be accompanied by an upgraded Pro Display XDR.
Of course, it’s possible that the Mac Pro isn’t actually worthy of an event, and Apple issues another round of press releases announcing the new computer and its M2 Ultra chip. But either way, you can start the countdown once macOS 13.3 arrives.